“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” – Hebrews 11:4 (NKJV).
Legacy refers to something remarkable someone has achieved which continues to exist after he or she has stopped working or died. Many people worry about what type of legacy they will leave behind when they are no more. Faith in God produces and leaves a worthy, living legacy. Hebrews 11:4 talks about Abel, even though long dead, still speaks today through the sacrifice and gifts he offered to God by faith. Below are the kinds of faith which will leave footprints on the sands of time and bequeath inheritance to succeeding generations:
Faith that worships: True worship to God cannot be separated from sacrifice. The sacrifice one is willing to make for someone is a reflection of the value that person places on him or her. Abel offered something God Himself considered pleasing. Therefore, God had respect for his gift and sacrifice, but disregarded that of Cain his twin brother (Genesis 4:3-5). Because Abel believed that God exists and is a rewarder, he gave a worthy offering which God respected. Having pleased God by his sacrifice inspired by reverential worship, he attained a legacy which still speaks before God.
Faith that walks: It was said of Enoch that he walked with God by faith and God took him to heaven without him dying (Genesis 5:22-24). His experience of being taken to heaven marked the first account of rapture in the Bible. He walked consistently with God for 300 years. The faith that will leave a legacy is one that will consistently walk with God in good times and bad times, in prosperity and adversity, and in high and low moments. Those who diligently seek God shall be rewarded. Those who have been justified by Christ are required to walk by faith, and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Faith that works: Noah was instructed by God to build an ark because He was going to destroy the earth by rainfall and floodwater. For about 70 years according to Bible scholars, Noah worked to build this ark, while the people around him insulted and jeered at him. Though he suffered vicious mockery, Noah never stopped working on the ark. He was able to save his family as a result of his obedience of faith. The Bible says faith without works (corresponding action) is dead. The Bible also says we should show we have faith through our actions (James 2:18). Nowadays, many who claim to believe God prove otherwise by their actions.
Faith that waits: The Bible says some of the patriarchs died in faith not receiving the promises they were assured of them (Hebrews 11:13). God told Abraham he was going to be a father of nations, but biologically he only fathered two sons: Ishmael and Isaac. Joseph died believing in the future exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt, so he left instruction that his bones should be taken with them when they leave Egypt. The faith that leaves a legacy is the one which sees far into the future; it adjures God to be faithful in keeping His promises, even when they are timeless.
Faith that wins: The victory that overcomes the world is our faith (1 John 5:4-5). Faith in Christ makes us a winner. Rahab the prostitute became a descendant of Jesus because of her faith in the God of Israel. She placed a high premium on God and loved His people to the extent of hiding them at her own peril. As a result, she saved her family and herself, and won the battle of destiny. This type of faith places a high premium on God and His promises, and contends without giving in (1 Timothy 6:12).
CONCLUSION: In order to leave a legacy, you must have the faith which worships, walks, works, waits, and wins. It’s my prayers that our faith will be transgenerational and leave an enduring legacy.