I was going to blog about the family I love, but after having a talk with my children this morning, I decided to change this to the heritage I love. I love the history of my family. I tell this story often because I love how God loves everyone, He has no favorites and desires for all to come unto Him. My heritage story is a classic of this.
My Grandpa Bob got saved as a rough, military, young family man when my mother was about 5 years old. He gave everything he had to serving God. He would be the first to tell you that he made mistakes, but you can never doubt his love for God. He started a church, Bible Baptist Church in Parker City, IN and wanted a bus route that would pick up people and bring them to church. My mom was a beautiful, 16-year-old teenager at that time. The bus driver went to a neighborhood called Hyde Park and knocked on the door of a house. In that house lived a rough family. The father was an alcoholic, the mother was an emotional basket case, and there were 3 boys. The oldest was 15 and was asked if he would like to go to church. He wasn’t sure unless he got some buddies to go with him so he jogged around his neighborhood and rounded up some friends to go with him.
That Sunday when all those boys walked into the church, my Grandpa asked a deacon to teach a Sunday School class to these young men. The deacon had never taught and wasn’t sure what to teach and so he just taught on the Gospel – what Jesus did for us. He did this for 3 weeks in a row and by that last time, that young man that led that group decided that if he could live till another Sunday, he was going to get saved. He did get saved and ended up marrying the Pastor’s daughter 2 years later. That man is my Daddy.
The Lord used my Daddy and his testimony of faithfulness to the Lord through the years to be able to lead his father, his mother, and many other family members to a desire for Jesus Christ. My Grandpa, that former alcoholic, is now in Heaven and his funeral was one of the sweetest funerals I have ever been too. There were hundreds of people there in a little old community called Jamestown, TN who were there to pay their respects to “one of the greatest Christians they had ever known”. That was his legacy – not alcohol. God made that difference.
So, I was born into this beautiful story of God’s grace to all, His working in hearts and changing lives and quite frankly, have had a Disneyland christian life experience. My home growing up was full of God. My grandparent’s homes on both sides, are and were full of God. I have aunts, uncles, and cousins that love the Lord. This is something that I never want to get over or forget.
Deuteronomy 6:4-12 says,
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
We often use this verse as a homeschool verse and I love homeschool but it is no guarantee that my children will grow up to love and serve God. The responsibility is that I teach them diligently!! I find this challenging because of the next part of this passage.
And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
All of these things have been given to me. I have not had to live in a rough, ungodly home. I have not seen the dramatic changing of my life because I was saved as a 5-year-old child. However, I was just as much in the bondage of sin as my grandfathers. I was just as guilty in the eyes of God. I have been given cities that I did not build, houses that I did not fill, I drink water from wells that I did not dig, and I feast from vineyards that I did not plant. My temptation? To forget that. To get comfortable in my “goodness” and forget about God’s miraculous work in our family.
Not only my physical family, but I love the spiritual family that has come from Jesus Christ. It is that deliverance of bondage “out of Egypt” by Jesus Christ that has shaped the heritage of my physical family. Jesus Christ has given me all things through Him and all I have to do is come in and enjoy it…and not forget.
I pray the Lord helps me to never forget the physical and spiritual heritage that I love.