Leaving a Legacy

Key Verse

Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her
— Mark 14:19

Leaving a Legacy

Genesis 5:22-24; Numbers 12:3; I Samuel 17:32; Mark 14:3-9; Romans 4:3,20-21; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Titus 2:7-8; James 5:11; I Peter 2:21-24; 2 Peter 1:13-15


The legacy of some people consists of great material wealth
accumulated over a lifetime, to be divided among their heirs.
Others leave very little, perhaps not even enough to pay funeral
costs. Whether rich or poor, it is possible for us to leave behind
something of great value—the legacy of an exemplary life which
will serve as an inspiration to our survivors. Many will succeed in
building an estate that their beneficiaries will spend in time, but
how much better to strive to leave a spiritual legacy that will live
on and on.


1. In our introduction, the word “legacy” is used. In the natural, a
legacy is something bequeathed or handed down to a beneficiary.
Such a bequest usually consists of a sum of money or personal
property of sentimental value. What does the term “spiritual
legacy” mean? How does this differ from a natural legacy?

2. In Mark 14:3-9, as well as in the other Gospels, we are reminded
of the legacy of one woman, Mary. Jesus said that wheresoever
the Gospel was preached, she would be remembered for what she
had done. In all probability our life stories or the deeds we have
done won’t be put into print for others to read, but our actions and
attitudes will have an effect on the future of others. As you read
the account of the anointing of Jesus by Mary, what spiritual
attributes do you see in her that we can also possess?

3. When Jesus died as our atoning Sacrifice, He left something of
great value behind —the merits of His Blood shed on Calvary. But
even before He died, He had established a legacy. Read I Peter
2:21-24 and describe some of the examples Jesus left to us as His
legacy of His life here on earth. Do you believe that with God’s
help these are reasonable expectations for Christians today?
Explain your answer.

4. It would be good for each of us to stop and think of the other
people who may be observing our lives and using us as their
pattern in following Christ: a son, daughter, grandchild, brother,
sister, or new convert. It should be our desire to live an exemplary
life so that anyone could pattern after us, as we do Christ. Reading
Titus 2:7-8, in what specific areas does Paul mention that we
should show a pattern of good works? Are these the only areas in
which we should be this type of example? If not, what might some
other areas be?

5. The pages of Bible history give us many examples of people who
loved God. We remember them for a variety of reasons, and all
are patterns from which we can learn valuable lessons. Following
are some Biblical examples of those who left us a spiritual legacy.
Look up the references given and tell who left the legacy, and
briefly what that legacy was. Genesis 5:22-24; Numbers 12:3; 1
Samuel 17:32; Romans 4:3, 20-21; II Timothy 4:7-8; James 5:11.

6. So far we have been talking about good spiritual legacies. But
not all legacies are good. Many people are remembered for the
wrongs they have done and the sad results of the bad examples
they left behind. While we do not like to spend much time
considering these people, it might be good to analyze the dangers
of doing wrong from the standpoint of how this affects others.
Mention some characters in the Bible who left a harmful legacy
behind them.

7. Among other things, we remember the Apostle Peter as one of
the first Apostles chosen by Jesus. He had his time of failure, but
he overcame that and lived the balance of his life as a witness for
the Lord. After Peter was shown that his time was nearing an end,
what was his greatest concern as he wrote the words we read in 2
Peter 1:13-15?

8. As Christians, we likely have been through many storms and
trials and have had considerable experience in combating the
enemy of our souls. But as the days go by, we still face specific
situations that test our patience, kindness, love, etc. How do you
handle these? If you feel as though you have fallen a little short,
what can you do to handle it better the next time?

9. Consider the life you are now living. Then look back over the
past forty or fifty years of your life. In comparing them, do you see
growth? Have you let the Holy Spirit be a positive force in your
life? Have you done your best for Jesus? Can those who are looking
for a Christian example find it in you?

10. In reviewing this lesson, identify one spiritual trait which you
think is critical to living an exemplary Christian life as a senior
saint today. What was the reason for your choice? Will others
remember you for that trait? Is your spiritual legacy in order?
(A precious saint of God waited faithfully for thirty years before
God brought about her husband’s conversion through a series of
events that caused him to want the Lord more than anything else.
What if she had failed to wait patiently through the trying times?
What if she had not tarried in prayer or had failed to abide in
Christ? Let us be among those who “rest in the Lord, and wait
patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7).)