First Things @ First

Pastoral Perspectives,

Most everyone leaves a legacy of some sort when they move from here to hereafter. Something significant for which they are most remembered or long remembered for. My dad, though still with us today has built a legacy of faithfulness to His Lord over the past 60 years of his life. Something for which I as his son will be eternally grateful for. My dad has been involved in many things through the years, but it will be his faithfulness to show up that marks his success as a man and a minister for God's glory.

I thought about others such as Joseph who endured so much over many years to see God's purpose fulfilled in his life in delivering God's people from starvation. I recall women like Esther who doesn't get a lot of print but whose imprint in history is significant because of her willingness to stand up and stand in for God's people in a difficult time of possible annihilation at the hands of their enemies. Then there was Moses. A man who knew God on a relational scale few have experienced. But the one that speaks the most vividly and visually, at least in this application is a man once known as Abram (exalted father) who later became Abraham (father of a multitude). Abraham is known as the father of faith for by his willingness to take God at his word regardless of cost or consequence, he chose to follow. He is a great role model for all who are called to walk by faith today. Abraham's faith took him out of Ur, his homeland and ultimately into the land God promised for he and his descendants. Along the journey, Abraham's faith was tested, sometimes severely as was the case in Genesis 22 when God required him to take Isaac, the son of promise and travel to Mt. Moriah (modern day Jerusalem) and offer his beloved son on an altar as a burnt offering. God tested his faith and then God honored his faith by providing a substitute for Isaac. However, Abraham's legacy of faith may well be summed up in what he did as he settled into the land God had promised. Wherever Abraham settled in the land one of the first things he is seen as doing was to build an altar.

The altar symbolized sacrifice toward God. The altar was designated as the place where Abraham set aside himself to worship. Abraham would build 5 altars during his life of faith, the last being on Mt. Moriah. We no longer build altars today because Jesus has become the focus of our worship as we submit our will to His in dedicating our lives to Him. Through worship we acknowledge our dedication to Him in everything. That still requires sacrifice of something we regard as important.

Something else that Abraham did during his sojourn on this earth was to pitch a tent. The tent symbolized separation. The Bible says that by faith Abraham waited for a city with foundations whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:9-10) Abraham dwelt in tents which meant that when God called, he was able to move accordingly. Abraham lived a detached life from this world system as he trusted in the Lord to provide. Abraham didn't invest deeply in things of this earth because nothing in this world is permanent. Just another reason why Abraham is a great example of a man of faith. What God had provided, he held loosely in order that he might be able to move as God directed him.

Lastly, Abraham dug a well where he settled. The well symbolizes supply. We know that water is essential for life. The Psalmist described it as a stream that refreshes and replenishes. The well sustains life. Human beings are dependent on it. In the same way, it is God's word that is the well that we draw from and drink. And each time we are refreshed and replenished in our soul. Abraham knew that water was necessary to sustain life. The application for you and I today is that the word of God is the source that first supplies life and then sustains it.

It is interesting as you read through the book of Genesis that the enemies of God (Philistines) would tear down the altars and fill up the wells.

Isaac in following the model left him by his father is seen as building again the altars and digging out the wells as he pitched his tent.

Like father, like son.

Isaac followed in the steps of his father's legacy of faith in building altars of sacrifice, tents of separation and wells that would supply and sustain life.

Abraham left a great legacy of faith. One that is still worth following throughout our sojourn here on earth.

What are you leaving behind for those who follow?

What sacrifices are being made for eternity in the name of Jesus whom you worship?

Are you living a surrendered life so that when God calls for you to change course, you are eager and prepared to follow?

Is God your supply? Does His word sustain you daily?

Are you leaving a legacy of faith as so many others have before you?

It begins with an altar and a well as you dwell daily in your tent.

The choices we make here on this earth will leave an imprint of our own designing hereafter. Question is, will it be according to His design?

Abraham would say, my hope is built on nothing less. I trust you can say the same thing today and tomorrow.

God's best always,

Pstr K

Hebrews 10:35-36