January 4, 2005
Encouragement for Today
By Susanne Scheppmann,
Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
"I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done" Psalm 143:5 (NIV)
I opened the closet and sighed. My New Year's resolution to clean out all the clutter of my home suddenly seemed overwhelming. How do I begin to sort through all the stuff I have collected over the years?
As I lift a long forgotten box from the shelf, the dust scatters. Sneezing, I peek curiously into the cardboard container. Ahh! My children's memories box! Crayon-colored cards, plaster molds of kindergarten hands, report cards, whisper recollections of their childhoods long past. Precious reminisces flood my mind as sweet tears spring to my eyes.
Sifting through the priceless cache, I feel the Lord nudge my heart with these questions, "What treasures are you leaving for your children to remember? Are you leaving a legacy for them to follow?"
Suddenly a new resolution springs to my mind. After I am gone, I want my children to find a legacy of faith when they divide my belongings. I begin to sing the lyrics of "Find Us Faithful" the old song by Steve Green.
May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe
and the lives we live, inspire them to obey.
Turning from the cluttered closet, I march to my own jumbled bedroom closet. Reaching to the top shelf, I grab down dusty volumes of my history with God. I begin to gather the spiritual souvenirs that will guide my children through my walk of faith. I dig out my old completed Bible studies, tear-stained and joy-filled prayer journals, favorite inspiring books, and dog-eared dilapidated Bibles. These records of my faith will reveal to my children the many moments of doubts, struggles, and heartaches, but more importantly, they will chart the years of God's faithfulness in my life. They will provide an accurate and enduring map of my journey of learning to trust the heart of Jesus, even in the most difficult moments of my life.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spy an old cedar chest tucked in the back of the closet that holds old blankets. Hmmm...I decide the chestnut furniture will now become the safety deposit box that will guard the heritage my children will someday inherit. They will reveal a legacy of God's never-ending love, mercy, and goodness in my life. As I carefully place collectibles of faith into the chest, I pray that my life will become a living inheritance to the goodness of God to all those who come after me.
My prayer for today:
Lord, let this year be one of remembering I am leaving a legacy for all those who come behind me. Help me to live a life that glorifies Jesus Christ. Lord, I pray that my life will encourage others to trust in you not only now, but in the upcoming days. Lord, let my legacy of faith inspire my children and future grandchildren. Amen.
Think about what legacy of faith your life can provide. As the New Year starts, begin to collect the various treasures of your faith. Keep them in a place where you can review them to encourage yourself and others.
How can I ensure that others know about my devotion to Christ?
Whom would I like to know the details of my journey of faith?
Where can I keep the mementos of my faith, so that they will someday encourage others?
"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 11:18-19 (NIV)
"Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth." Deuteronomy 11:20-21 (NIV)
"They are not just idle words for you - they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess." Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV)
"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then 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)
"There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you." Deuteronomy 12:7 (NIV)
Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids, by Sharon Jaynes
At Home with God, by Sharon Jaynes
Giving Your Child the Edge of Excellence, by Vicki Caruana
Originally published Tuesday, 04 January 2005.