“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
Deuteronomy 6: 5-7
Recently, I watched a History Channel docuseries called “The Men Who Built America”. It was an insightful look at Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and Henry Ford. Five men whose business innovations left an indelible imprint on this country that remains today. In fact, some would say that the impact of their businesses and the fortunes they each amassed helped to shape our capitalistic society and formulate the concept of “The American Dream”.
What was interesting to me is that the program also captured the influence of these men on the lives of others; their colleagues, their families and future generations, and even modern day business leaders. It made me think about my legacy, particularly now because I have a granddaughter and grandson.
Thinking about these men, I am tempted to narrow legacy to just be about physical resources like money, business or property. I do not disagree that resources are important to leave behind for others. In fact, scripture supports that principle in Prov 13:22, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.” I would add though, that for the Christian, there can be no legacy without leaving a spiritual one.
As God led the Israelites out of Egypt, through the wilderness into the Promised Land, he prepared them with instructions to live for him and fully enjoy the blessings of the relationship. One of the key instructions he gave them was about legacy. Consider what Moses wrote in Deut. 6:5-7, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Notice, he says not only for them to love the Lord with everything, but to teach their children to do so as well. He goes on to say further in that same chapter, v. 30 that the reason he commanded this is “so that you and your children can live.” See, God’s intention was to create a relationship with Israel that would last throughout generations. Even all the way to you and I and our children’s children. He knew that one day, through this bloodline, a king would be born and through him all the families of the earth would be blessed.
It is imperative that we tell others, not just our neighbors and friends, but our children and grandchildren need to know God from our perspective. Who has he been to us and why does relationship with him matter? How have you walked with him through the stuff of this life? They need to know. So, tell them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Published on Jan 25 @ 3:07 AM EDT
Author: L.B. Cowman
“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
When we have doubts or are facing difficulties, when others suggest courses of action that are conflicting, when caution dictates one approach but faith another, we should be still. We should quiet each intruding person, calm ourselves in the sacred stillness of God’s presence, study His Word for guidance, and with true devotion focus our attention on Him.
We should lift our nature into the pure light radiating from His face, having an eagerness to know only what God our Lord will determine for us. Soon God will reveal, by His secret counsel, a distinct and unmistakable sense of His direction. It is unwise for a new believer to depend on this approach alone. He should wait for circumstances to also confirm what God is revealing. Yet Christians who have had many experiences in their walk with Him know the great value of the secret counsel of the Lord as a means of discerning His will.
Are you uncertain about which direction you should go? Take your question to God and receive guidance from either the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal. You must get alone with Him, where the lights and the darkness of this world cannot interfere and where the opinions of others cannot reach you. You must also have the courage to wait in silent expectation, even when everyone around you is insisting on an immediate decision or action. If you will do these things, the will of God will become clear to you. And you will have a deeper concept of who He is, having more insight into His nature and His heart of love. All this will be your unsurpassed gift. It will be a heavenly experience, a precious eternal privilege, and the rich reward for the long hours of waiting. DAVID
Keep still! When trouble is brewing, keep still! When slander is getting on its legs, keep still! When your feelings are hurt, keep still till you recover from your excitement at any rate! Things look different through an unagitated eye. In a commotion once I wrote a letter and sent it and wished I had not. In my later years I had another commotion and wrote another long letter; my life had rubbed a little sense into me, and I kept that letter in my pocket until I could look it over without agitation, and without tears, and I was glad I did—less and less it seemed necessary to send it. I was not sure it would do any harm, but in my doubtfulness, I learned reticence, and eventually it was destroyed. Time works wonders!
Wait till you can speak calmly and then perhaps you will not need to speak. Silence is the most powerful thing conceivable, sometimes. It is strength in its grandeur; it is like a regiment ordered to stand still in the mad fury of battle. To plunge in were twice as easy. Nothing is lost by learning to keep still. HANNAH WHITALL SMITH
I do not believe we have even begun to understand the wonderful power there is in being still. We are in such a hurry, always doing, that we are in danger of not allowing God the opportunity to work. You may be sure that God will never say to us, “Stand still,” “Sit still,” or “Be still,” unless He is going to do something. This is our problem regarding the Christian life: we want to do something to be Christians, instead of allowing Him to work in us. Think of how still you stand when your picture is being taken, as the photographer captures your likeness on film. God has one eternal purpose for us: that we should be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29 KJV). But in order for that to happen, we must stand still. We hear so much today about being active, but maybe we need to learn what it means to be quiet. Perhaps we simply need to learn to be still and watch God work out the details that challenged us so greatly and caused us so much distress. You will find that He works wonders if we can just still our hearts and sit before Him until He speaks.
Oh Lord, You know my heart better than I know it myself. You know my struggles and You hold each hope and fear in Your caring hands. Teach me, LORD, to be still and to know that You are God. I trust in You alone. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
An excerpt from the book: "Streams in the Desert: Morning and Evening"
Published on Jan 31 @ 12:46 AM EDT