Heritage of Faithfulness
The beginning of each New Year is a chance to look back over the past year and reminisce. For me it is a great time to look back and remember how you arrived at the place you are today. One of my favorite scripture passages is found in the book of Hebrews, Chapter 11. Hebrews 11 is sometimes called the Faithfulness Hall of Fame. The chapter is filled with stories about men and women who were faithful to God’s calling: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Rahab, David and many others are included. When I read Hebrews 11 I can’t help but marvel at the rich heritage of faithfulness we all come from. Furthermore, my lineage of faithfulness continues from the 1st Century Church all the way to my parents who introduced me to Christ. The stories of many of those generations are not recorded anywhere and those that were, lost. However, faithfulness must have continued in order to bring me where I am now.
My mother spent many weekends at the Treadway family farm, and there a strong love for Jesus was instilled in her by my great-grandmother, Granny Treadway. When my mother grew up she took over where Granny left off and poured her love for Christ into my sisters and me. All of my childhood memories of Granny are of an old fragile woman whose mind was broken by Alzheimer, but as an adult I have come to know her as a pillar of my faith.
On my other familial side, my father is a first generation believer. As a teenager, his sister decided to go to church and take her little brother with her. There, he met Jesus. As an adult he was intentional and diligent in ensuring his children grew up in church together as a family. He found older men to mentor him in godly living and child rearing. As a child, I did not always appreciate his godly discipline, but now I know he was building a foundation for me that would stand forever.
So that is my heritage of faithfulness passed down from men and women who loved God, beginning with Noah and Abraham to my parents. Now, after you read chapter 11 in Hebrews, you have to continue and read Hebrews 12:1 which says,
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Therefore, since Abraham, Moses, John, Paul and many unnamed others passed down their faith, I should too.
Therefore, since a grandmother in the 60’s and 70’s poured her love for Christ into a little girl, I too should pour my love of Christ into others.
Therefore, since a man chose to change forever the destiny of his family by following Jesus and teaching his children to do the same, I should too.
That is my legacy and those are my witnesses to follow. I know each of you have your own marvelous stories of faithfulness in your lives. I challenge you at the beginning of this New Year to recall your heritage of faithfulness. Then go run your race so you can take your place in the next generation’s great cloud of witnesses.