My mom decided to take on the feat of organizing old family photos during the quarantine. Each time I visited my parents, I’d join my mama in the basement. I helped her sift through hundreds of photos. We wouldn’t get too far before stopping to talk about a memory burned into our minds. Sometimes it was to remember a loved one we had lost or for mama to share the story behind a picture.
Holding the dusty, faded photos, I stared at the people in them. Some were unknowingly caught on camera. That unsuspecting moment in time was frozen in the ink of a photo. Though many of these people have already passed away, their lives live on in the photo, in the memory, in the impression they made on others. I tucked away a few of these old photos of my grandparents in their youth as a reminder to my soul. These days we are walking through will someday be a living legacy to my children, grandchildren, and, Lord willing, to many others as well.
Each old photo is a treasure. But even better than these freeze frames were any pieces of paper we found with writing on them. My Pawpaw, a pastor for nearly 60 years, hand-wrote almost every sermon he ever preached. (This was obviously before the computer age.) These sermons are carefully preserved in plastic bins to keep them pristine. Every time I hold these tattered papers with his scribbled writing, I see a heart that was deeply in love with Jesus. His words, his random notes we still have, are all living legacies pointing us to Jesus.
Trees You Won't Sit Under
As I think of the purpose God placed in my heart for the Give Me Jesus Journal, the idea of “A Living Legacy” continually comes to mind. Each time you study the Word and write down your prayers, struggles, praises, dreams—you are writing a living legacy for others to witness and be encouraged by. Every pen stroke and word is an investment into the kingdom of God. One church described legacy as “planting trees you won’t sit under.”
God is planting trees in your heart as you come boldly to the throne of grace. These trees, by his grace, will grow and benefit others. Time spent in the Word will transform you from the inside out. This transformation will produce ripple effects in the lives of others. Your family, your spouse, your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors—they will all see the fruit of the living and active Word of God at work in your life.
Give Me Jesus Collection
This year’s Give Me Jesus Journal Collection’s theme is “A Living Legacy.” The quiet time journal is an investment into your walk with Jesus, your heart, your home, and your life’s legacy. My prayer is that the words you write while studying the Word breathed out by God will then breathe life into your soul and guide your steps. The Word will impact your words, your life, your speech, and your legacy. As C.T. Studd once said, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Each day you are living a legacy. What is your life saying? Do your words point to Jesus? What does your mind dwell upon? May each moment be for Jesus, through Jesus, and because of Jesus.
Living a legacy for his glory,
Gretchen Saffles (Founder of Well-Watered Women)