Posted by: word4men | January 8, 2010

A Heritage

A WalkI spent a few hours yesterday with a wonderful family. The father passed away at the age of 86. A successful medical practitioner, well known in our area even though he hadn’t practiced his profession for several years.
His son and two of his grandkids were in that old practice.
He was active in his church. A lay leader in the national organization and locally.
He was generous to a fault. Many family members and friends had borrowed money to establish businesses all over our local area which are parts of the greater community even now…he forgave many of the debts even though they could be repayed.
What effected me was the way that within 1 hour of his peaceful death no less than two dozen family members and friends were in the house fixing coffee, bringing food, spending time sitting by his body with his widow/wife of 63 years.
I teared up as I watched and took part in the families reaction to grief. I realized that this was a wonderful family and community that a good man had helped to construct and now his family was benefitting from it. I thought of several of my patients who either have no family or have dysfunctional family (meaning that in some really bad ways) or some really evil families and communities. I also realized that at the age of 44, I am not sure I have anything close to what I watched. If my dear wife were to predecease me, there is a very good chance I would be alone.
This gentleman had left a heritage that will stick with his family and friends and will support his widow in her grief and the rest of her life.
What is my heritage? His faith has been translated to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I fear mine will not out last my lifetime…same God, and savior.
I asked God for such a heritage…Then I stopped, sobbed a little and asked that He would make me a man who could leave such a heritage whether it was God’s will to give it to me or not.
Are you, in particular, you men (married or not at this point) living in such a way that God will leave you a heritage of children or friends that have benefitted from your living a Godly and gracious life. Do you put your investments of time, emotion and money to reap lasting dividends? Do you just hope to have a few minutes of comfort or pleasure or a new “toy” or experience and give no thought to what happens when the worms are eating your flesh and you are waiting to recieve God’s judgement?
As for me, I will work to and pray to and study to and apply myself to leave something that God may use for generations to come. I am sick of living only for the here and now.

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Responses

  1. I have been blessed to be 3rd consecutive generation of men ordained to Christian ministry. My grandfather had 2 sons and 5 daughters. Four of Seven were in robust faith but one of the godly was childless. One son has served Christ in Ministry. A daughter was a missionary in Africa. Of the three where faith did not bear much fruit, one married a Mormon, one married an egotistical churchman, and another remained cold while on the original farm.
    Of the 15 grandchildren, only 6 have passed on a life of faith to their children so they raise their children to serve Christ.
    I could write a book about these lives and how response to God changes fortunes and destinies.
    Surrendered souls have avoided divorce, have accumulated wealth, and have high impact lives from which great good flows Those who did not drink of Jesus leave in their wake much pain, divorce, adulteries, AIDS, and poverty. Three rebels have been homeless, but by God’s grace 2 of these have in old age come to surrender. Too late to leave a legacy of faith. One rebel died in NYC of AIDS about 1985, nothing but heartache came of his life.
    Surely the evil one wants our children and grandchildren. I am doing all I can to train and equip family for multigenerational godliness.

  2. Yes Dan it can be very sad. I have heard it said that “the first generation embraces the Gospel, the 2d takes it for granted and the 3d says ‘what Gospel.'”
    There is a similiar story in my extended family.
    Grace To You and MaryLou,
    Greg


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