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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Purple crocus (photo by Doris High)
Crocus blooms
Photo by Doris High

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"A Godly Legacy"

"For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name" (Psalm 61:5).  "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Timothy 2:2).

15 minutes of fameIn our time we hear a lot about people's aspiration for fame.  In fact a quote attributed to Andy Warhol speaks of "15 minutes of fame" and in the last several years there have been some rather bizarre incidents of people seeking their 15 minutes. Here in the USA many of us recall an incident last year involving a "lost boy" on a balloon which turned out to be an attention-seeking hoax.

Rather than this 15 minutes of fame (or however long)  God's people are called to leave a godly legacy, not a self aggrandized list of their own accomplishments. I consider those who left behind a godly legacy whom I personally know. Most were not famous and their sphere of godly influence was relatively small, leaving an impact on their family, church and community. A godly legacy is developed over a lifetime as we choose day after day to live for Christ.

Holding BibleDavid wrote in our first daily text, "You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name." Let us consider our spiritual legacy.   It is a great privilege to be brought up by parents and grandparents who reverence our God, who seek to live according to biblical instruction whereby we are introduced to faith in Christ. We must first possess that which we desire to pass on.

As a result we who fear His Name are transmitting this godly legacy. In the past the Bible writers did so by writing down the Scriptures which is our authority for life.  However God has also used those contemporaneous with us who have called on the Name of the Lord; for those who fear His Name.  They have sought to pass on that spiritual legacy to us.  Our Parents, Sunday school teachers, a bold witness at work, our Pastor and many, many others.  And now we are passing that heritage on to others.

Earl & Helen MartinWe met Earl Martin shortly after moving to Lancaster County in 2001. He went to be with the Lord several years later.  When I attended his funeral service there was a montage of photographs and articles that depicted Earl's life from his youth to his golden years. I picked up a newspaper article written about him in 1984 when his farm was recognized as a centennial farm (that is, in the same family for 100 years). In the story Earl told the journalist, "The Lord's been good to us and the best crop we've raised here is our children." What an interesting analogy of ministry;  Earl sowed faithfully and reaped a spiritual "crop"  in his children, grandchildren, his churches and beyond.

The second daily text is such a pattern for ministry and a key to leaving a godly legacy. "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Timothy 2:2).

That's been the pattern for two thousand years and continues to this day and will most certainly continue until the trumpet sounds. One generation passing on the faith to the next. You're reading this today and hopefully your faith is centered on Christ. Someone has passed this faith down to you. Are you now passing it on? Are you leaving a godly legacy to those who come along behind you? That's our call.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, You have called on us, Your children, to be reliable in giving a solid witness of our faith in You.  We are to live godly lives so that we faithfully model that which we also teach to our children and all whom we are privileged to influence.  We realize that there is no neutral position; we either live for You or we live for the world.  Fix our eyes on Jesus as we journey below so that we fulfill the calling to be faithful and influence others for the kingdom of God. In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Pastor Jesse & WilmaToday's message was prompted by a trip we are making. Jesse and Wilma Dourte are an elderly couple in our church. In fact we shared a daily encouragement message about them in early February.

Last week Jesse's older sister Grace went to be with the Lord. He and Wilma really wanted to attend the memorial service in the Chicago area but were unable to make arrangements to go. I could tell they were disappointed so when we got home from church last Sunday I said to Brooksyne, "Why don't I just take them out?"  Thankfully I have some flexibility in my schedule and am able to do so.

Grace WolgemuthJesse's sister Grace has left a godly legacy and her family posted a beautiful website concerning this. I was inspired looking it over even though I had never met her.  I read this point concerning her legacy: "Grace was an accomplished seamstress, skillful gardener, lover of music, and dedicated student of the Bible. Grace memorized large portions of Scripture, read her Bible through every year, and taught her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren many Bible verses.  Grace modeled a passion for family, Jesus Christ and His Word."  Now that's truly a legacy worth noting and emulating. Evidence in her legacy can be seen in the condolences and tributes that people are leaving on the site.

Due to the trip we will be unable to post daily encouragement messages this Thursday and Friday but expect to resume next Monday, March 29.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Find Us Faithful"  Video   Steve Green   This song is an expression of aspiration in leaving a godly legacy.

"Jesus, Lover Of My Soul"  Video  A beautiful song reminding us that our life's journey here below is all about Jesus, not ourselves. "It's for Your glory and Your fame. It's not about me as if You should do things my way.  You alone are God and I surrender to Your ways."

"Ancient Words"  Video  Great song with lyrics posted, prepared by our friend Mike Martin.

"My Tribute"  Video  Oslo Gospel Choir  This song was sung at our wedding 34 years ago.

"Pass It On"  Video  Insrumental   This is a favorite we sang back in our college days.

Recommended Book:

Find Us 
Faithful: Leadership That Leaves a LegacyFind Us Faithful: Leadership That Leaves a Legacy
By David Olford / B & H Publishing Group

Illuminating Paul's farewell address to the church elders of Ephesus found in Acts 20, Olford describes three gifts those in Christian ministry should leave behind: a personal example, a preached word, and a prepared leadership. He clarifies the responsibilities we must fulfill; reveals encouragements to be embraced; and reflects on the urgency of faithfulness. More info

Cerwin and Doris HighToday's photo was taken by Doris High. Cerwin and Doris High are friends of ours from here in Lancaster County.  

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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