Faith best legacy to leave behind

By Joan Clayton: PNT columnist

My ancestors left me 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 ears. 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 grateful. I’ve learned many concepts from my spiritual inheritance, concepts as old as time. More than ever I need to guard my faith.

Bad news seems to prevail. “Family values” are criticized. The old adage “do what I say, not what I do” screams and thunders to a double standard.

The fact that one “does right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25) is still around. Disobedience, blasphemy and irreverence seem to erode our faith. I wonder at times if there is a conspiracy to present sin as the norm.

Our faith is far too precious to have it lessened or demeaned. “But without faith it is impossible to please him (God), 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 have become spiritual millionaires, not spiritual people in bankruptcy.

The following acrostic helps me keep the right perspective in my faith.

F … is for focusing on God’s promises. A heart and mind focused on Him keeps the heart at rest.

A … is for agreeing with God’s plan for your life. “It’s a plan for good and

not for evil.”

I … is for investing your time, talents and abilities for good. Your sleep will be sweet.

T … is for trusting 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. My grandmother’s song about heaven comes to me sometimes in the still of the night and that strengthens my faith.

It all spells “FAITH.” Our faith is a treasure of immeasurable wealth.

Nurture it. Cherish it. Growing in your faith will give peace.

Let us guard our faith. It is the most important thing in your life. It is something money can’t buy, and it’s worth everything. A godly faith is the most precious gift you can leave to your loved ones.

Our youngest son said to me recently, ”Life is a touchdown.”

He is a fan of football but is a greater fan of faith, and in that regard he makes many touchdowns!