Monthly Archives: December 2019

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Recently I was in a tradesmen’s shop when I saw a plaque on the wall along with a picture of the company’s founder. 

He came from Europe and started working as a plumber. He established a business that 4 generations later still serves the public and employs many people. That’s a lasting legacy!

There are examples all around us of people who had a dream which became a legacy. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks. These people who have long since passed away still live on today because of the hopes and dreams that they had. That’s a lasting legacy! 

What kind of legacy will you have? What impact will the life you live make? What mark on this earth will you leave? 

Maybe you’re a politician or a statesman working to make society better for future generations. Maybe a doctor or scientist working on a wonder drug or cure a disease. Maybe you’re in education and shaping the hearts and minds of the next generation. 

Maybe you aren’t any of those things. Maybe you’re one of millions of average people who live each day the same way. Work at a job and go home to family to eat and fellowship before sleeping only to get up the next day and do it all again. Maybe you don’t think you will have a legacy or have an impact or leave a mark. 

What, if anything, does God care about the legacy we leave behind or the impact we have or the mark we leave? 

The Bible says that our works, actions, legacy here on earth will be weighed by God and tried by fire. Somethings we did will burn as if they were wood, hay or stubble. Others will survive like gold, silver precious gems. 1 Corinthians 3:13

What will burn and what will survive? What is the standard for this test? 

What is my life here made of? Wood or Gold? Hay or Silver? Stubble or Precious Gems? 

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthian church is addressing the divisions and clicks that they are experiencing. Some are pridefully saying that they are Paul’s followers and other Apollo’s followers. Paul is explaining that neither he nor Apollo are anything but it’s God who has saved them. He explains that he only planted seeds and Apollo or others watered but it was God that gave the increase (brought about the salvation).

Paul goes on to say that Jesus is the foundation on which he, Apollo and all other believers build on but we should be careful how we build because it will be judged and tried by fire. 

So, are you planting seeds, or watering seeds that others have planted? That is to say, are you building on the foundation Jesus laid? Sharing the good news of the Gospel? Showing the compassion and love of God to others? Willing to lay down your life (humble yourself and or put someone else’s needs before your own) to bring someone to Christ? 

Or, are you a believer who is only concerned with your salvation? Attending church but not planting seeds or watering? Content that you’re saved and let the rest of the world find their own way? Talking about your Sunday at church but not the Word of God? 

Paul goes on to tell us that if our works survive the fire we will receive a reward but if our work is burnt up we will suffer the loss but be saved. So, our personal salvation is not in jeopardy but our pride will be hurt.

What will your legacy be? Political? Societal? Scientific? or Immortal? Will you plant seeds and water seeds planted so that Jesus has the harvest?

Once we have been saved from Hell’s fire the only legacy that lasts will be those we saved as well.

Go, ye into all the world, and search the Gospel to every creature!!! Mark 16:15 KJV 

 

Be Blessed A&B

An Attitude of Gratitude

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

For His mercy endures forever.

1 Chron 16:8 NKJV

 

Saying Thanks on Thanksgiving

It’s a national holiday that calls us to express our gratitude. Gratitude. An emotion born from contentment and satisfaction. Or is it?

  The Apostle Paul tells us the he learned to be content in any circumstance (Phil 4:10-13)

  So, it’s not the circumstances in life that should influence our contentment but rather our attitude in the face of our circumstances. But how can this be possible in the face of want and need? How can an attitude affect change in physical circumstances?
  The quick answer is Faith! The long answer is a bit more complex but the answer is still faith. I’ll elaborate……
  As believers we believe in God.  God tells us that He is our provider. One of His names is Jehovah Jireh (God will provide – Gen. 22:7KJV). If we have lack or want we are saying that God is a liar and that he doesn’t provide for our needs. Yes I know that sounds harsh but why waste time here sugar-coating things?
  If we experience lack or want in the face of God’s provisions we aren’t likely to consider how we make use of what we do have/receive. Denial and pride can keep us from blaming ourselves for squandering the grace of God.

If, for instance, a man is living on a fixed income which allows for him to have shelter, food and some basic luxuries like tv, telephone and internet. But he lets food go to waste in his frig (because he doesn’t feel like cooking), while he spends money on fast food that was supposed to be for bills, can he say that God doesn’t provide? Or, a woman that spends large amounts of money on scratch off games in hope of winning big but only winds up wasting money that was supposed to be for food and bills. Can she truly say that God is a liar and doesn’t provide?

I heard a great sermon that talked about this very thing years ago. The Pastor was teaching about stewardship and tithing. He asked that we (the body of Christ in general) should examine our checkbooks/bank statements to see where our dedications are. Certainly we should see finances spent on food, housing, transportation, tuition even and as well as other true necessities. But, if we see spending on things such as entertainment, alcohol, luxury items that place us in bondage to credit card debt but we don’t see regular contributions to the church we have no right to speak badly about God’s ability to provide for us.

 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.                                                                                                                      Malichi 3:10-12 KJV

……and I will rebuke the devourer for your sake!!! This is a shocking revelation!!! Taken at face value The Lord is telling us that there is a devourer out there and that He will protect us from him as a result of our faithfulness in giving to Him. So, perhaps the reason we are experiencing lack or want in our lives even if we try to make the best use of the resources received is because the devourer is attacking our finances.

The answer is easy. Have faith in God and tithe. Be responsible for your own finances by giving thanks to God for what you have and giving back a small portion (10%) regularly.

As the song says….

Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks because He has given Jesus Christ to us.

Take a look around at what you have and be grateful for what you have rather than being ungrateful for what you do not have.

An attitude of gratitude is really the very least that we as believers can do in light of all that God has done for us. Perhaps that will only be completely appreciated when we are in His presences in Glory.

Betty and I hope that this past Thanksgiving has been a blessed time filled with family, friends and food. May this coming Christmas Season be blessed also.

Thanks, A&B