A Valuable Legacy
A legacy is a gift that someone makes to another usually something that one leaves behind, when departing from this world, for others to enjoy. Some have left great sums of money to others and to institutions, and these bequests have been called valuable legacies. I am now to tell you of the greatest and most valuable legacy that has ever been left to man. It is a bequest left not to one man but to all men. It is not a legacy of silver or gold or diamonds nor of houses and lands. Nor can this precious gift be purchased with gold. It is something Jesus gives; and what He has cannot be purchased with any earthly thing. I will read you what it is: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” (John 14:27) These are the words that Jesus uttered just before His departure from the world, and this is the legacy He leaves to man. Oh, what a gift! We can all possess it. We need it as we are crossing the sea of life. Many storms arise and billows roll high, but the soul possesses this valuable treasure of peace. There is a stillness, a calmness, a peacefulness, in the soul that stormy winds can never disturb.
This peace that Jesus gives, is given us through our obedience. “O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river.” (Isaiah 48:18) What is more peaceful than the calm, even flowing of a river? As we look upon it, a quiet peacefulness begins to spread its mantle over our hearts. Still waters are a beautiful emblem of peace, while troubled waters are a picture of unrest.
This peace that Jesus gives is unlike anything that the world gives. This world contains many pleasant things and makes many very liberal offers, but peace is never found by accepting any of them. The pleasures of this world leave a bitter taste, while the hardships we endure for Jesus sweetens our cup.
Shall we analyze this peace, that we may know all about it, even the very hidden secret of the principle? The apostle says, “The peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds.” (Philippians 4:7) Let us be satisfied to have our hearts and minds kept by this wonderful peace, though we do not understand it. I have some flowers on my desk. There are white ones and yellow and purple and red and pale blue. I do not understand the principle of life that gives them such beauty and fragrance. If I should dissect them in order to discover this secret, I should destroy their beauty and be no wiser. We cannot understand this peace, but we can possess it.
There is power in this peace to keep the heart and mind. “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” (Colossians 3:15) Give thy heart over to its calm, still power. It will rule very quietly in your soul, but rule with kingly power. The waters cannot rise in trouble where peace holds sway. When this secret power has dominion in our hearts, it speaks peace to all around. It says to the waves and the winds, “Peace, be still.” (Mark 4:39) Or the attacking fears, on the threatening circumstances, it lays a quiet hand and whispers, “Peace, be still,” and great is the calmness of thy soul.