What’s Your Legacy?

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    Dear friends, truly our lives were planned by God to make a profound difference upon our world.  This world begins at home.  Children are to be the first recipients of our Christian legacy.  In believing this truth we must ask ourselves how much time and effort is invested in this sacred trust.  It has been said, “what a man accomplishes depends on what he believes.”

    Christian, all that you are, all the experiences, sorrows and joys were meant to be shared.  You are a teacher of life.  It is a call you can not afford to ignore.  If ever you excel at anything let it be in passing on your personal, godly legacy.  Galations 6:4 gives our children a foundation of happiness and God- confidence.  “Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won’t need to compare himself with someone else.”  It’s so easy to think that our children will turn out alright.  It’s so easy to pursue our own interests and careers when all the time our children are without godly instruction or parenting.  Do we really believe our faith and convictions will be passed on to the next generation without intense effort?  Ephesians 6:4 urges us in the raising of our children to “…bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”  Parents must always remember that obedience to the absolute truth of scripture is the defining factor in their personal life. “I advise you to obey only the Holy Spirit’s instructions, He will tell you where to go and what to do.”  Galations 5:16  Only then are we ready to be the godly teacher not just when the children are in the home but for as long as they live.  Loving God requires a lifelong commitment to pass on our Christian legacy to our children and those God brings into our lives.  George Eliot wrote this compelling statement.  “It is vain thought to flee from the work that God appoints us, for the sake of finding greater blessing, instead of seeking it where alone it is to be found- in loving obedience.

    Parents often ride the wave of discouraging days.  Raising children is not for cowards or slackers.  However, the results of staying on course are immensely rewarding.  When deeply draining days wear you down be strengthened by Galations 6:19.  “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.” This is your finest hour when you present to the Lord and the next generation your greatest reward, a godly legacy.

 

The Burden Bearer

     Have you ever noticed that as humans we have a way of making things harder and more difficult?  And then there are the times that spiral out of our control.  Our wisdom and understanding are so limited.  More than ever we are in need of divine intervention and leadership.  Jesus sees that need and shares his great compassion with us.  “…What pity he felt for the crowds that came because their problems were so great and they didn’t know what to do or where to go for help.  They were sheep without a shepherd.”  Matthew 9:36

     As believers we have a friend who daily bears our burdens.  He just asks that we follow Him.  “Give your burdens to the Lord, He will carry them.”  Psalms 55:22 The psalmist realized that the best action in times of trouble and difficulty was not to run away from our problems but to cast them upon the Lord.  It has been said, “He who once bore the burden of our sins and sorrows requests that we should now and ever permit Him to bear the burden of our cares.”  Friends, do not be alarmed when situations, emotions and experiences are beyond what we can humanly bear for the Lord our God is here with us.  “…Don’t be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty you will not drown!  For I am the Lord your God, your Savior, the Holy One of Israel.”  Isaiah 43:1-3

     How constant is our joy to know that in those dark hours we have One to carry our burdens.  There are times we need simply to run into his arms and let him hold us till the storm passes.  What was too hard for us is once again brought within the bearable, not by our strength but by God’s.  “O God my strength!  I will sing your praises for you are my place of safety.  My God is changeless in his love for me and he will come and help me.”   Psalms 60:9,10   In this moment turn to the Burden Bearer and you will once again be established upon solid ground.  Psalms 42:11 …”O my soul, don’t be discouraged.  Don’t be upset.  Expect God to act!  For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise him for all that he will do.. He is my help!  He is my God!”

Magnificent Weakness

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    “There is in man a higher than love of happiness; he can do without happiness, and instead thereof seek blessedness” Thomas Carlyle.  Our Holy Bible is living, alive and able to divide man’s intelligence from God’s superior wisdom.  And so the scriptures teach us of something greater, something far more lasting than happiness.  It is found in God’s transformation of our magnificent weakness.  The apostle Paul wanted more than health or his personal display of ability and pride.  He wanted God’s strength and enabling to preach the Word.  He found that better than the removal of trials and sufferings was the companionship of the Son of God and His sweet grace.  Paul would gladly endure if only the power of Christ would rest upon him.

    Friends, have we forgotten that Romans 8:28 tells us all of life is working together for eternal good?  Every person has a resume of life.  We tend to put the happy, successful and prosperous experiences at the top.  The apostle Paul causes us to take another look at this mind set.  2 Cor 11:23-28 describes Paul’s resume of life, “…I have been put in jail oftener, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again.  Five different times the Jews gave me their terrible thirty-nine lashes.  Three times I was beaten with rods.  Once I was shipwrecked.  Once I was in the open sea all night and the whole next day.  I have traveled many weary miles and have been often in great danger from flooded rivers, and from robbers, and from my own people.  I have lived with weariness and pain and sleepless nights… besides all this I have the constant worry of how the churches are getting along.”   “Three different times I begged God to make me well again.” 2 Cor 12:8   But Jesus spoke simply,  “…My power shows up best in weak people.”  Paul then proclaims, “now I am glad to boast about how weak I am.  I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities.”  2 Cor 12:9

    Dear Christian, what’s on your resume?  Perhaps you’ve been divorced, survived cancer, experienced betrayal or suffered financial loss.  Amazingly, this actually qualifies you as a blessed candidate to show forth God’s power.  It’s true that these experiences often leave us weak and hurting.  But God is waiting to pick you up and set you once more on the narrow path.  “Don’t you know that this good man, though you trip him up seven times, will each time rise again?” Proverbs 24:16   Ultimately, we discover God’s display of power making our lives a testimony of what can be done through magnificent weakness.  Trust Him right now to finish the work He started.  Only then can you receive all the blessings God has for you.

Sweet Hour of Prayer

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    “Your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask him.”  Matt 6:8   Dwight Moody wrote “The sweetest lesson I have learned in God’s school is to let the Lord choose for me.”  In our blessed hour of prayer our highest aim is to come to the Father with complete confidence that He will do the very best for me and for those I pray.  “Beware in your prayer, above everything of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do.”  -Andrew Murray 

    People all through history have experienced times of trouble, insecurity, loneliness, confusion, and great spiritual want.  Today with God having been taken out of our culture we are left empty and deficient in grace.  But for the Christian there is a hiding place, a refuge and a high tower.  It is our time of prayer.  “God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble and so we need not fear even if the world blows up, and the mountains crumble into the sea.”  Psalms 46:1,2 

    Come away, come away to a quiet place where you can receive all the love that you need from the Father.  Come to Him, He’ll hold you close, in His perfect love we boast.  Meet with your heavenly Father who is the only lover of your soul.  Only in the sweet hour of prayer can you find what you have been seeking all along.  This is the place of acceptance where I am known and loved unconditionally.  My greatest need is met and I am ready to talk to the Father about my cares- I am ready to listen and learn.  Like Mary I too sit at His feet and hear what is truly important and then arise to resume my duties.

    O how our hearts cry out in prayer for our loved ones as well as for those we don’t know personally.  We desire His answers yet often they are far greater than our faith.  One believer wrote “…sometimes God delays the answer to our prayer in final form until we have time to build up the strength, accumulate the knowledge or fashion the character that would make it possible for Him to say ‘yes’ to what we ask.”  Dear Christian, encourage your heart in God knowing you will meet together once more in your own sweet hour of prayer.  In this quiet place we go prepared to face a new day with greater faith and hope than ever before.  Christian, God is waiting now to meet with you.