Protect the family name!

giftforlifeA familiar line I heard often as I headed out the door for school was – “You’re a Scott, live like one!” It was Dad’s way of reminding me that I had family name that was honorable and it was up to me to take care of that legacy. Too many times to count when I was tempted to do something wrong or to just get by in life without a first rate effort I heard his challenge echo in my ears. It was not guilt that motivated me, but a sense of joy that I had a good name and a rich legacy of godliness. All these years later, I still feel that responsibility but to my Heavenly Father first.  He has invested life and spiritual gifts in me. He has given me a heritage.

When I awakened this morning I heard the Spirit say,  “How are you going to live this week, Jerry?” I knew that He was reminding me of that choice that is mine to make each day: to live as a natural man, fighting to survive, focused only on making it through the day; or, to live as a child of God, richly resourced for life, honoring Him today. No matter where you come from, no matter your family legacy or your past, in Christ you are  given a high calling. We are adopted into the family of God, given His Name, written into His will with an eternal heritance, and sent out as ambassadors of His Kingdom.  Come on, do not just read that with a yawn. That is a wow, stunning truth, or at least it ought to be. Naturally, we are creatures of time, destined to die, fighting to carve out a short and often desperate life. In Christ, we are God’s own family.  Now, will we live like it?

Honoring my family and my God sometimes weighs on me. How can I do this well? What if I mess up? Am I worthy?  Perhaps you feel that way about your high calling, too.  Those questions are misdirected because they put all the pressure on me and I know too well my tendencies and frailties. The line from the hymn describes me. “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.”  The next line is my security – “Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.”

We are not left on our own to wander and struggle.  Here is the promise. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4, NLT)  The Holy Spirit comes to live in us, changing us from the inside out. Yes, we have a choice to live in faith and accept His grace. But, we are empowered to make it by One greater than the World, the Flesh, and the Devil.

My Dad’s challenge to live honorably was accompanied by an example, by training, and by reward. I watched him love God and his family. I saw him work hard and give himself sacrificially. I saw the “blessings” that followed.  Yes, as I got older, I realized that there was humanness stirred into the mix, too.  Which helped me to understand that I was not trying for some impossible standard of perfection.

You are God’s chosen, His anointed child. Live like it!

Here is a word from the Word. Our Father is saying, “You’re a Christian, live like it.”  “So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.” You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.” (1 Peter 1:13-17, The Message)

__________

Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing

Come Thou fount of ev’ry blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love

Here I raise mine Ebenezer (a memorial to faithfulness)
Hither by Thy help I’m come
And I hope by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wand’ring from the fold of God
He to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let Thy grace Lord like a fetter
Bind my wand’ring heart to Thee\
Prone to wander Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart Lord take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

John Wyeth | Robert Robinson

© Words: Public Domain

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