Friday, October 28, 2011

Leaving a Godly Legacy

The Bible I use for my morning reading has a tattered bookmark holding my page.    A few mornings ago, I stopped to read, again, the words on the bookmark.    It comes from Nancy Leigh DeMoss who heads up the "Revive Our Hearts" ministry.   I first heard of her in 1998 on VCY America radio station.   Interesting to note that Nancy has no children yet the legacy she is leaving has touched millions of families through her radio show listeners.

The bookmark proclaims Psalm 127 on one side:

Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows;
for so He gives His beloved sleep.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, 
the fruit of the womb is a reward.

Like arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed,
But they shall contend [speak] with their enemies in the gate.

The other side of the bookmark is a reminder of what "leaving a Godly legacy" means in terms of daily life and commitment.    Nancy lists the following "jobs" along with a Bible reference and questions to ask myself.   

  • Establish the priority (Ps. 78:2-8)  Do I feel a personal sense of responsibility for the spiritual condition of the next generation?  Am I making a conscious effort to ensure that they walk with God?
  • Depend upon God (Ps. 127:1)   Am I praying persistently and fervently for God to turn the heart of  the next generation toward Himself?
  • Set an example (Ps. 128:1)  Am I modeling love for God and holiness of life?  If t he next geneeration grows up to be just like me, what will they be like?
  • Embrace biblical roles (Ps.128:1-3)  Is my home in order?  Am I living out the biblical role and responsibilities assigned to me by God?
  • Teach them diligently (Ps.78:5)  Am I consciously teaching the Word and the ways of God to the next generation? 
  • Control the climate (Ps. 101)  Am I protecting those entrusted to my care from ungodly influences?  Am I providing the kinds of influence that will create in them a hunger for God?
  • Send them forth (Ps 127:4)  Am I instilling in the next generation a vision for how God wants to use them to fulfill His purposes in our world?

Considering these questions over the years has made me realize how much I MUST depend upon God to work out the details.   But I must do MY job, too!!!  

Mom, your job is SO important.  Begin immediately! Do not wait until your children are "old enough to understand" doctrine.    Begin while they are still in the womb ... praying, praising God, singing psalms and giving thanks.

Mom, your children are the most important thing you will ever "do" in your life.   And your attitude toward Bible reading, prayer, Bible study and church is a MAJOR factor in how your children will spend eternity.   That is WAAAY more important than anything and everything else including their sports, their grades, their college, their jobs, their friends, your grocery shopping, your home & all its pretty decorations, your career.  ANYTHING!  EVERYTHING!

Jesus told a parable about a farmer who planted seeds which landed on four different kinds of soil and the harvest reaped from those four places (Matthew 13).

Mom--you are that farmer.  Your child's heart is the soil into which you're planting God's Word.  Please take the time to prepare that soil so the Seed will be able to root and grow and produce a lovely harvest!   But don't stop there!    Continue to sow those Seeds for life-long harvesting!

"Farming" is hard work.  It involves sweat.  It involves determination.  It involves patience.   Don't give up. 

Heavenly Father,
Send your Holy Spirit to work in my life, each moment, 
to preserve and strengthen my faith 
that I may share God's love with my children and their children.  
O Lord, let me never take for granted the important work You have given me. 

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