OK, so I only got $700.00 when dad died. It could have been more, but my two brothers and four sisters thought it best that we divide it equally. Since then, I have learned that money may make one rich, but being wealthy is something totally different. My dad left his kids wealthy.
A spiritual legacy is one of the greatest possessions you can leave your kids.
I was reminded of this several years ago when I drove into our hometown to take care of some family business. This was years after mom and dad had both gone home to be with the Lord. The kind lady who checked me into the motel saw the name on my credit card and ask if I was related to Brother Corzine, known as “The Country Preacher”. I told her I was his youngest son. She proceeded to tell me the story that when she was a young girl how my dad had led her to Christ. You see, he was a part time school bus driver. One day she boarded the bus early, and as she sat there all alone he took out a New Testament and began to talk to her about trusting Christ. She said she would never forget him, or the day she prayed to receive Jesus Christ.
That story really didn’t surprise me. All my life I've heard stories from people about the way my dad impacted their lives. My dad lived a long and fruitful life. His good and godly example helped shape me partly into the man I am today. My 68 years of life and over 49 years of ministry have been influenced by his legacy. The way I understand it, he is still blessing people's lives today through me and others who was influenced by him.
That's the way it is supposed to be. When God told the nation of Israel to pass His teachings from one generation to the next, He established the definition of legacy. In Deuteronomy 6:6-25, God tells the parents of children to "teach them [the words of God] diligently to your sons and talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."
God uses His people to build His Kingdom, and He wants each succeeding generation to know what He did and how they can be included.
I learned faithfulness from my dad. I learned how to be a gentleman. My dad took divided churches and brought them together. He was a consensus builder. He was kind and sensitive and he taught me how to deal with people out of kindness. He encouraged me to memorize scripture and taught me how to outline a sermon. He was a man of integrity and character and I wanted to be like him. He always taught me to stand for what's right even if no one else does. My dad showed me I could, without compromise, stand against anything that was wrong, but still be kind in my opposition. I've not always succeeded in that, but I've tried.
I always knew God led my dad and mother in the decisions they made. They built into me the confidence to always trust the Lord for wisdom, guidance, and provision.
Only God knows the number of people who have been touched as a result of the faithfulness of my dad. I know I am wealthy today because of him.
Who knows, maybe one day my son and daughters and their children will be wealthy too.