Have I Been Enough?

the-legacy-we-leave-behind-by-being-matters-just-as-much-as-what-we-are-doing-in-our-daily-lives

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

The legacy we leave behind by “being” matters just as much as what we are “doing” in our daily lives.

Scripture of the Day:

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

“These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up.”

Proverbs 22:6

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

If you read yesterday’s post about my “personal best” running in a 10k (not), then maybe today’s post will encourage you that it is not just about what we do, but who we are, consistently, that matters.

While I am fairly accident prone and full of extreme and embarrassing stories, today I am reflecting on the grace of God in the midst of such times. I mentioned yesterday that one of my sons is going away to college in a couple of days.

He has been away from home for other trips, but this time the gravity of his childhood ending is hitting me as he goes on to the next chapter of his life.

I have wondered if I disciplined and discipled him well enough, if I was intentional enough with imparting the message of the Gospel that burns in my heart. Then it hit me. My precious son has watched me through the most painful, horrific, stretching moments of my life – and he has watched me cling to God harder with each passing trial.

He watched me fight for my children when we were taken to court time and again. He wept with me when I was too sick to move from a hospital bed, but made myself get up to write a Scripture on the board to witness to the nurses around me. He held my hand when I could not afford medication for asthma due to job loss and comforted me when my heart was broken.

Yes, my son “caught” my faith by how I tenaciously lived it out in dire times solely by the grace of God, but I also learned from him while he was learning from me.

The legacy we leave behind by “being” matters just as much as what we are “doing” in our daily lives. I did a lot with my children. I chose to home educate because God placed it on my heart and I was jealous for time with them and to be the biggest influence for the LORD in their lives.

I am grateful beyond words that I made that choice to stay home with each of my precious children. From baseball games to skiing, dancing, a home educational co-op I started and directed, speech competitions, orchestra, choir, band, worship team, TeenPact, CYT, the list goes on – all those times are cherished, but it was being with them that I will treasure the most.

Where we have shortcomings, God makes up the difference – and all along the way our children see us looking to our Father, too.

Lord, thank You for the privilege of raising sons and daughters for Your glory. May they walk in the Spirit and not aft the flesh and may every seed of faith planted blossom into beautiful lasting fruit in their lives.

 

Passing the Baton of Righteousness

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Jeremiah 32:17-19

17 ‘Oh, Lord God, you did indeed make heaven and earth by your mighty power and great strength. Nothing is too hard for you! 18 You show unfailing love to thousands. But you also punish children for the sins of their parents. You are the great and powerful God who is known as the Lord who rules over all. 19 You plan great things and you do mighty deeds. You see everything people do. You reward each of them for the way they live and for the things they do.’

Jeremiah 34: 14b-15a, 18a

‘But your ancestors did not obey me or pay any attention to me. 15 Recently, however, you yourselves showed a change of heart and did what is pleasing to me.’  18 I will punish those people who have violated their covenant with me.’

Ezekiel 18:20

‘The person who sins is the one who will die. A son will not suffer for his father’s iniquity, and a father will not suffer for his son’s iniquity; the righteous person will be judged according to his righteousness, and the wicked person according to his wickedness.’

Exodus 20:5-6 (also Dt. 5:9)

‘I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.’

Deuteronomy 24:16

Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.’

Ezekiel 18:20

‘The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.’

Generational sin.  Like a prison cell you are confined in and cannot escape – or can you?  A child is born into a household in which the father is abusive.  Is the child at fault?  Will he suffer for his father’s sins?  Will he be just like his dad?  It breaks my heart when children are told that it is seemingly impossible for them to escape the sin handed down in their families, as if they were destined for them by a wicked legacy they cannot escape.  The righteous requirements of God’s law require that God punish evil. When evil is unpunished, it begins to grow and thrive.  But what is meant by the Scripture which says children are punished for the sins of their parents?

Taking all Scripture together and knowing God’s character that has been revealed to us, we know God would not be so unjust as to punish one who is innocent of sin.  But what is meant by the Scripture above which says God “punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me”?  Certainly if one is born into an ungodly environment it will affect him adversely.  He will also bear consequences if he does not recognize the sin all around him and chooses to live a similar lifestyle.  We have possibly all witnessed the effects of sin in a family which continue generation after generation, whether for righteousness or evil.  But is a child at fault if that is all he knew?

I was once in darkness, until one day when God opened my eyes.  The Holy Spirit revealed sin in my heart and my need for salvation.  No matter what had happened to me or what I was surrounded by, God in His justice and mercy convicted me of my sin nature.  The Holy Spirit convicts all of sin and righteousness (John 16:8).  We are all without excuse.  Innately we all have different struggles in the flesh that we must master, before sin masters us.  We cannot blame our predecessors for our weakness, but admittedly the influence of sin can have a profound affect on us.

No words exist to adequately convey the gratitude I have that the LORD revealed the sins of my family and in my own heart.  Apart from this revelation, I could easily have continued in the sins before me and would not been saved.  The blame for our own sins lies within each one of us.  We are also not culpable for other people’s sin, but if we cause someone to sin, we will bear judgment from God (Matthew 18:6).  But what a difference choosing to walk in obedience to God can make for your life, your children’s lives and their children’s lives.  To a thousand generations.  Wow.  Notice that the judgment from God is only a few generations for those who hate God.  But a thousand generations for those who love God and keep His commandments.  God is merciful.  He is kind.  He reaches down into the individual steeped in sin and offers forgiveness and enlightenment to live a different way.  Your past does not define you, nor your upbringing!  You can CHOOSE this day whom you will serve.  Amen!

Thank You, God, that you are just, kind, merciful and forgiving!  Praise You that You reveal our sins to us.  Help us to walk blamelessly before you that we might pass on a legacy of righteousness and hope to those who come behind us.  May we be found faithful, testifying to Your great salvation.