Living to Leave a Legacy
Have you given much thought to what legacy you will leave your children? Most of us have. But what about your community? Your family? Your church? Your friends? This week the great evangelist, Billy Graham gained his inheritance. It is a gift from heaven that he did nothing to earn. He is in the presence of Christ at this very minute because of what Jesus did on the cross and not from his works. Reverend Graham lived a life that will not soon be forgotten. He preached the good news to millions in every language, to both dignitaries and drug addicts. His reputation was beyond reproach. His children honor him. A nation grieves the end of this man’s life. He leaves an incredible legacy.
In January, I attended a women’s event at the church home of a dear friend in Josephine, Alabama. The event was called Legacy and I was one of 130 in attendance. It’s a small church with a powerful women’s ministry. I left that day reconciled, refreshed and prayerful that I too, would live my life to leave a legacy. In fact, I couldn’t wait to get home and write about it, but computer issues prevented it until today.
I feared the experience was just an emotional feeling and would soon fade. So in my mind, not being able to write it that day was a test. Would I remain faithful? Would I ever write about it? Was it real? Today, I can share with you that it was most definitely real. Our Father has been steadily working in my life and those around me for weeks now. And the word legacy keeps coming up.
An Inheritance that Never Fades
Today I read this scripture:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:4)
Feelings fade, theories change, and our very lives perish from this earth, but our inheritance does not. It is protected. It is reserved in heaven. St. Peter himself lived a life that helped found the church of Jesus Christ.(Upon this rock, I will build my church) The church still lives. Jesus, while on earth, was the perfect example of sacrificial love. He still lives. Paul not only spread the gospel, but wrote letters to encourage Christians around the world. The gospel and Paul’s letters still live. Billy Graham evangelized the world. Evangelism still lives. And then there’s Molly Bruno.
Some of you may be thinking, who is Molly Bruno and how dare you put her in the same category as these great apostles! She was a simple woman who was a wife, a mother, a daughter and a prayer warrior. The speaker at the Legacy Conference was Marie Armenia. Marie is the daughter of Molly Bruno and travels all over continuing the work of her mother. She’s taken up the baton. She’s accepted the legacy.
If you’ve seen the movie, War Room with Priscilla Shirer, you’ll remember the character, Miss Clara. She had a prayer room in her house where she interceded for many. Papers with names and scriptures covered the walls as Miss Clara covered them in prayer. It was called a war room because as Christians, we are at war with the enemy, who wants to steal, kill and destroy. And prayer prepares us for our spiritual battle.
Molly Bruno is the real Miss Clara. She was interviewed by the producers, writers and directors of the film. These people are Christians, and yet there’s a story of how Molly led a cameraman to a deeper walk with Christ. Her daughter talked about how her mother prayed about everything. She prayed for strangers, for bills that needed paying, for disgruntled customers in line at the bank, and the topic of prayer revolved around 3 little words.
Jesus Loves You
No matter where Molly went she left a little bit of God* with someone before she left them. Her daughter shared that they were walking down a street one day and passed a church sign announcing the next event.
Evangelism class begins this Sunday. Come and join this 10 week class to learn how to share the gospel.
Molly exclaimed, “What?! Why in the world do you need 10 weeks to learn how to say three little words that have the power to change lives? All you need to know is that Jesus loves you.”
She used these three words at the grocery store, with her neighbors, her family and at her local bank in Manhattan, NY.
Molly asked Marie to take her to the bank one morning in New York City. Marie, being a real person and a typical daughter tried to dissuade her. The lines are long, not enough tellers and it can take hours to get your banking needs met. Molly would not be persuaded to go another day. So off they go and just as Marie had described the line was out the door. They waited patiently for their turn as others complained. One customer in particular began to curse, shout and demean the bank employees. Molly being Molly told the disgruntled woman that she could go in front of her. Marie whispered to her mother, ‘She is probably a prostitute or a drug addict.’ The woman was dressed as if she’d been up all night. Molly answered that was of no concern to her.
Once securely in place at the front of the line, the woman turned to Molly and asked why she did that. Her answer, ‘Because I want to talk to you.’ And guess what her next three words were? Jesus loves you. The woman turned away to take care of her banking. Since Molly was now next in line, they assumed the woman would have a clean getaway from the gospel. But she didn’t. She waited in the lobby and asked Molly to tell her more about the love of Jesus. There in the lobby of a busy bank in Manhattan, Molly led a prostitute to Christ. Following in the footsteps of her Savior.
Living to Leave a Legacy
The stories went on. Every opportunity to share the love of Christ was met with joy and excitement. She had an incredible prayer life. Just like in the movie, Molly, prayed with passion for God to “Raise ’em up!” Raise up who? Raise up prayer warriors. Prayer from our closets. Prayer from our war rooms. Why? Because it is through private prayer and His Word that we understand the true love of Christ. Prayer changes people. It changes the person being prayed for and the person praying.
And now her story goes on. She left a legacy of prayer. She left a legacy of love. Her legacy is now in a movie, written about in a book and taken to the ends of the earth through her daughter. Her legacy inspired me to pray more often, more fervently and about everything. It motivated me to write about our legacy. Things are changing. And as Molly often said, “It isn’t about me. It isn’t about a ritualistic prayer. It is about HIM.” She went to be with Jesus. And just like Billy Graham, she is enjoying her inheritance that she did nothing to earn.
It’s about HIM, who showed the depth of HIS love on the cross. HE took care of it all, so that we could have an inheritance. It won’t fade, perish or spoil. What is your legacy? Let it begin with these words…
JESUS LOVES YOU.
*A sweet friend shared a story about leaving a little bit of God everywhere she went, so I am borrowing that phrase.
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