Some people have asked for the message I spoke on Mother’s Day at church. Read it and be blessed!
About one year ago, I was struggling with a fear of dying. Weird, right? However, it wasn’t so much the fear of death I was worried about, it was leaving what I had here on Earth, namely, my family. Over the last couple of years, I have complied a book (which we now lovingly refer to as “Christa’s Death Book”) full of recipes in case I would pass away unexpectedly because Josh’s cooking skills don’t go too much further than grilled cheese, and let’s face it, he would have 4 mouths to feed! As I began praying through this fear, God gave me a great peace but also a greater passion for passing on more than just a book of recipes to my family. He began showing me scriptures that encourage leaving a godly legacy. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 gives a clear picture of what a godly home should incorporate: “So love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Memorize His laws and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you’re at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night or getting up in the morning.”
And, Proverbs 31:28-30, describes the incredible outcome of a woman living a godly life:
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Oh, how I want to be that woman whose children are blessed! But, I can’t get there by resting on my laurels and watching life pass me by! I need to live out my walk with Jesus, teaching His ways through my words AND actions.
When I think of the heritage I have been given, I try to dwell upon the great things and people with whom I have been blessed. The very first person that comes to my mind is my gram, Helen Irvin. As a young child, I remember spending weekend days with her at her pool and house having a great deal of fun with my brothers and cousins. When my dad was worked away from home or worked early hours, she would see us off to school and be there when we returned. We spent most of our summer days with her picking strawberries, gardening, canning vegetables, swimming, and so much more. She taught me how to cook, clean, and just about every household chore except for sewing (no good teaching could/can repair my fumbling fingers!). She taught me the meaning of true forgiveness, of friendship, and of family. Just three weeks ago, I visited her in Bellefonte at the nursing home and introduced her to my son. How I wish she could truly communicate with me, and I could tell her all about the great things that has happened in the past 5 years. Because of her life, mine was changed. Not only mine, but my children’s as well. The things she taught me, I teach my children, and I pray that generations to come will be blessed because of the faithfulness of my gram.
In God’s word, there was a special woman, Ruth, (which happens to be my grams middle name as well as Anna’s) who was also faithful to her family and obedient to God and He blessed her future generations.
Ruth and her mother in law, Naomi, were brought together by tragedy. Their husbands had died, and they were left widows. Naomi was heading back to her hometown of Bethlehem because there was nothing for her where she was living. She urged her daughter-in-laws to find new husbands and raise new families. While one daughter-in-law took the opportunity, let’s take a look at Ruth’s response from Ruth 1:16-18.
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
While in Bethlehem, Ruth provided for her and Naomi by picking up scraps of wheat after the harvesters had gone through. She worked hard, making sure her mother-in-law was well cared for. Boaz, a powerful man (a kinsman-redeemer), noticed Ruth and her hard work and faithfulness to Naomi. He invited Ruth to glean only in his fields. Not only that, he promised to marry Ruth because she was a “woman of noble character.” (Ruth 3:11)
In Chapter 4 of Ruth, we see that Ruth and Boaz marry and conceive a son, Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David.
What a great reward for her faithfulness, hard work, and obedience to God. In just three generations, a King was born!
Ruth was faithful to her mother-in-law, and thus was faithful to the call of God upon her life. She obeyed God’s destiny for her life! You and I may not be the great-great grandmother of a King, but we can pass on a legacy of faithfulness, godliness, and winning souls for the King of Kings!
Maybe you know you haven’t been leaving the best legacy for the people who will come behind you and feel you’ve messed up! We ALL have! Allow the Word of God to challenge you to leave a godly heritage.
Or maybe you haven’t had a godly legacy passed on to you. YOU start the legacy! Claim new territory for your family and the people you influence. Be the first to value your marriage. Be the first to break addictions. Be the first to calm your temper. Be the first to speak life not death to your kids. Be the first to disciple lost people. Be the first to pave a path of peace not strife wherever you go.
Whether you’re a parent, parent-to-be, grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, youth leader, or ANYONE in contact with others, what you do, believe, and say affects the lives of others. Generations will reap what you sow. Pass on a blessing, not a curse!