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Thursday, May 12, 2016
How to Leave a Family Legacy BY RICK WARREN — MAY 12, Thursday
“Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24 NCV).
Awesome families teach their kids that they’re not the center of the universe. They teach their kids that God made them and shaped them for a mission. They model dedication, service, generosity, and prayer. Average families don’t do those things. Awesome families do.
I am the man that I am today first of all because of my parents. They instilled in me certain values to care about other people.
My parents were very, very poor, but they both had the gift of hospitality. They loved to give to others even though they didn’t have much. We lived out in the country, and my dad would plant an acre in garden with all kinds of vegetables. There was no way our family could eat all that food, but he did it just so he could give it away, because he didn’t have any money to give away. So we always planted more and then gave it away to help other people who were in need.
Our home was constantly filled with other people. If people were in pain, they were at our house. If they were on the road, they were at our house. If they were going through a conflict, they were at our house. If they were a well-known Christian leader coming through town, they were at our house. One day my dad added up how many meals my mom had cooked for guests in our home in one year. It was over a thousand meals! I grew up learning an attitude of “give your life away” and that it’s not about me. It’s about helping other people.
That’s what awesome families do. They teach each other to show love and to do good deeds. Good deeds are called ministry. They are called service.
A good example of this is Cornelius’ family in the book of Acts: “He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly” (Acts 10:2 NIV).
What a great legacy! Wouldn’t you like to have people writing that about you and your family one day?
Pray this prayer today: “Dear Jesus Christ, I want to live an awesome life. And I want to have an awesome family. I know I won’t have either if I just live for myself. So today I give myself to you. As for me and my house, we’re going to serve the Lord. I want my family to be a place of play and fun, not just work and negativity. I want my family to be a place where we encourage each other to grow constantly. I want to be a family that is a shelter in the storm, a safe haven, a refuge. Help me to protect my family — not just their bodies but also their minds. I want my family to serve you by serving others. Help us to find our family mission, our purpose, what you shaped our family to do. Help me to teach my kids to be generous by modeling generosity to God and to others. Help me to have a bifocal vision to not just care about my family but to teach them to care about the whole world. May we model dedication and service and generosity and prayer. I can’t do this on my own, Lord. So I ask you to come into my life and take complete control of every area and give me the power to do the right thing. In your name I pray. Amen.”