McDowell Technical Community College

Altapass Baptist Church

Our Heritage

By Marcus Benfield

Mitchell County

 

 

Psalm 16:5&6 The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.

Hello everyone, I trust you have been blessed and are thankful for your blessings. By the time you read this I and around 15 others will be on a mission field in Jamaica where most there don’t have the smallest comforts we take for granted. That being said I want to examine the latter part of verse 16 aforementioned, “yea, I have a goodly heritage.” What is heritage? Webster’s defines it as: the traditions, achievements, and beliefs that are part of the history of a certain group of people. Let me say all of us who are the children of God have a “goodly heritage.’

     Let’s look at this together:

We all have a Heritage left to us.

I realize many of you like myself do not have a long history of family who served the Lord. Many of us are examples of God’s Mercy and Grace from the lowest places in life. Again, I too identify with that. There are others who do have a rich family heritage of service in the Lord and for that they should be thankful. I want all of us to know however that we all have a wonderful heritage left to us by our Loving Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ our Lord. Psalm 61: 5 says “For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.” Did you catch that precious truth from the Word of God? If we have been saved, we have been given the heritage of all who have ever trusted Him! What a concept. Psalm 119:111 says “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage forever:” Every story from the Bible of God’s great deliverance, protection, provision, power, and preservation is now part of our heritage. To put it as a young song writer from Wilkesboro NC. said it, “Our Saviour is Glorious, Magnificent, Marvelous is He! There is no other one that Can do what he has done for me. Wonderful, Incredible, He’s able to meet my needs. That’s just Jesus and what He is to me!”  Praise His Holy Name! What a Truly Rich Heritage God has left for all of us. May He help us to truly guard and appreciate our heritage!

We all have a Heritage we are living:

We have been entrusted with this Rich Heritage and we need to strive to live it out to the best of our ability in a Godly fashion before others.

Matthew 5:16 teaches “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and Glorify your Father which is in heaven.” We need to be aware that John and Jane Q. Public are watching our every action to see how we live out our heritage. Notice also I. Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” As we live out our heritage we must keep this in mind. My friends we are in a very serious integrity crisis in the Christian faith like never before and the Lost World sees it! God help us to be an example of Christ Like believers. May our word be true and may it be our bond. May our lives reflect the heritage of our Saviour. May we love as Jesus loved. May each of us endeavor to walk in the spirit. May we live out our faith in the good times as well as the bad. (We have too many “Fair Weather Christians” now).” And finally, may we live out our heritage in the purity of the Teaching of the Word of God in all aspects of our Lives.

We all have a Heritage we are leaving.

Someone has well said “Just one short life will soon be passed. Only what’s done for Christ will Last.” The longer I live the more I realize just how short life is. No wonder Moses said ” Teach me to number my days.” As I come to the close of these thoughts I feel this last point is most critical. We all know stories of people who started well in the faith and then somehow fell by the wayside. God help us to Leave a Rich Heritage of Faithfulness to the end so those coming behind us will have a clear path to follow. The Apostle Paul admonishes us in I. Corinthians 9:27 ” I keep my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” What does it mean to become a castaway? Allow me to illustrate: my wife has a very pretty teapot that sits in our home. It is very special to her. To anyone else it would be useless because it has a crack in the bottom and it leaks terribly. She keeps it because of memories of days gone by in her childhood. It has no useful value anymore. It is precious to the owner but only in regard to what used to be and what might have been. That is what Paul is conveying here. Many have served God well and are precious to Him. However, because of unrepented and unforsaken sin these individuals are now placed on a shelf spiritually speaking and have become memories of what used to be and what might have been. They are no longer making an impact for the kingdom of our saviour. God help us and challenge us to never become a Castaway!

     In closing let me reference the Apostle Paul one more in II. Timothy 4:6-9. “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me.” What a tremendous challenge. As we leave our heritage for future generations may we leave such an impact on others that they will want what we had and may they want to go where we have gone in death. (After all we are receiving a great reward!) Dr. William Culbertson ended every prayer he prayed “Lord help us to end well.” We certainly need to try our very best to leave a great and Godly Heritage for those who follow. I personally begin each day in prayer asking God to ” Give me a clear mind and a clean heart that I may walk in His will today.” Dr. James Lockee told me years ago, as a young preacher that if I would begin each day with prayer and Bible reading it would be awfully hard to walk away from God and my calling. I personally have tried for over 20 years to remember and practice that truth. I have found it to be true on many occasions of temptation. I realize we are all human and we all have our faults but with the help of God we can Live Out and Leave a “Godly Heritage.” 

Until next time, you keep looking up and keep your eyes on Him!

In His Easy Yoke,

Pastor Marcus