We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
—Psalm 78:4

If you are a parent, at some point you will likely watch your children go through a crisis in their lives. It may be an unwanted divorce, an undeserved termination, or an unexpected illness. And it will be at that moment that our success or failure as a parent would become evident to everyone. Have we passed on to our children a faith in God that will help them navigate through the storms of life? Have we tended to their spiritual development as children so that the problems of life do not crush them but instead help them to grow? Have we modeled to them the grace and forgiveness that will keep them from bitterness that will destroy their lives?

As we are going to see this week, the two greatest legacies we can leave our children are a legacy of spiritual growth and a legacy of faith. We will see these two legacies illustrated in Genesis 47 through 50. This week marks the end of our study on the life of Joseph. Every time I teach about the life of Joseph, people tell me, “It seems like you were speaking directly to me in that lesson.” And that’s not the power of the preacher; that’s the power of the Word of God.

There is something about Joseph’s life with which each of us can identify—and that is all of the ups and downs he experienced in his life. Think about everything Joseph went through. He started out as a favored child of privilege; then he was betrayed by his brothers, who threw him in a pit and left him there to die. Then, through the miraculous providence of God, Joseph’s life was spared, and he was taken by slave traders and raised up to become the head of Potiphar’s household. But while he was there, he was falsely accused of rape and thrown back into prison. While he was in prison, Joseph was forsaken by his fellow prisoners. Then again the providence of God rescued Joseph from the prison and lifted him up to be the second in command to Pharaoh over all of Egypt.

Through all of those ups and downs in his life, God had a plan He was working out for Joseph. And now we will learn what God has to say about our own lives by observing two historical events that are recorded in these last four chapters of Genesis. First, we see the death of Jacob, Joseph’s father; and second, we see the death of Joseph himself.

Far more than being just simple obituaries in the Bible, the reason so much space is devoted to these two deaths is because the deaths of Jacob and Joseph remind us of the two most important legacies we can leave for our children. What legacy will you leave behind for your children and grandchildren? This week you will learn how to leave the greatest possible legacy for future generations.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Lessons in Leadership” 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.