John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) is regarded as the first American billionaire. At the time of his death, the oilman’s fortune was 1.5% of the total U.S. economy, which would equal more than $300 billion today. He is considered the richest man in modern history. But when asked once, how much money is enough, he famously replied “just a little bit more.”
Rockefeller gave a significant amount of his money away. In particular, he donated $10 million between 1913-1923 to establish the Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH). The hospital and its medical college located off Wangfujing Street in the heart of Beijing is considered one of the most selective medical colleges today and is widely regarded as the finest hospital in China. Much of the Rockefeller family’s legacy is directly connected to their money.
When we pass away, most of us will not be remembered in that way; however, each of us will leave a legacy, or impression, on the people we know. Of course, we want to leave a positive legacy on our family, our friends, our work and other areas of our lives.
Bible Reading: Genesis 15:1-6
As we read in Genesis chapter 12, Abraham knew that God had promised his legacy would be significant. Abraham would be an important person in his community and would have many children; but as Abraham and his wife grew older, they could have doubted this legacy at times. They could have doubted whether God would keep his promise to them.
God has a plan for each of us when we believe and trust God. Many of us have an idea of what we think a good legacy is – whether that is degrees from a good university, a high-paying career, children who do well in school and other things. But God often has a different idea of what a good legacy is – God desires us to have faith in his plan for our lives. God wants us to trust and follow him, even when it is difficult.
- What do you think John D. Rockefeller meant by his response “just a little bit more”?
- How do you want to be remembered?
- According to the Bible, how was Abraham remembered? [See Romans 4:1-3 and 4:20-25]
- From the last paragraph, what is God’s idea of a good legacy?
billionaire – a person whose net worth is greater than a billion dollars
fortune – a large amount of assets
modern – recent times
legacy – how someone is remembered