“Sarai!” Abram ran into the courtyard shouting, “Where’s Sarai?”
A slave bowed and said, “She is in the back, Master.”
Abram ran to the back of the house, still shouting Sarai’s name.
Startled, Sarai turned. “What is it? What has happened?”
Abram, as always, was struck by her beauty as she looked at him.
He grabbed her hands, “Sarai, we’re moving!”
“Abram, what are you talking about? Moving where?”
Abram laughed. “I don’t know. But, God spoke to me, Sarai. To me! He said, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land I will show you.’”
Astounded, Sarai stared at him. All she could get out was, “Which god?”
“The one true God. He said to go because He is going to bless me and make a great nation out of me.”
“So … let me get this straight, Abram, my beloved husband. This God, who we have never heard of, said for you to pack up and move, to destination unknown, so he could make you king over some great country and you said okay?”
“Abram, listen to yourself. Were you out in the sun too long again?”
“No.” Abram smiled at her. “I understand Sarai, that you don’t understand. But Sarai this one true God revealed Himself to me. I know Him. I want you to know Him too.”
He kissed her lightly on the forehead. “So, go pack!”
I have used my “sanctified imagination” to create this conversation between Abram and Sarai (later to be called Abraham and Sarah) that would have happened somewhere at the end of Genesis 11 or 12
I have always admired Sarah. She is, after all, listed in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11.
By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised (Hebrews 11:11).
Sarah considered God faithful to do what He said he would do: take away her barrenness.
Are you trusting God today to do something for you? Something you have cried out to Him to do?
Keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking. Our God is faithful.
Sarah may have thought Abraham was crazy at first, but she came to know the God of Abraham somewhere along the way and trusted that He would give her a son. But when we first meet her as Sarai, she is an idol worshipper with a crazy husband, or so she must have thought.
God called Sarah to leave her good life, family, and go to a land far, far away.
Is He calling you to something hard, scary, or just plain crazy?
Trust Him, dear sister. Our God hears and does and always has a plan.
We must ask the Lord to let our children, loved ones, and friends see His beauty upon us. Let them see Him working in and through us and on our part may they see us faithful. As the Steve Green songs say, “May all who come behind us find us faithful.”
Steve says it so much better than I: May our lives be “a stirring testament to god’s sustaining grace.”
There is a natural tendency for older folks to feel it’s their time to do nothing. Leave it up to the younger generation. Wrong! As my Pastor used to say, “God has no retirement plan.”
This younger generation must see us being faithful to the end. They must see our perseverance … that is our legacy to them. Our greatest witness to them is for them to see us loving Jesus and being faithful to our calling in Him, whatever that looks like for us in our own individual circumstances.
We are not all called to the same walk of faith, but we are all called to walk faithfully.
All of us can leave positive memories in the minds of people. I would love to know that the memories people will have of me will a blessing to them and not a burden. But, more importantly I pray I will leave them a legacy of faith.
Each day we live we are building a legacy of one kind or another. People will remember me as being kind and gentle or mean and harsh; they will remember me as being faithful or unfaithful. Our legacies will happen – one kind or another. It will either re-enforce our faith or it will negate it.
Our legacies should include positive memories of our faith because of how we lived and what we said. If we don’t leave them that – we leave them nothing of value.
What are you doing now that will help future generations to understand they are “surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1)? One way is for us to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
Our calling is to run with endurance the race that is set before us. I will run my race, you will run yours. Those races may be different, but our finish line is the same – The New Jerusalem.
I want my grandchildren to see my race and say, “Grammy loved Jesus. She tried to live her life by the Bible. She had such sweet peace as she lived and died. She wasn’t afraid to die. I want to be like that.”
Let your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, brother, sisters, and your faith family see you live out your faith. Teach them by example. Let them see your faithfulness in attending church, studying your Bible, and praying. Let them know you pray for them.
A visual memory of you reading your Bible will stick with them, especially if you quote from it. Don’t worry if they call you a Bible thumper. Rejoice!
We need to teach those we love and those whom God puts into our lives the contrast between the indestructible toughness of the Bible compared to vain ideologies of men. Ideologies and schemes of hope that leave out God and Christ and sin and salvation and repentance and death and heaven and hell have no substances and won’t stand when their soul is in pain.
Give them the word of God. Give them your example of faith. Give them love. Give them Jesus.
Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines legacy as “a bequest; a particular thing, or certain sum of money given by last will or testament.”
However, a Christian legacy is passing on our faith. It is not something that is passed on or revealed at our death … it is seen and shared with others while we are alive. So, when we do go to be with the Lord, those left behind will remember how we lived, what we believed, and who we loved – the Lord Jesus Christ. Our legacy will be how we lived and how we died … for the glory of God.
Perseverance in the faith is the best legacy a parent can leave to their child.
MY PURPOSE: CREATED FOR GOD’S GLORY
Why do we need to leave a legacy? Who am I? Why was I put here? What legacy do I leave? What’s it all about? (Sound like the 60’s?) We turn to Psalm 90 for answers. Moses prayed about a legacy for Israel.
Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children (Psalm 90:16).
It is thought Moses wrote this lament for the children of Israel as they were about to cross the Jordan river. This was important for the generation that would conqueror the Promised Land.
Your work, meaning God’s work.
It doesn’t say our work. Moses asks God to show Israel His work. Moses has been asking for mercy. Now he asks the Lord to let them see Him working among them. The greatest mercy would be to see God’s chief work and His providential works among them. Moses prays God will reveal Himself to Israel through His works.
Moses asks for God’s glorious power to be shown to their children. He wanted the future generation to know His love for them by seeing the accumulating powerful deeds and favor He showed Israel.
Here was Moses’ heart, as should be ours: May our children know and see your manifested glory. May they see Your works of mercy among us.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! (Psalm 90:17).
Favor encompasses the qualities of kindness, beauty, delight.
So, Moses has asked in verse 16 and the first part of 17 that God’s grace and mercy and all His acts to them, in every detail, be made known to not only the current generation, but generations to follow, and then he asks God to show them favor in what they are about to do. Moses is asking for favor in establishing the works they were about to undertake: the work of taking the Promised Land in the name of Yahweh. Moses wants God to glorify Himself through the Israelites. How the future played out would reflect upon the glory of Israel and her God.
We are created for God’s glory.
I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made (Isaiah 43:6-7).
God works among us and through us and we give Him all the glory. When He is merciful to us, it reflects His glory. When we are faithful to our calling and rely and trust Him to establish the work of our hands, it brings Him glory. People are not to look at us and think how great we are. No, they are to think how great our God is. We are to be God’s glory reflectors.
But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it “(John 11:4).
He providentially works all things for His glory and our good.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake (Psalm 79:9)!
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you (1 Peter 4:14).
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
We are His workmanship – to reflect His glory.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
Moses knew anything done must be done by the Lord, so he cried out:
And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands (Psalm 90:17)
If we are to be successful at anything it must be the Holy Spirit leading, guiding, directing or all is vain. And we are promised that God will not forget our work on His behalf … if it is a labor of love.
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end (Hebrews 6:10-11).
The writer of Hebrews urges us to work with diligence in the full confidence of our God to the end. In this way you will leave a legacy of faith to not only your children, or nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, friends, but to their children and their children’s children.
May they see us living out our faith in Jesus Christ, but may it be impacting so that when we go Home, they will say, “Oh how she loved Jesus!”
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).
These are the days for men to be men, to protect their families, to provide and encourage them.
These are the days for women to be present, nurturing, and creative.
These are the days to evaluate where you hope is. What are you counting on? Who are you trusting in?
Count on Jesus. Trust Him. In these days of courage you need more than what you have and who you are.
There is One who gave it all in a way you will never be called to do. Whose courage is beyond our comprehension. He is the one calling you to be strong and courageous, not to fear or be in dread. And you can do it because He goes with you and He will never leave or forsake you.
Sunday was a day of wonderful sermons. When you are quarantined you can digitally attend many different services. I have two I am partial to: my own church and another that I formally attended. I love them both.
This is what I gleamed from both of them. (I am taking artistic liberty and combining the sermons.)
In all that God does, His purpose is to make Himself known. In Exodus, God makes His purpose plain.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. 14 For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. 16 But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth (Exodus 9:13-16).
Don’t we talk about the plagues of Egypt today, especially today? God’s purpose was to make Himself known to the Egyptians, His people, and all of us through time.
Then if we look at Acts 23:11, in the middle of all the confusion, chaos and clamor Paul finds himself in, the Lord stands by him and assures him that God’s plans would come to pass. Paul was to take courage because God’s plan was Paul would testify in Rome. There was no way that would not happen. Not Jews, Romans, Kings, or raging storms at sea would stop Paul’s mission to Rome.
God is sovereign. God is in control of everything. Nothing can hide from Him. Nothing can thwart His purposes. Every atom is under His direction.
Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose (Isaiah 46:9-10).
Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps (Psalm 135:6).
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11).
So, dear Christian sister, rejoice. James said:
Count it all joy, my brothers (sisters), when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2–4).
Yes, bad things happen to good people, but for the children of God they have a divine purpose of conforming us to the image of His Son and Jesus walks through all the bad stuff with us.
Sister, our God is in control. Lay your burdens down because Jesus cares for you.
If you are reading this and you don’t know Jesus, then repent and call out to Him to reveal Himself to you. He died the death on the cross we deserve for our rebellion against a holy infinite God. He bore our sins on His sinless self so that we might live eternally with Him. Call out to Him. He is full of mercy and forgiveness.