“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NIV.
Your history need not determine your destiny.
My thoughts and comments are about “a personal and family legacy.”
When my Dad died in a highway accident at a young age of forty-four years, he did not leave many material things – a small house worth only what was owed on it, and an insurance policy for four thousand dollars. Invaluable to me, my Dad left something that still shapes much of who I am and what I believe. As was said of a young, Judean king, Josiah, I would describe my Dad in those same words, “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” 2 Kings 22:2 NIV. I realize how often his words and personal example deposited practical, Godly wisdom that still guides my actions and decisions, long after his life ended.
My Dad’s life still challenges me to be better than I would have been without his example and instruction. I hope I will have continued that legacy for our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and through them to the generations that will follow. In a previous devotional this week, I commented on another verse that motivates me, “Therefore God was not ashamed to be called their God.” Hebrews 11:16 NIV. I want that to be true of my life. (If you have not yet read EDL “Unashamed,” from January 13, I encourage you to do so. Just click on the title.) And I want God and others to also say of me, “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.”
My dearest of friends, Campbell, was twenty-six years my senior and thirty-three years my friend. He still is in my heart; his life not his death occupies my thoughts of him. Like my Dad, Campbell left a legacy of righteousness to me – and many others – by his exemplary character and spiritual integrity. He held little concern that I be like him but modeled a holy passion that I be more like Jesus. Paul gave practical advice, “Since you are God’s dear children, you must try to be like Him.” Ephesians 5:1 TEV. I am a better man, husband, father, pastor, and friend through the influence of his friendship.
“He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord . . not turning aside to the right or the left,” was written about Josiah, King of Judah, who reigned for thirty-one years beginning at the age of eight. His father, Amon, and grandfather, Manasseh, were notorious. Their record was despicable not enviable, a shameful history of idolatry and evil, committing wrongs against men and sins against God. Your history need not determine your destiny. Instead of his parentage, Josiah chose a Godly example to follow. “Josiah . . walked in all the ways of David.” 2 Kings 22:2 NIV. Josiah chose a different path, a path in which he did what was right.
You did not choose your history, but you must choose your destiny. Josiah found and followed God’s Word. Read 2 Kings 22:8-23:25 NIV. Of Josiah, the Bible says, “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did – with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength.” 2 Kings 23:25 NIV. Jesus said the first commandment is, “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” Mark 12:30 NKJV.
Choose the path you take. Choose a Godly heritage for your family. “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NIV. You have a choice in your destiny; you have a voice to a next generation. Right is not always the popular way nor least costly, but doing what is right is always the right thing to do. Your legacy to the next generation depends upon your Godly example today.
Today, I pray for you to seize every opportunity to choose what is right and live pleasing to God.
EveryDay Life is also available at: www.facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph