The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 13:21-25 Adversity pursues sinners, But the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity. A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, But it is swept away by injustice. He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently. The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, But the stomach of the wicked is in need.
My paternal grandmother, Gladys Peavler, was a throwback homemaker who kept a tidy home, did not tolerate foolishness, and always displayed the highest standards of modesty, with a gentle and quiet spirit. By worldly standards, my grandmother did not leave behind very much. I remember the day of her funeral, when my father and I went to her home to collect a few belongings, all we left with was an old blue oil lantern.
Years later however, a study bible that belonged to my grandmother was handed down to me from my parents, who had given the bible to her as a gift after her third marriage to my grandfather Mr. Nelson Peavler. An old 4 inch thick, large print, 15lb King James, this bible was designed for some serious thumping. Contained inside you can find a short family history, newspaper clippings, and several full color pictures chock full of second commandment violations.
One thing that I found interesting about this particular bible, was the fact that in many places all throughout are handwritten notes scribbled here and there which my grandmother transcribed as she read through the text. One phrase in particular can be found repeated dozens of times, and seems to have been a sort of prayer that grandma would utter as she read through the text: “Holy Spirit teach”. Now, my extended family is a very tight-lipped, closed, uncommunicative bunch. As a child growing up I knew grandma was a Christian, but never knew the extent of her faith. This bible has blessed me with not only another opportunity to read God’s Word and to share it with my family, but has given me a glimpse into the Christian heritage of my family that has been partially buried by the sands of time. Having sat in a box for a decade and a half, and winding up in my hands a few years after my own conversion, recovering this old bible has taught me among other things the value of leaving behind a tangible legacy for my children, and my children’s children.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.
If God blesses me with fifty more years I want those of my family who come after me to know whose disciple I was. If in His providence today is my last, I want those left behind to know that above all else, I depended upon the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His righteousness for my salvation. If my next breath is my final breath, I want my children’s children to hear of how all my hopes, trust, faith, and assurance was in the risen savior. I want the legacy I leave behind for my posterity to be a legacy which declares “Christ alone”.
Many, many in our land have fallen into a pattern of leaving behind a legacy for their children which can be eaten by moths, destroyed by rust, or stolen by thieves. Is this you, brother and sister? Have you fallen into the worldly trap which says “My goal in life is to ensure my children have a better life than I did”, so you toil, and labor, and strive for that which does not satisfy, nor has any eternal value?
Matthew Henry says this of Proverbs 13:22:
See here how a good man's estate lasts: He leaves an inheritance to his children's children. It is part of his praise that he is thoughtful for posterity, that he does not lay all out upon himself, but is in care to do well for those that come after him, not by withholding more than is meet, but by a prudent and decent frugality. He trains up his children to this, that they may leave it to their children; and especially he is careful, both by justice and charity, to obtain the blessing of God upon what he has, and to entail that blessing upon his children, without which the greatest industry and frugality will be in vain: A good man, by being good and doing good, by honouring the Lord with his substance and spending it in his service, secures it to his posterity; or, if he should not leave them much of this world's goods, his prayers, his instructions, his good example, will be the best entail, and the promises of the covenant will be an inheritance to his children's children,
“But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness to His children’s children;”
Something both sad and frustrating which highlights in clear terms what legacy a person leaves behind can be seen in a person’s obituary. I have scrutinized the obituaries of distant relatives, family acquaintances, and strangers, and conclude that there is nowhere else you can observe what folks hold in high regard and dear to themselves, and the legacy that they leave behind.
“Member of the local VFW”
“Volunteered at the food bank”
“Lifetime member of the NRA”
“Coached basketball for 25 years”
“Always made people laugh”
On and on the moth laden, rusty legacies can be seen on display. As a Christian, is there anything more disturbing in an obituary than a write up void of something to the effect of “Brother or sister so and so, loved Jesus till their final breath. Trusted in Christ alone and His finished work on the cross for their salvation. Leaves behind a family who loves Jesus Christ, having been blessed by years of faithful gospel proclamation.” Isn’t this the heritage that matters? Ought not the inheritance we leave our posterity be one which endures unto all generations?
What will be the inheritance you leave behind for your children’s children?
What will be your legacy?
Where has compromise, worldliness, or the troubles and cares of this world crept in to tarnish the gift you will leave your children’s children?
If you are able, please kneel as we confess our sins to God Almighty, knowing He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins.
O Sovereign Lord,
Thou art the Creator-Father of all men, for thou hast made and dost support them; Thou art the special Father of those who know, love and honour thee, who find thy yoke easy, and thy burden light, thy work honourable, thy commandments glorious. But how little thy undeserved goodness has affected me! how imperfectly have I improved my religious privileges! how negligent have I been in doing good to others!
I am before thee in my trespasses and sins, have mercy on me, and may thy goodness bring me to repentance. Help me to hate and forsake every false way, to be attentive to my condition and character, to bridle my tongue, to keep my heart with all diligence, to watch and pray against temptation, to mortify sin, to be concerned for the salvation of others.
O God, I cannot endure to see the destruction of my kindred. Let those that are united to me in tender ties be precious in thy sight and devoted to thy glory. Sanctify and prosper my domestic devotion, instruction, discipline, example, that my house may be a nursery for heaven, my church the garden of the Lord, enriched with trees of righteousness of thy planting, for thy glory;
Let not those of my family who are amiable, moral, attractive, fall short of heaven at last; Grant that the promising appearances of a tender conscience, soft heart, the alarms and delights of thy Word, be not finally blotted out, but bring forth judgment unto victory in all whom I love. Amen
Please join me in standing, and listen to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Matthew 19:28-30 And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
From the 2/16/2020 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.