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He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done. 2 Chronicles 29:2

I shouldn’t have done it. I knew better. But…I did.

EgoMaybe you know what it’s like. If there are 100 people listening to you speak and 99 tell you have well you did, but one was critical, you feel defeated. Never mind the fact that 99% of the people liked what you had to say. The fact that one…just 1% of the people were negative sticks to your ego like glue.

I keep telling myself it’s not about me, it’s about God working through me. The truth is, when I can’t please people I feel defeated. One time I was at a speaking engagement and a gentleman came up to me after one of my presentations and proceeded to tell me all the reasons I was wrong. Even though I had many accolades, his words stuck with me.

A few months, after another engagement in a nearby town, I saw this man moving through the crowd towards me. I braced myself for another negative onslaught. This time, however, he was full of praise for me and all I had to say.

I walked away from our conversation with two thoughts running through my mind. One was, “I feel so good about me.” The second one was, “Wait a minute! Why am I letting him dictate my self-esteem?”

Maybe you are like me. It’s easy to let the opinions of others affect how you feel about yourself, about your God and about others. On the one hand we profess the belief that how God feels about us, and how we feel about ourselves is all that really matters. On the other hand, during those quiet, honest times of our lives, we admit that the view others have of us holds great power.

Hezekiah was a 20-something when he became King of Judah. His dad, Ahaz, was one of the most godless kings of Judah. Hezekiah saw the harm his father caused. He looked back further to see how God had blessed Judah during David’s reign. With his dependence on God, he brought the nation back to dependence on God. While Scripture doesn’t say it, there must have been some who questioned this young man’s decisions. He didn’t relent. He didn’t allow the opinions of others distract him. Instead, he focused on God and his word.

Hezekiah wasn’t perfect. He made some mistakes later in life. Still, my prayer for myself is that my legacy would be the same legacy that 2 Chronicles spells out. “He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done.”

PRAYER: Father God. There are so many times I measure my success by how others react to me. There are so many times my self-worth and confidence is based on how others feel about me, rather than how I follow you. Forgive me for seeing others above you. May I do right in your eyes more so than in the eyes of those around me. Amen.

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Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun. Ecclesiastes 7:11

Small town logic is brutal but often true. This was made evident to me path of wisdomduring a conversation I had at a local coffee shop. Our discussion turned to a local tragedy. A young adult had been killed in a single-car rollover. Reports were that the victim was under the influence at the time of the accident that claimed his life.

One of the men sitting at the table asked the name of the deceased. When he was told who it was, he shook his head and responded something like this, “Yeah, it’s a tragedy, but you know, his father was a drunk.”

His statement bothered me at first. It didn’t seem fair to minimize the accident by pointing to something that happened to someone else in the past. The more I thought about that conversation, the more I realized that while my feelings of injustice were true, the reality was, the reaction of the older gentleman at our table also carried truth to it.

Like it or not we are, in a sense, victims of our past. We’ve learned certain habits, thoughts and tendencies from our parents or others that went before us. We really have two choices in life. We can learn from those who have gone before us, or we can fall victim to the negative things we’ve gleaned from them.

There is a lot of truth to the old adage, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

King Solomon said it a different way. “Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.” We all hope to leave our children a big inheritance. We want them to be better off than we were. But the reality is, leaving them an example of Godly wisdom will be of a bigger benefit in the end.

Don’t just spend your entire life striving to provide your children with an inheritance that can be easily squandered. The wisdom you leave them will be of far greater value than any material possession you have.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine the kind of inheritance you are preparing for those who go behind you:

  1. What do you worry most about? Spiritual growth or physical/financial health?
  2. Where do you spend your time? The golf course or your knees in prayer for your kids and grandkids?
  3. Will those who come behind you remember you for being an encourager or a judge?
  4. Do you talk about the weather and sports more than you do topics of faith and grace?
  5. Does your Bible suffer from dust or worn pages?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help us to strive daily to leave an inheritance of wisdom that others will be able to use to guide them through life. Amen.


Never ForgetJoshua also set up another pile of twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the place where the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were standing. And they are there to this day. Joshua 4:9

I have an infatuation for old abandoned houses and buildings. When I drive through our beautiful countryside you’ll see them. Tucked away among trees and brush you’ll see them. Broken or non-existent windows. Trees growing out of what used to be a living room or bedroom. Holes in the walls or roof completely expose some of these buildings to wildlife and the elements.

Some people look at these places as eyesores and I suppose they are. Others see them as safety hazards and I’d have no argument to that either. So why the infatuation? The answer is simple. I don’t see the broken glass or falling walls. I see the stories.

These broken buildings, especially the houses, are full of stories. One day, that house was someone’s new home. Perhaps it was a dream home of some young bride, or the home a farm wife always hoped for. At one time the walls were full of stories of babies being born and grandparents dying. Of young men and women graduating from High School and going off to college or war.  There may have been Christmas celebrations and Memorial Day picnics. There were baptisms and perhaps weddings.

Many people drive by these monuments without a thought of the stories. This past week we celebrated Memorial Day, a day set aside originally to remember those who gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. Then it became a day to remember all those who have gone before us. Now, for many of us, it’s become a day to celebrate the beginning of summer and vacations.

When Joshua led the people into the Promised Land they were entering into a whole new lifestyle. He knew that many would soon forget everything they had gone through. They’d forget all too soon the lessons learned from the victories as well as the defeats. The stones set beside the Jordan River were a reminder to never forget what it took to get them from slavery to freedom.

Just as Joshua put stones on the river bank as a reminder, we place stones in cemeteries for much the same reason. Those stones may mean nothing to most people, but if it is the stone of a relative, it means something to you. Hopefully, if it is the stone of a member of our armed forces, you admire them for giving their lives so that you can be free. We should never forget the sacrifice that was paid for our freedom.

There’s one more stone of remembrance we should never forget. That’s the stone of an empty tomb. Just as the members of our armed forces have sacrificed their lives for our political freedom, Jesus sacrificed his life for your spiritual freedom. Religion and all its activities can’t buy your freedom from guilt. Only the sacrifice of Jesus and his resurrection can do that.

PRAYER: Lord of the universe. You have crafted me in your image for your glory. Let the stories of my past and the legacy left by others be a continual reminder of your love and grace. Amen.

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