A Living Legacy
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I lost my grandmother just as I was beginning my journey into adulthood. For a year, I couldn’t grieve. I was simply numb. I missed the woman who shared my ice cream and my pain—the one who filled my imagination with stories and believed that I could touch the stars. I could not imagine going through life without her.
I cherished the few possessions she left behind—her writing desk, an antique ring, and some cards I had made for her when I was a child. But the most precious gift she gave to me was far more valuable. She introduced me to Jesus and showed me His love by example.
The book of 2 John talks about a similar woman, simply called “the chosen lady” (v.1 NLT). We don’t know her name or her specific circumstances, but we do know that she knew the truth and passed it on to her children. John writes, “How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded” (v.4). And like my grandmother, this woman of faith introduced her children to the love of Jesus. Once they experienced His love, they followed Jesus’ original instructions and shared that love with one another.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35)
John recorded Jesus’s words in his gospel account, but in this letter to the chosen lady, he writes, “This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning” (2 John 5). Scholars estimate that John’s second letter could have been written between 60 and 70 A.D.—several decades after Jesus’s death and resurrection. Time had passed. His original followers had married and raised children—who heard about His teachings instead of witnessing them first-hand. They became the first generation to demonstrate the power of a godly legacy.
This woman’s children lived according to the truth that she had shown them. And as a result, they demonstrated God’s love by loving each other. “Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning” (v.6).
And we have the opportunity to leave that same amazing legacy to our children, grandchildren, and others in our lives. As I look back on the example that my grandmother left for me to follow, my prayer is that I will follow her lead and pass that godly example to the next generation.
What legacy do you want to leave behind?
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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