By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of [Jacob], and gave orders concerning his bones.
—Hebrews 11:22

Not only did Joseph leave a legacy of faith for the past, but he also modeled for his family a faith for the future. Genesis 50 tells us, “Now Joseph stayed in Egypt, he in this father’s household . . . Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.’ Then Joseph made the sons of [Jacob] swear, saying, ‘God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here.’ So Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt” (vv. 22, 24-26).

At the end of his life, Joseph called his family together around his bed and said, “God will surely take care of you. Just do not leave me here in Egypt. When God takes you to the Promised Land, take my bones back with you.” Does that sound familiar to you? This is exactly what happened with Jacob in Genesis 48. Joseph was imitating the faith of his father, Jacob. Jacob had called his family together around his deathbed and said, “God will surely take care of you.” Joseph is doing the same thing.

Parents, one of the greatest gifts you can give your children is to demonstrate not only how to live but also how to die. When the time comes for your departure from this earth, show your children that they can trust God until the end. Your faith as you die is probably the thing your children will remember most about you. Hebrews 11:22 says, “By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of [Jacob], and gave orders concerning his bones.” Joseph said to his sons, “God is going to take care of you. And one day He will fulfill His promise to take you to the Promised Land.” So Joseph’s children took that message and passed it to their children, and their children passed it to their children, and on and on and on the message went: “You can trust God. He will keep His promises.”

That message was passed along for 400 years, until Moses was ready to lead the exodus to the Promised Land. Exodus 13:19 says, “Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of [Jacob] solemnly swear, saying, ‘God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you.’” The message had been relayed from generation to generation: “You can trust God. He will take care of you.” Joseph successfully passed off the baton of faith to his children and his grandchildren. Have you?

If you were to die today, what would your children and grandchildren remember most about you? Have you left for them a legacy of spiritual growth and a legacy of faith in God?

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Your Greatest Legacy” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.