Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why I continue to follow after God's design for legacy in His house

It was just an average parent teacher conference at our school when the single mother sitting across from me did something unusual. As we were discussing her son she began to cry, not with tears of discouragement, but tears of appreciation. She was thankful for the way God used the families in the church and the school to help turn around the troubled life of her and her son. Their story is another confirmation of why I believe in and pursue God’s design for legacy (one generation connected with, caring for, and helping the next generation into the things of God).

When the church attempts to embrace and walk in His design for legacy, we see His house become a home that helps restore families and lives as it says in His word.

Psalms 68:5-6 A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation. (6) God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,

Chris is a local police officer who first encountered Lucas as a troubled young man from a difficult family situation who was heading in a bad direction. Lucas’ father had never been in the picture and his mother was attempting to do the best she could on her own. Chris drew near to Lucas and began to offer friendship and mentorship for his life. With very few positive role models in his life Lucas began to respond to Chris’ friendship.

Lucas and his mother were about to lose the meager living accommodations they had. Eventually as they realized the difficult situation Lucas and his mother were in, Chris and Stacy felt prompted by God to offer a place to life for both of them. More important than that they provided a sense of caring and family which was in contrast to harsh life they were experiencing. They moved into Chris and Stacy’s home. Through the love of God being expressed in practical and spiritual ways they walked together Lucas and his mom through the ups and downs of life. Other “older spiritual brothers” in the church also began to connect with Lucas and though their friendship valuable care and input was ministered.

Lucas ended up enrolling in our school and has become a young disciple of Jesus. Over time the rough outward crust of sin that had marked his life began to come off. He gave his life to Jesus and now has a tremendous zeal towards God and against injustice mixed with a tender heart that cares for people. He has a very diligent work ethic that stands out to all who are around him. Lucas will be graduating this year and we are excited to see what God does in his life. If the church will reach out with the care of God and pursue God’s design for legacy good things can happen.

While it is impossible for any church to save the whole world, we can pursue God’s design for legacy and make a difference in the lives of some. This reminds me of a story I once heard. The story is told of a man walking along a beach the morning after a storm had passed through. The sand was littered with starfish that had been washed ashore. Down the beach he noticed a young boy picking up starfish and throwing them into the water. As he approached, he asked what the boy was doing. The boy didn’t hesitate as he explained that the sun was coming up and it would kill the starfish if they didn’t get back into the ocean. The man laughed and said, “There are thousands of starfish on miles of beach, you can’t possibly make a difference.” As the boy picked up another starfish and threw it back into the ocean he said, “Well, it sure will make a difference to that one.”

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