Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Short End of the Stick (02/20/14)
TITLE: My Rich Strong Threads
By Laura Hawbaker
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I have been blessed with praying mothers and grandmothers as far back as I can trace my family tree. I hear stories of godly choices made by fathers and grandfathers. I know my ancestors struggled, they weren’t perfect men and women, but they stayed true to the faith. I am indeed surrounded by the great cloud of witnesses talked about in Hebrews.
Scripture is very clear that a person’s choices—good or bad—can have an influence on generations to come. Without a doubt, the godly and moral decisions made by my ancestors have had a positive effect on my life. The very fabric of my being has been woven with some strong and enduring threads. Oddly enough, this great blessing—this long end of the stick so to speak, can cause me to walk away from God.
The problem arises from the fact that I am a nice person, just one of the benefits of my heritage. I am a hard worker, I am faithful to my spouse, I raise responsible children. I am a good neighbor. I go to church every Sunday and tithe. Just as the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22 I can tell Jesus, “I have kept the commandments from my youth!”
Just as Jesus wasn’t fooled by the young man’s goodness, he isn’t fooled by mine. Instead of humbling himself before God when confronted with his sin, the young man went away sorrowful. And so can I.
How do I as a twenty-first century believer, rich with godly heritage, come to Jesus? I cannot come on the merit of my goodness. I cannot hide behind acceptable behavior; I must see my righteousness as filthy rags. I must see these rich, strong threads that have been woven into my life as deeply sin stained and in need of the cleansing blood of Christ.
So is my godly heritage a blessing? A resounding yes! It is a treasure to guard and protect and carefully pass on to the next generation. Psalm 89:1 says we should “make known thy faithfulness to all generations.”
Can my godly heritage be a curse? Only if I allow it to become my righteousness. I must place my heritage in proper perspective as apostle Paul did in the third chapter of Philippians. He listed his impressive credentials and then said of them, “I count them but dung that I may win Christ.” Now that’s putting things in perspective.
While I am eternally grateful for my godly forefathers, I dare not let the richness of my heritage keep me from entering the kingdom of God.
All scripture from KJV
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