The Generation of the Upright

This was shared with me by one of our elders at our congregation. His great-granddaughter was recently baptized into Jesus Christ. Our elder’s son wrote this email (I took out the personal names).

At 10 o’clock last night as I was about to go to bed, we get a call from our daughter saying that their oldest child wants to obey the gospel.  She is young in our estimation almost 10, but when I consider her experiences in life she is quite mature. 

When I think about what actually brought about this decision to be baptized into Christ, it is amazing. 

My father, about a 100 years ago (exaggeration!) was searching for the truth and after many failed attempts found it.

He then obeyed his Lord as well, those many years ago.  That was the beginning of my granddaughter’s ultimate decision. 

My dad, brought up his children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” as instructed by God.  He did this not only by bringing us to services when the doors were opened, but also and more importantly by living each day as God would have us too.  His children (myself) noticed that every day.  That constant reminder to do those things that pleased God, rubbed off on me.  It brought me to adulthood and has carried on to this day. 

This behavior was also learned by our children as they grew up in our household.  They saw the importance of putting God first in their lives as we put him first in our lives as I learned from my father.  Our daughter’s behavior influenced her boyfriend to obey the gospel as well.

Our daughter then married and had children.  Those children have witnessed their parents’ behavior putting God’s word first in their life.   All of this started with God, to my father, to me, to my daughter, to her husband, and then to their daughter.

Never underestimate the impact of your actions, good or bad.

 Thank you dad for starting this all.  I love you!

Here is a passage for your meditation today, men, about God blessing the family of the righteous person.

Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
(Psalms 112:1-2)

What Will Be Said of You?

Someone sent me a bulletin article they found online, and the title was “What will be said of us when we die?” In that article the author listed several very good things that can be said of the person who walks with God and dies in Christ.

I thought this would be appropriate to consider for today. You could even consider using these thoughts to talk with your kids about what really matters. People in life will say all kinds of things about you, some true some not true, but what matters is what God says about you.

Will this be said of you and me when we pass from this life?

  • “He walked with God (Genesis 5:24; Genesis 6:9; cf. 2 Kings 20:3 ).
  • “He was the Lord‘s friend” (John 15:14).
  • “He fought a good fight, he finished his course, he kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
  • “He declared the whole counsel of God to others” (Acts 20:27).
  • “He went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).
  • “His death is gain” (Philippians 1:21,23).
  • “His death is precious” (Psalm 116:15).
  • “His death is a blessing, because he died in the Lord” (Revelation 14:13)
  • “He died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor” (1 Chronicles 29:28).
  • “He has gone to be with the Lord” (Philippians 1:23).
  • “He is in a better place now” (Luke 16:22; John 14:1-3; Hebrews 11:16).
  • “He left us a godly example” (1 Timothy 4:12; cf. Titus 2:7-8).
  • “He was faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10).
  • “By his righteous life, he still speaks (Hebrews 11:4).
  • “He is now among the heroes of faith” (Hebrews 11).
  • “He is now gathered to his people” (Genesis 25:8; 35:29; 49:33).

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24).

Charting a Course, Leaving a Legacy

Throughout the books of I and II Kings there are repeated phrases as power changes hands.  Unfortunately, the most common phrase is like the one found in II Kings 15:9, “He did evil in the sight of the Lord, as his fathers had done; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin.”  Another phrase, that is found far too infrequently, is like the one found in II Kings 18:3, speaking of Hezekiah, “He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.”

In I Kings 11:38, when God was splitting the kingdom because of Solomon’s sin, God makes a promise to Jeroboam.  “Then it will be, that if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.”  You can read the promise God made to David in II Samuel 7.  We have two kings.  Both received promises from God but they have very different legacies.  David became a model of faith, setting an example for all the kings that would follow.  David’s heart for God became the standard by which all other kings were compared.  Jeroboam, however, became the model of rebellion and his sins set a course of faithlessness for generations to follow.

Fathers we are setting a course for our children and leaving a legacy.  We can ignore this responsibility or embrace it, but either way the decisions we make now will impact generations to come.  If I am consumed with work, putting my career above all else, I shouldn’t be surprised when my children sacrifice spiritual things in pursuit of a higher education.  I can pray before meals and drag my children to church every Sunday, but if my free time is consumed with golf and football and TV my children are learning a lesson about priorities.  Coming to grips with the significant impact we have as fathers can overwhelm us and, at times, paralyze us.  Take a deep breath and consider this:

  • Being a father is not about perfection, it is about direction. David wasn’t perfect.  The scripture gives the good the bad and the ugly in his life.  What David had was a heart that longed for God and could be shaped and molded by Him.  What does your heart long for?
  • It is not too late to change direction. I don’t care what your background is, if you’re reading this it is not too late to chart a new course for your family.  Read the description of Hezekiah in II Kings 18:3-6.  Now take a look at how many kings there had been in Judah since David and how sinful they were.  In fact, Hezekiah’s own father “walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and even made his son pass through the fire,”.  (II Kings 16:2-4)  Hezekiah broke the pattern and so can we!
  • Take it one step at a time. If you’re like me, you come to a realization of your mistakes and things you need to change and it is hard to find a place to start.  II Kings 18:4 says that Hezekiah started by removing the high places.  What idols can you remove from your life?  Maybe it is time to turn off the TV or give that big project at work to someone else and focus on more enduring things, like our children.

We are all setting a course for our families.  We are all leaving a legacy.  What will your legacy be?