Between Sundays

“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:6-8.

There are many reasons why I love my “job” as pastor of Northstar Church. I am reminded of the old quote by Confucius: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I completely agree with this quote. How could you not love a job where you have the privilege to remind yourself and others that God has saved me and gives me the privilege of being His child. Secondly, how could you not love a job that gives you the opportunity to spend time in God’s word to study who He is and how much He loves me.

It is not a perfect job, however. There are weeks when I wish there was a few more days between Sundays. No, I don’t need additional days for preparation. I need the additional time to perform an application litmus test. I’m sure you are a little confused so let me explain:  I don’t generally wrestle with what to say and how to say it. What I would use the extra time for is to think through and evaluate how the message speaks into my life, my relationships, my habits, character, etc. Do I apply what I am talking about in my life?  Do I possess the faith I am talking about? Do I lean on the promises? In other words, do I practice what I preach? And then when I am comfortable, I teach what is on my heart, trusting in the Holy Spirit to do the work only He can do. Once done, I repeat the process for next week.

What do you do between Sundays? For many Christians today, Sunday morning worship services or weeknight small group gatherings are the times and places when we talk and think about our relationship with God. We can come to church every weekend and be moved by the worship of the risen Savior. But, the Bible tells us that is not enough. I believe the time in between Sundays is the time to turn belief into behavior. Reading and listening to God’s Word without acting on it will not build your relationship with God. It’s not enough to just say that you agree with what God’s word says on a subject. You must actually do it. God’s word is meant to be acted upon.

I challenge you to take what you learn on Sunday and respond to it between Sundays.  Respond by allowing the scripture to change us – first an inward change, and then in our outward practice. In Romans 2:13, Paul wrote “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.”  There is certainly value in a good sermon or Bible study or small group discussion. But at the end of the day, we must do what the Bible tells us. We must allow God’s word to work in us.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think we tend to be hearers of the word, but don’t do anything to fix what we hear or see?
  2. Often our areas of disobedience are blind spots. How can we see these areas that we often overlook?
  3. Where do spiritual gifts fit in with being doers of the word? 
  4. How can we be better at applying the truths that we are exposed to? What is one truth that you need to apply to your life, but haven’t yet?

Total Immersion

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” – Psalm 1:1-2. 

One of the ways to develop real faith is to immerse yourself in the Bible. I did not say read or scan or peruse. To get the most of the scriptures, we have to approach the Bible as something much more powerful than just another book, newspaper, or magazine. This is the written word of God, or in other words, God’s side of the conversation. It requires study.   

It means that we stop reading the Bible out of obligation. It means we stop gutting it out because we know we should. It means reading and studying it with delight, even craving it because of the impact it can have on our lives. 

Our culture has conditioned us to skim and speed read for relevant information and then quickly move on. Most media today is sound bites, bits of superficial information designed for a culture that is impatient and has a lower attention span that requires instant gratification. But only looking at the surface of a subject will often hinder us from experiencing the transforming power within the Bible. 

The more we immerse ourselves in God’s word, the more our faith can grow. Romans 10:17 explains, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” That is, you must feed your faith. When we fill our minds with everything but God’s word, our faith will often weaken. According to Romans 12:2, your transformation comes “by the renewal of your mind.”  If we want to increase our faith we must fill our mind with God’s word.

When we immerse ourselves in the Bible we will learn about His love, His justice, His mercy, and His plan. The Bible promises that if we seek God, we will find Him. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7). As God changes us, we will learn to develop the fruit that comes from the Holy Spirit, who dwells in all Christians. “even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23).

As we walk in the Spirit, allowing Him to control our lives, we will begin to trust in Him. “rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:7).

We know that the measure of faith given to every believer can grow. Your faith can be strengthened by feeding it on the word of God and by exercising it or putting it into practice.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you think is the best way to read the Bible? Have any of you read the entire Bible yet?
  2. How can we move our agenda out of the way and better rely on the Holy Spirit?
  3. Can immersing yourself in the Bible deepen relationships? Increase faith? Why or why not?
  4. How can you go about getting answers to baffling questions or help with understanding the meaning of difficult passages?
  5. What steps can we take this week to immerse ourselves in the Bible?

Keeping The Faith

“Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. – Job 2:9-10

James 5: 11 says, “…you have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”  Job is a man who had it all and lost it all, but somehow managed to hold onto his faith in God. 

Before the calamities that ruined his health and prosperity, Job “feared God” (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3). Satan knew that Job feared God, but assumed that Job, once his wealth was removed, would curse God (Job 1:10, 11). God allowed Satan to test that supposition. Disaster after disaster destroyed Job’s livestock, his wealth and, yes, his ten children. Job lost everything.

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” (Job 1:20). Worshiped? In the days before he lost everything, Job humbled himself before his God and sacrificed. Now, in the face of utter devastation and loss, he worshiped. 

This story does not seem fair. Job was certainly not getting from God what we would expect for a blameless and upright man. It would seem logical that faith would suffer in the face of unfairness. But there is nothing in the Bible that suggests Job was complaining about fairness. Instead, he acknowledged that he had nothing that God did not give him, so how could he complain if God took it away. God is and always has been completely loving, completely just, completely holy, and completely merciful. In Job 1:21 Job says, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Blessed? So much for cursing God.   

It is highly probable that too much suffering could cause a person to lose all faith in God. We often speak as if our view of God carries the weight of our faith or gives us sufficient reason to lose faith. Yet while the friends spoke of their view of God, Job continually spoke of God’s view of him. Job, even in his lowest moments, never ceased to believe that God was in control and worthy of being praised. What about us? What do we depend on more?  Our view of God? Or His of us? Do we put our faith in ourselves or in who God is?

Biblical faith is outward, fixed upon God, due to who He is, what He has done, and His power and control over everything. Hebrews 11.6 famously says, ”And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” At Northstar we believe that God is who He said He is and as a result we trust Him to do everything that He has promised. He is worthy of our faith. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is your faith built on if and how God answers our prayers or on who He is? 
  2. How do you think Job had the capacity to worship at a time of disaster?
  3. Read James 1:2-4: What does James say trials will do? (Test our faith, produce perseverance, help us mature in our faith) Is there any possible good you can see coming out of your trials? How can it improve your faith?
  4. What steps can you take this week to reflect on who God is rather than what He does?

Faux Faith

“Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:29

Do you ever wonder why God sometimes lets a bad situation not only get worse, but get impossible? It would be better just to resolve the problem, wouldn’t it? Allowing the problem to get worse doesn’t make sense. It makes us wonder, “God, what are You doing? Where are You?”

On a truly organic level you have to wonder why is it there are times when there are difficulties in your life, there’s pain in your life, there’s a relationship that’s shredded, there’s something wrong with your body, you need some money, you need a job, you got a kid who is always in trouble. You look heavenly and say, “God, I need help.” But instead of a solution it gets worse, leaving you to wonder if Jesus really cares. 

I would like to remind you of the story in John chapter 11. Lazarus was sick and that was brought to the attention of Jesus. The Bible says that Jesus loved Lazarus. Sisters Mary and Martha have seen Jesus do miraculous works, and now they need some help with a problem. So naturally they bring the problem to Jesus. These people are not just followers or needy people. These are people that have demonstrated that Jesus is enough for them. He is their all in all. They are believers. They care. And they know He cares for them.

So they take their problem to Jesus. And what’s Jesus’ response? How does Jesus respond to His most devoted followers and good friends? Well, we’ll find out in verses 4 to 6. “But when Jesus heard it he said, This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”’ Then notice this little commentary: ”Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”

This is a God-ordained, God-timed, God-orchestrated sickness. It will not end in death. In fact, it has a very specific purpose so that the Son may be glorified. The purpose is that people will see and know Jesus for who He is like never before.

How would we react? What if you called 911 and was told, “I’ll be there in a couple days.” We would not be happy to be sure. We respond the same way with God if we needed money. Or a job. Or help with an addiction or a relationship. That’s because we expect to God to do our bidding as justification for our faith. Or we look to a mentor or relative or someone else as a symbol of our faith or we are willing to trust God if He does things our way. This is not faith. This is focusing on what God does rather than who He is. 

In verse 7 to 16 and Jesus announces His plan to solve the problem. He didn’t do it in their time, He didn’t say, “Oh, I’ll be right there, Mary,” The issue is not His power. And the text is telling us the issue is not whether He loves or not. But something is going on here. He has a plan and if we don’t have faith in who He is, we may miss what He is doing in our life.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the difference between real and weak faith?
  2. Read John 11:1-44: Many people ask, “Where is God” when they are undergoing times of intense trial and difficulty. What does this section say about who and where He is?
  3. What application can we take from John’s statement in verse 5, “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus”? Especially as in regards to our own circumstances?
  4. Everything Jesus has said about Himself is true and it is demonstrated yet again by Lazarus’ resurrection. How does that apply to our lives today?
  5. What can we do this week to remember who God is, rather than what He does?

I Find My Lack of Faith Disturbing

“And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’ – Mark.11:22-24.

The title of this devotional is a subtle play on the line uttered by Darth Vader in Star Wars: A New Hope where he force-chokes a fellow Imperial officer when the officer insults the Force and Vader. Vader chokes him from afar and says “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

I am constantly reminded in this life of the necessity of faith. Faith has a tendency to fall to the background when everything is going well and things are falling into place. But then there is a bumpy patch in the road and faith is elevated to the forefront. The Bible speaks constantly to faith and how important it is to place your faith in God and His plan. In Matthew 8:2-3, Jesus acts in response to the Leper’s faith. In Matthew 8:10-13, Jesus comments on the Centurion’s faith. In Matthew 8:26, Jesus calls out his disciple’s lack of faith during the storm. And in Matthew 9:29, Jesus healed the blind. “Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”

And in a few chapters earlier in Matthew 6, Jesus tells us: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34) Regardless of our circumstances, we are called to trust God and walk by faith for today. Let tomorrow worry about itself. God knows where we are and more importantly what is best for us.

God has given every person a measure of faith to work with, and what we do to increase it, is entirely up to us. It is important that we grow our faith. Obviously faith is measurable, for the Bible makes many references to its measure: much faith, little faith, great faith, weak faith, and strong faith are among them. There are two things we must do to grow our faith. We have to feed it on the word of God and we have to exercise it.

“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4) Gods word will build assurance, confidence and faith in your life.  But you must also exercise your faith. If you plan to move mountains, you are going to need to develop a strong faith, and that means exercising the faith you already have. Remember, you have to start where you are. Even a journey of ten thousand miles begins with the first step. 

Our actions and our circumstances do not effect the faithfulness of God. Fortunately, God is faithful in our weakness. We need to remember to look at our life through the lens of the faithfulness of Christ. Because the more you look for God’s faithfulness in every circumstance and see it manifest itself, time and time again, the more it builds our faith. So instead of dwelling on our circumstances, lets dwell on His faithfulness and who He is. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How would you define faith?
  2. What’s wrong with having faith without deeds?
  3. In Colossians 1:9-14, Paul said that he prayed that the Colossians Christians “be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” What will result from having such wisdom and understanding?
  4. In what specific area in your life right now can you exercise more faith in our Lord?

Have The Courage Of Your Convictions

“One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” – Romans 14:5-8.

Dictionaries usually define conviction as a fixed or strong belief. Conviction is really much more than that. Your convictions include your values, commitments and motivations. Many of us, however, live our lives by default or by personal preferences. Default living means that we steer our lives by falling in line with the culture and expectations around us. We are carried along with the current, figuring it is easier to just go with the flow.

Then over time we transition into personal preferences mode. Personal preferences include: What do I like, and want, and choose to name a few. Preferences are often based on the mood we are in. They become rules we live our lives by. But as we grow as Christians we come to the realization that God wants us to step out of the flow, to lay down our reactions, and to live by conviction.

To live by conviction requires that we recognize objective truth as God defines it. Reading the Bible will illuminate the convictions, the core issues of life, in morals, personal standards, lifestyle choices, spirituality, family, and faith. These convictions should guide our life. Jesus radically lived by conviction. A default life could never have led to the cross; a personal preferences life could never have saved others. Jesus lived first with the conviction of His own identity, choosing to lay aside social norms and expectations for the sake of following God’s path. Jesus’ convictions were so strong that He could not be swayed, baited, or tricked, no matter how hard His enemies tried.

If your life is going to make an impact on others, they can’t merely hear our convictions spoken; they must see our convictions lived. When we live a faithful, consistent example of the things we believe, people will seek us out and invite us to share our convictions with them.  Remember that faith without works is dead, as James reminds us; what we do not live, we do not really believe.

So whatever I do I do it for the Lord. If I forgive someone who has hurt me, I do it because I believe it honors God. I don’t cheat on that test because everybody else did, because I believe it honors my Lord. If I serve every week in the church, I do it because I believe it honors my Lord. 

Living by conviction is hard. It will challenge you. It requires reexamination and deliberation. But, it will infuse your life with power and purpose and leave a lasting legacy.

Discussion Questions

  1. Think about your walk with Jesus, and make a list of the convictions you now hold. Are your convictions weak on any major issues?
  2. How have you seen your convictions affect decisions you’ve made? Is there a time when you made a decision that was not based on your convictions?
  3. On what issues do you need to take a stand based on your convictions?

Serve With Passion

“learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” – Isaiah 1:17.

The church was once the workshop for the greatest art the world has ever known. Wander through an ancient cathedral. Rest in front of a Renaissance painting. Listen to a 19th century hymn. All of these are amazing feats of art inspired from a passion to lead creation toward its Creator. Nothing great is ever accomplished in life without passion. Nothing great is ever sustained in life without passion.

Passion is what energizes life. Passion gives you a reason to get up in the morning and say, “I’m going to do something with my life today.” Without passion life becomes routine, even dull. We all need passion in our lives. The question is what are we passionate about? And secondly, is what we are passionate about going to leave a legacy?

In Matthew 22: 35, a lawyer poses a question to Jesus. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” We have talked about the great commandment many times. Jesus said in verse 37 (MSG): “Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’” God is saying I want you to put some muscle into it, put some energy, put some emotion into your relationship with Me. Don’t be half-hearted. If we’re going to follow Jesus, we want you to live passionately.”

Romans 12:1 says, ”Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor.” Notice the word “keep.” It is not automatic, it is a choice.  It has nothing to do with either your personality or your age. There are people who have been Christians a very long time that are passionate and there are new Christians equally as passionate. What most passionate Christians have in common is an intense desire to serve others and to serve God. 

It is one thing to talk about serving others and it is another thing to take action. Passion equates into action. This year let me encourage you to define your goals for the year. Because goals convert vision into energy. The first thing to do is be specific. Rather than say that you want to serve, say you want to serve in the Kids programs on the Friday Easter services.   

There is a quote that goes something like this: We are dying when we have nothing worth living for. And we don’t really start living until we find something worth dying for.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is one need that you are personally passionate about meeting in people?
  2. What are some of the common passions that we share in helping the community around us?
  3. What are your abilities and gifts that could help make a difference in the lives of people around you?
  4. Where do you have experience in helping to make a difference in people’s lives?

Speak With Integrity

“Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts.Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. – Psalm 15 (NLT).

Psalm 15 starts with Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.” David ends the Psalm with a statement that should interest all of us:   

“Such people will stand firm forever.”

Don’t you want to stand firm forever for your life? Wouldn’t we all like to live with a consistency that does not waver or fade? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have people stand up at our funeral and testify to our consistent and godly character? Our integrity? Who wouldn’t want to have people testify that they saw Jesus in the way you lived your life?

What are the core characteristics of integrity? Some of them include speaking the truth, loving our neighbors, keeping our word and doing what we say we will do. In short, a Christian has integrity – and shows that integrity by being truthful, loving, honoring, and trustworthy.   

In verse 3 we read “Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.” This is integrity. It is the result of having all the other characteristics listed in Psalm 15. It is the evidence, and the fruit of all the other traits. You can’t be a person of integrity, if you are not doing these things.

The Psalmist also points out that even with the character traits that contribute to a lasting legacy, it does not guarantee that we will not have problems and challenges in our life. However, the person of integrity can live without regret by having a clear path to follow. A person of integrity will be respected and a person people will value in difficult times in their lives.

So here is the question: Do others view you as a person of integrity? Would people who read this passage think of you as an example of the kind of person David is describing? I encourage you to use this Psalm as a guide for your own prayers. Take these characteristics one by one and ask God to reveal where you are falling short. Take aim at those areas of weakness. Make them a matter of prayer, and then work on them with the help of the Holy Spirit.   

God calls us to be as diligent about developing godly integrity regardless of our season of life we are currently in. Godly integrity will not come to us naturally. We must pursue it and if we do, then it will be the foundation of our legacy. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How would you define integrity? 
  2. Integrity is giving your word and keeping it. Agree or disagree?
  3. Titus 2:7 (NLT) says, “And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.”  Can your integrity serve as an example and contribute to your legacy? If so, how?
  4. What steps can you take this week to work towards godly integrity?

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.” Hebrews 11: 8-12.

The Bible outlines the character traits that can build a lasting legacy. The Bible is also full of people who exemplified those traits. When we spend time in God’s word, we tap into their stories and have the opportunity to do what they did well and avoid some of their mistakes. Isaac Newton said that “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”   

In Hebrews 11, we gain an insight into the historical giants on whose shoulders we are standing. The writer of Hebrews goes on for more than a chapter to expound on the qualities expressed in the lives of the great men and women of the Bible who exhibited great faith. It is called faith’s “hall of fame.” The great characters brought alive in the pages of the Bible formed the beginning of God’s story amongst His people. Today, we still have people in our lives who have left a legacy or continue to provide us with a foundation on which to serve God. Each of us are where we are today because of the influence and foundational work of others, whether it be parents, friends, pastors or teachers. In many ways they will help shape and mold the legacy we leave behind.

The question is, what does this all mean for us now as we look forward to the future? We can look forward with certainty and hope because we know that God has fulfilled His promises in the past. Each of the individuals personal to us and in Hebrews were ordinary people, called by an extraordinary God. It is through God, that their legacy was established. But along with the reassurance comes challenges. Each of us is called to live a faithful life and as a result leave a legacy. 

The beginning of Hebrews 12 sums up our challenge very well: ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

When you recognize that your success comes at least in part from standing on the shoulders of others, it humbles you. You realize that you’re not isolated or indispensable. We all need other people. When you’re open to learning from others, you set yourself up for the kind of success that can lead to a lasting legacy.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Hebrews 11: What’s the writer’s purpose in showcasing these believers of the past? How is that relevant to us? 
  2. Why is it important to see your life as an opportunity to build a lasting legacy?
  3. On whose shoulders have you been standing? How has it impacted your life?
  4. What “one thing” did each of you decide to do this month rather than waiting for “someday”? What opportunity can you seize this week to leave a legacy that matters? 

Outlive Your Life

“When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ – 1 Kings 2:1-4.

The life you live is the legacy you leave. There are many people who’s legacy will impact our lives, and more often than not, these great influences have no idea of the depth their impact has had upon us. We too have an opportunity to deeply impact others, to live a life that lasts. The question is whether we are pursuing or are we fleeing from our legacy. Each day is an opportunity to develop our story, to define our legacy, and to live our passion. We start asking questions like “what do I want my children to remember about me?” Or “when I am gone, what do I want people to say about my life as a Christian?” 

An interesting passage on this subject is found in 1 Kings 2:1-4.  In this passage, King David is about to die.  He is handing the kingdom over to his son Solomon. David is about to tell Solomon how to live a life that is worth living. This is an interesting passage for many reasons.  For one, this is not the typical story we talk about when it comes to David. We talk about his days as a shepherd boy and we talk about his battle with Goliath. We talk about his friendship with Jonathan, his conflict with his son Absalom and his sin with Bathsheba. But, we rarely talk about the end of his life. That is unfortunate, because I think there is a lot that we can take away from this passage on the subject of legacy. 

Most think people who leave a legacy are those above approach, those who have been able to rise above the problems that plague the rest of us. David, however, did not model perfection in his life. David sinned, but when he did, he always returned to God. We see in 1 Kings 2:2 that David tells his son to be strong, and by strong he meant a total reliance and dependence on God. In other words, we are made strong through our weakness.   

David also tells Solomon to observe what the Lord requires by keeping His law. Memorizing Scripture is an admirable task, but it is more than checking off a spiritual checklist. Once we memorize the scripture, it is time to apply it to our lives so that we might grow as a model of consistency. David closes his final talk with his son by reminding him that if he does all of these things, he will prosper and all of his descendants after him will have a legacy of consistent faithfulness to the Lord.

That’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?  Leaving those that come behind me a model of consistent, if not perfect, service to our Lord.  I would want people to say that I loved Jesus more than anything else on earth, and because I did, I was able to love my wife, children, family, friends, even strangers more completely. Life is such a series of short interactions with people, and for some, I’m the only glimpse of Jesus that they will ever see.  That tells me that I need to make my short moments count with all people. That’s how you build a legacy that lasts.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is there someone who has inspired you through their legacy?
  2. What would you list as the characteristics of a lasting legacy?
  3. Read 2 Timothy 4:1-8: Spend a few minutes thinking about the legacy you would like to leave. How does that compare to Paul’s desired legacy expressed in this passage of scripture?
  4. What type of legacy will the current choices and priorities of your life lead to?
  5. What are some changes that need to take place today to move you back toward a legacy of faithful service to God?