by Joey Bonifacio
They didn’t see what was promised. They were flogged, beaten, and vanished. They suffered here on earth and did not have a full glimpse of what they believed in. Despite it all, they went beyond believing and obeyed God, by faith. They are the men, with their eyes on the eternal, took the leap.
Campus ministry has been at the core of Every Nation’s (the church movement that I am part of) calling. Just recently, more than 13,000 students have gathered at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Manila, Philippines to worship God, honor Him, and was spurred to fulfill God’s call for every believer to make disciples.
I remember vividly the day I walked into Victory, Every Nation’s church in the Philippines. I was newly married and 28 years old. Everyone in church was younger than me, including the senior pastor, my friend Steve Murrell. It fascinated me and really made me look into this “church,” thing more. There’s something about the energy and passion of young people. I’ve been part of Victory and Every Nation for more than 30 years now and not a week or month has gone by without us believing God for open doors to reach out to the nation’s campuses—students, youth, the next generation.
Ensuring that we impart our faith and bless the next generation is very close to God’s heart. One of our faith’s forefathers, Isaac, exemplified this when he blessed his sons Jacob and Esau. In Hebrews 11:20 we read that Isaac had the faith to leave a legacy— a legacy spoken through words of blessings that declared destiny and purpose to his sons’ lives.
“It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau.” Hebrews 11:20
In this passage, Isaac recognized that God is a multigenerational God, able to keep his covenant of love and promise to those who follow Him, and following the example of his father Abraham, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau. By faith, he declared words of blessings over Jacob and Esau’s lives. He made pronouncements that will set the course of their destiny.
In this act—of blessing his children—Isaac showed that though he will not fully see the fulfillment of his spoken blessings to his sons, God will.
A calling to leave a legacy
I do believe that we have a huge responsibility to leave a legacy to the next generation, and we can do so by blessing them by faith.
In James 1:5, it notes that our words are like a rudder, able to direct the course of a ship. I encourage you to use your words to speak blessings over those around you, your children, your spouses, your co-workers, your small group members, and your friends.
No matter where we are and what we’re going through, we have a calling to leave a legacy. This legacy can be imparted by faith by blessing others.
The kind of blessings we can pass on
Isaac’s example of blessing his sons showcases that there are blessings we can pass on to others. These are blessings that will set the course for their future, by faith, by aligning it to God’s will of abundance for their life.
Blessing of abundance. Isaac spoke by and with faith and blessed his sons with abundance. He believed that God wants his children to have a prosperous future, which is in accordance with God’s will for their life. We can bless others with abundance, by proclaiming that God will meet all their needs according to Christ Jesus (see Philippians 4:13).
Blessing of leadership. In Genesis 27:29, Isaac prophesied that Jacob will become a leader. This is in line with God’s desire for us—to have a mantle of leadership so we can lead others to Him. If we look closely, in our own life right now, we’ll realize that we have a sphere of influence. Every single one of us can make a positive impact and by blessing others with leadership, declaring that they can lead by God’s grace, we align them to their destiny and calling.
Blessing for rewards. Obedience is one of the keys to receiving God’s blessings and when we declare that to others, that they will have a heart to obey God, we prophesy that they will be on a pathway to blessings. In Isaac’s example, he declared that those who will bless his son Jacob be blessed. This shows that he declared a blessing of protection and security for his son’s future.
Hundreds of years since Isaac declared this blessing, the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29, New Living Translation
Every single day, we will speak thousands of words. Words that could either build others up or tear them down.
In the life of Isaac, we’ve seen a man who following his father’s example, declared blessing over his children’s life. He spoke words of blessings by faith, declaring that they will prosper, they will lead, and they will be secured.
By faith, Isaac left a legacy, captured in declarations filled with hope and promise.
In the same way, we can bless others with the words we say and we can impart a legacy, a memory, an encounter that will align them with God’s will and promise for their life.