Tuesday, January 31, 2023

           It can be interesting to read inscriptions and epitaphs that we find on grave stones and grave markers.  Some are imaginative.  Some are humbling.  Some are even thought provoking.  And some can be funny.  You may recall that President Thomas Jefferson’s grave inscription noted only three things about his life...author of the Declaration of American Independence, author of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom and the father of the University of Virginia.  There is no mention of him having served as an American President.  Grave inscriptions are places where we can leave a lasting memorial or tribute to the life of the one who passed away.  Those brief words let us know what that life cherished and counted for.
            In Genesis 6:9 we read, “This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”  Righteous, blameless and faithfully walking with the Lord.  Most of us would love for those same three statements to be made about us one day.  Righteous.  Blameless.  Walking faithfully with the Lord.  That kind of life is only a choice away.  We can live that way today so we will be remembered that way after we have passed.  To be righteous is simply to do what is right, good and holy.  To be blameless means we are justified...we do not live as guilty people or like the crowd that surrounds us.  The guilt and stain of sin have been removed by the death, cross and blood of Christ Jesus.  To walk faithfully with the Lord is to align our lives, priorities and passions with Him. We are to seek Him and to pursue Him whether the pathway be short or long, straight or winding, easy or difficult.  Again, the way we are remembered by others is determined in large part by the life we lead each day and the legacy we are writing.
            If your grave inscription were written today, what would it say?  Would you be pleased or disappointed?  There is time to replace disobedience with righteousness.  You can replace shame or guilt with blamelessness.  Walking aimlessly can be replaced by a walk with the Lord.  The enemy would love to whisper into our ears that change is impossible, futile or much too costly.  The enemy would love to deceive us into believing that we are locked into whatever place or position where we find ourselves today.  But remember Jesus said that Satan is a liar and the father of lies.  We can change and repent. 
            I imagine that Noah endured a lot of insults, mocking and misunderstanding as he built the ark the way that God instructed him.  But the Bible says that Noah was undeterred and uninterrupted by all this.  We read, “And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him” (Genesis 7:5).  May the same be said about us.  May we be engaged in doing all that the Lord has for us to do.  Turn down the noise and distractions around you so you can clearly see what God has for you to do.  Righteousness refuses to take shortcuts.  To be blameless means we deal with sin by confessing it and taking it to the Lord for His forgiveness.  We keep short accounts or ledgers with God.  To walk with the Lord means we maintain conversations with Him and we walk the pathway that He has placed before us.  Even in those pathways marked by rocks and ledges, God’s Word shines a light for us to follow. 
            Give consideration to what you are leaving behind.  Let God erase away what may be shameful or blameful.  Worry less about the road that others are walking and more about your own walk.  Comparisons can often lead to dead ends in your walk.  And today, live in awareness of God.  He is real.  You will face Him one day to explain how you have lived and to review the legacy you will have written through your days, choices and decisions.  May Noah be an example to you.  May God’s Word be a map for you.  And may you trust the Holy Spirit to lead you to your final destination.  Have a great Tuesday and worship any day at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.      

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