It was great to get together with some of our kids and grandchildren over the Easter Weekend. We missed our kids who couldn’t make it and cherished the memories of those who could. I am totally amazed at how strong our love for each other as a family is and truly thank God for the lasting ties of love he has put in our lives. More than that I am thankful for the strong stand our children have for God. They shine out brightly in what seems to be a Godless generation at times and their intense desire to serve God is awe inspiring. It was always our prayer that they would turn out this way, so we are not surprised, but very thankful for their stance for Jesus Christ. I was raised in a home where my father never really wanted anything to do with the Lord or the church and some painful experiences in his childhood soured him for his entire life on anything to do with the faith. Sadly, he only saw mostly bad in the Christian Life and never gave it much of a chance. Enters some dear people in my life. These people were Porky and Roberta Barber, John and Mary Holstein, and Jack and Kay Garrett. Who were these people? They are the ones who picked me up and took me to church when I didn’t have a ride and kept me in touch with other Christians who nurtured my faith and thus set into motion who David Warren is today. I may not be much, but what good I am is because of God using these wiling servants to reach out to me with a love that went beyond the common goodness of man and began a legacy of faith that makes me who I am today. In their minds, they probably never thought about the future effect of what they were doing and I sure didn’t, but looking back I can see a legacy that changed not only my future, but the future of my children and my children’s children, and so on. Porky and Roberta were constant examples of God’s love and encouragement and provided a way for me to enjoy the church activities with my friends and also grow in my faith. They became a sounding board for me when I first entered the ministry and gave me great encouragement and wisdom when I so desperately needed it. Once again, they gave time. John and Mary Holstein treated me like a son and their great wisdom and real faith steered me in the right direction more than they will ever know. They made me believe in myself and offered the one thing I needed the most, true encouragement. Jack and Kay Garrett gave me a ride home from church more than I can remember, and their understanding of my circumstances equipped them to guide in the best possible way. These dear friends will never realize just what they meant to me and to my family now and for eternity. They will never know because the process just keeps going and going and more Godly people come along to take the baton and keep the race moving along. It’s a legacy that God begins and He finishes. Probably someone came alongside them at a pivotal time in their life and set into motion something that was passed down to me. And now I continue to pass it down to my family and friends to keep the race moving along. I see it now in my children and realize that this legacy of following Christ has to be cared for and maintained. It also has to be protected and encouraged by the one leaving it. It is a Living Legacy. The Apostle Paul in writing to Timothy, his son in the faith, had such a wonderful way of leaving his legacy with Timothy. He wrote so specifically to Timothy. So much more than any other letters he wrote, and in those letters to Timothy he gave him eternal truths that formed who Timothy was and those truths were surely handed down from Timothy to others he would disciple. A Living Legacy. Whatever truths we teach are impacting someone, somewhere, so be careful that you teach truths that are Bible Based and real. Here is a story of what can happen when the truth isn’t worth much.
In the early 1900s George Riddell acquired the sensational London newspaper The News of the World. Meeting British journalist Frederick Greenwood one day, Riddell mentioned that he owned a newspaper, told Greenwood its name, and offered to send him a copy. The next time they met, Riddell asked Greenwood what he thought of The News.
“I looked at it and then I put it in the wastepaper basket,” said Greenwood, “and then I thought, ‘If I leave it there the cook may read it,’ so I burned it.”
Not everything we teach or live in front of our kids is something you want them to remember, so if it isn’t from Christ, don’t keep it around long. This is what I like to call shaving….Not shaving, like with razor. Shaving, like getting excess, unimportant things out of your life. Unimportant things like social status, membership requirements, and such nonsense which have become a big part of those following Jesus, even when He teaches against these things. Jesus said in Matthew 27-30, 27 Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?” 28 And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in their generation when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 “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. 30 “But many who are first will be last ; and the last, first. You see, we teach these truths….sometimes, but we really don’t live them, so this truth has no legacy attached to it because it is half believed. But when you teach this truth as an eternal lesson from God’s Word, it becomes a legacy truth and not just an expression of a truth. It IS the truth!!! Big difference. Jack Nicholson was quoted in the movie, A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth!” In a Living Legacy, you can’t live WITHOUT the truth. Big difference. Perhaps it should be more worded for us as, “you don’t want to handle the truth.” The truth will set you free. Jesus said these words in John 8:32 , “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Set your kids free by telling them the truth of the Gospel and living a life of faith and you will in turn set them free. Per Jesus.
Live the Legacy of truth and quit summarizing life’s greatest truths to make you feel good. Then share those truths with those who are looking to you for truth and you will begin a living legacy of faith that will impact generations. I know the legacy that someone started in my life is still going and I pray it will continue for many generations in the time before Jesus comes back. It’s a long road, so pack a lot of truths for the long haul and you will see it is worth it.
The Pilgrimage continues….