March 22

March 22 – March 28

 

Scripture Passage: “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”  Proverbs 13:22
 

Dear Friends,

     I was torn between two passages of Scripture from Proverbs 13 for my Pastor’s Page article today.  The second passage comes two verses later in 13:24.  “He that spares his rod hates his son: but he that loves him chastens him betimes.”  This was a passage that adults in my life liked to quote as they “loved me” in the Lord.  They would always say “spare the rod, spoil the child.”  My argument that the Bible did not say that went unheeded.  Momma, who was an avid reader of the Bible every day, pointed out this passage of Scripture and “explained” to me that it meant the same thing.  I would not take anything for the way I was raised and the correction I received.  At the time, it was not enjoyable, but it helped form my character and develop my thoughts and moral standards.  A little boy with no perimeters and consequences for bad choices, grows up to be an incarcerated man because no one loved him enough to make him mind and be responsible for his actions.  I hope as a man, my momma and daddy see that their investment of time, love and correction has paid off.

     The passage we are focusing on today targets the topic of:  What are you leaving your children and grand-children as their inheritance?  Webster’s definition of inheritance is: “That which is derived from an ancestor or as a legacy or which is transmissible to an heir or to offspring.”  We often think and focus on material possessions and money as the basis for a lasting inheritance.  While these are important, they are not the foundation your legacy should be built upon.  If my legacy revolves around these points, then it is nothing but wood, hay, and stubble. These things can be destroyed by poor decisions, bad investments, economic instability, and family conflict.  Jesus said it this way, ”Lay up your treasures in Heaven, where moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Matthew 6:20-21   I do not want to leave my children with debts I have incurred.  I do not want to leave them with the financial burden of burying me when I die.  I do not want them to have make decisions for me that I should have made for myself.  I want to do for my children what my parents have done for me.  If they know I or my siblings need something, they go out, buy it, and bring it to us.  They do not wait until Christmas or birthdays, they provide it during our time of need.  Part of their legacy for us is leaving practical teaching, gifts, and advice that outlives the changing fads and cultural changes of the day.   

     So I began to meditate upon the thought, “What do I want to leave my children as an inheritance?”  Are there things that I can do and gifts I can leave that will continue to be a blessing for generations to come?  Here are some of my thoughts.

 

     I want to leave my children with an excitement and burning zeal to follow Christ with their whole heart.  I want to leave the example that the only fulfilled life is a life of obedience and service to Christ.  I want Christ to be the focus and everything else the icing on the cake.  I want to leave them with the legacy that I loved their momma/grandmamma with all my heart and stuck with my commitment to her to the very end.  I want my children to remember that I allowed them to be children, make mistakes, and even make their own decisions, but was not afraid to tell them when I disagreed or believed they were wrong.  If it was a matter of dire consequences I made the decision for them.  I want to leave my family with a good name characterized by hard work, honesty and integrity.  May the friendships I have built over the years extend to my heirs, for I realize they are my greatest assets.  Finally, I want to leave a legacy of love and kindness marked by patience and self-control. Without love, everything else is just stuff.  If I am able to leave these things as an inheritance to my children and their children I have a feeling they will be just fine.

In Christ,

Pastor Johnny