Staying Faithful To Our Beliefs

There are other stories behind the life and death of my relatives, which I won't share with you, except to say every member of my family went through similar trials. They encountered frustrations, rejection, disappointment, discouragement, failure, unanswered "whys," hypocrisy and apostasy in the church, and finally, sickness and death. If given a foothold, Satan would have used these and other trials to weaken their faith and destroy their testimony. But with God's help, they clung tenaciously to what they knew was right. There was no incident of infidelity, abuse, or divorce. Not one of them smoked or drank a drop of alcohol. Their lives were clean and upright. They had reached for a standard of holiness. But life isn't easy, even for saints.

I'm reminded of a beloved hymn, "Amazing Grace," which described the difficulties that characterized their journey. One verse says, "Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come; 'twas grace that brought me safe this far, and grace will lead me home."3 I praise the Lord for the "grace" that sustained three generations of my family and now four. I would not be writing to you today if they had given up when the pressure was on. That's why they are my heroes. To paraphrase the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7, "[they] fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith." And, I might add, they passed on their faith to the rest of us.

This is the "legacy" referred to in the title and content of this book. I have written dozens of books in the past forty years, but this one is the capstone. All the others have pointed, either indirectly or by implication, to this "passing on" of the Christian faith to one's children first, and then to preserving it for future generations. For this reason, I have quoted some of my previous works occasionally in this book. Your Legacy is a compendium of my thoughts about winning your children—and others—to Jesus Christ, because nothing comes close to it in significance.

Do you and I believe that? If so, then we should live every day with that objective in mind.

When I read the Bible today, I am aware that scribes and monks in the Dark Ages labored in monasteries or dreary caves and invested their lives in the tedious task of copying and preserving those priceless texts. What a gift they handed down to us. Now that treasure is in our hands. One of the most important questions Christians should ask is, how committed are we to the safeguarding of the faith for our progeny and for others they will influence. Those truths could be lost in a single generation. Will we hand down the "pearl of great price" to future generations?

That thought is addressed musically in the lyrics to the song "Find Us Faithful," written by Jon Mohr and sung by Steve Green.

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

May the fire of our devotion light their way

May the footprints that we leave

Lead them to believe

And the lives we live inspire them to obey

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone

And our children sift through all we've left behind

May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover

Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful 4

What inspirational words are expressed in these lyrics! Let me say it again for emphasis: Staying faithful to our beliefs should be our ultimate priority. It has meaning not only for you and me but also for those who are yet to be born. That was the essence of my great-grandfather's daily prayer as he pleaded with God for the spiritual welfare of his family. Are you also praying for those in your bloodline? If you walk away from the truth, the linkage to the gospel may be severed for your descendents. Is there anything in life that is more important than that?

Let's talk more about it.

Book: Your Legacy: The Greatest Gift

By Dr. James Dobson

3. "Amazing Grace! (How Sweet the Sound)" by John Newton (1779). Hymnary .org.

4. "Find Us Faithful." Copyright© 1987 Birdwing Music (ASCAP) Jonathan Mark

Music (ASCAP) (adm. At All rights reserved. Used by permission

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