C. Stacey Woods, who helped launch InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, urged every student to build an interminable legacy. “We seem slow to realize that God can only work His work in our hearts and lives when we give Him time,” he said. “Too often our lives are cluttered with masses of extraneous material, unrelated activities which result in the central core of our being, namely ourselves as individual persons, being lost. But each of us should have a personal and individual relationship with the living God, be taught by Him, be formed by Him, and grow up into Him to the measure of the stature of Christ.”[1]

Let’s break down Woods’ philosophy into four points. To leave an interminable legacy with an unimaginable life expectancy, we must have:


  • A personal and individual relationship with the living God
  • A heart for being taught and formed by Him
  • A determination to cut extraneous clutter from our lives
  • And a zeal for pressing toward the goal of fulfilling God’s will for our lives.


Establish a Personal Relationship With the Living God

The first step is making sure we have a personal relationship with the living God through the Lord Jesus. On the cross, Jesus endured the true breaking point for us. Three days later He emerged victorious from the grave, and His message to us is: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV).

When we live wholeheartedly for Him, we’re leaving a legacy of His Lordship to those who see the hope within us.


A Heart Formed by Him

Having given ourselves to Christ, we need to live submissively to Him each day with hearts eager to be formed into the full measure of Christ.

In 2 Corinthians 1:8, the apostle Paul told the Corinthians of a moment when he was at the breaking point: “We were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.” But God bore him through that time; and in Ephesians, he spoke of being formed into “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

Sometimes it’s when we’re burdened beyond measure that we’re most apt to grow into the measure of His fullness.


Cut Extraneous Clutter

We need to live by priorities and cut out the extraneous clutter that can choke God’s Word in our lives. Speaking of seed that fell on unkempt land, Jesus said, “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).

Prioritizing is a continual process. It’s tragic to squander so much time, money, and energy on temporal things and have little remaining for things eternal.


Press on Toward the Goal

If we’ve committed ourselves to Christ and are growing in Him and pruning away whatever distracts from His will, then we’re in a great position. We can say with the apostle Paul: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me…. Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).

We also need to invest our funds in things eternal. In the Old Testament, there was a special kind of offering called the “wave offering.” According to Exodus 29:24, it was presented to the Lord by waving it before Him. The one making the offering gave it to the priests, who waved it heavenward in acknowledgment of its being given in celebration of God.

Whenever we give to the Lord, we’re never waving goodbye to our money. We’re waving it heavenward as an offering for His glory and work. Jesus called it laying up treasures for ourselves in heaven (Matthew 6:20). It’s part of our legacy as we invest our time, energy, and money in the eternal work of God.

            Give yourself to Him, let your heart be formed by Him, cut out the clutter, and press toward the goal with your time, treasure, and talents for Christ. Leave an interminable legacy with an unimaginable life expectancy.


David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the founder and host of Turning Point for God. For more information about Dr. Jeremiah or Turning Point, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.

[1] Quoted by John Woodbridge, More Than Conquerors (Chicago: Moody Press, 1992), 278.