By Joan Clayton: PNT Religion Columnist
My ancestors left me with a legacy more precious than gold…a strong faith in God. From my great grandparents to my parents I have come to know the purpose of life…”Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
I still see my grandfather with his Bible on his knees. My grandmother’s singing echoes in my ear. I well remember the day she faced serious surgery. “I give it all to you God and if I die I can’t help it.” To me, her faith reached far beyond the humor of her prayer.
Although Aunt Mary was physically blind in her older years, she saw more with her faith than she ever did with her sight.
I could go on about the legacy that has been left to me for which I’m ever so grateful. I’ve learned many concepts from my spiritual inheritance, concepts as old as time itself that can be traced in history as far back as can be pursued. Mankind has a sin problem.
An undeniable result of transgression is that it never happens in isolation. The fact that one “does right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25) is still around. Sin is not an island. It always affects lives, many of which are innocent.
Bad news seems to dominate. “Family values” are criticized. The old adage “do what I say, not what I do,” screams and thunders to a double standard.
More than ever, we need to guard our faith. Guard it at all costs because we live in a world that continually seeks to erode it. Disobedience, blasphemy and irreverence for God prevail. I wonder at times if there is a conspiracy to present sin as the norm. There is a better way to live and God always has the last word.
Our faith is far too precious to have it lessened or demeaned. So we must guard it because the world seems to take it away.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
We are in a fight to preserve and protect our faith. Faith filled people focus on Jesus. They have his Word in their hearts. They know where they are going and they will not bend an ear to the cries of doubt and unbelief. They do not give up, back up, let up or shut up about their faith. When it comes to the end of life, faith filled people are spiritual millionaires. To me, the saddest thing is to die in spiritual bankruptcy.
So what do we do and how do we live until Jesus comes?
The following acrostic helps me keep the right perspective.
F…focus on God’s promises. A heart and mind focused on the Savior keeps the heart at rest.
A…agree to God’s plan for your life. “It’s a plan for good and not for evil.”
I…invest your time, talents and abilities for God. One thing is for sure. Death’s door awakens us to the importance of investing in heaven’s riches.
T…trust in the One who loves you with an everlasting love. Whatever is faced in life, we can be assured God will never leave or abandon his child.
H…heaven is our goal. We cannot even begin to fathom how beautiful heaven must be.
Your faith is a treasure of immeasurable wealth. Nurture it. Cherish it. Grow in it.
Guard your faith. It is the most important thing in your life. It is something money can’t buy and is worth everything. A godly faith is the most precious gift you can leave to your loved ones.
Leave this wonderful legacy to your children and grandchildren.
“The just shall live by faith!”