A Great Family Is No Accident

Last weekend as the temperatures soared to a record 104 degrees and the 60 MPH winds whipped fires on two ends of this city, something quite wonderful was taking place. On the south end of town in a rented party place, the King family gathered for a rare family reunion. If I am correct, it had been fourteen years since the last reunion. (I missed that one) So much has changed in those 14 years. We have said goodbye to so many loved ones, they were missed last weekend.

As I sat among the gathering family members, I was impressed by the love and sense of pride in that room to be a part of such a great family. It wasn’t a brag session, and I didn’t notice any conversations of people comparing their success with one another, this wasn’t that type of a reunion. Instead, the room was filled with humble and grateful people. As far as I know, everyone present had a successful life, good job, and financially sound, but worldly success wasn’t being measured in this crowd. These people were simply filled with pride and appreciation for a being part of a Godly family with a strong heritage that was Christ Centered.

In today’s world everything seems to be intently focused on our ‘stuff’ and our ability to get more of it. While there is certainly no harm in providing a good life of plenty for our families, we have lost the order of priorities. Too much emphasis has been placed on building our dreams, filling our houses with nice things and staying just a step ahead of the other guy, while too little value is placed on the things that matter eternally. Last weekend was a tribute to some great family members who lived their lives in a way that gave priority to the more important things; things that that reach us today in our times of greatest need. My father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others before me, taught me that by putting God FIRST, everything else could be built on a solid foundation.

Success matters, it pays the bills and provides us with entertainment, but unless it comes fastened to a solid Christ Centered foundation, it rings empty. There isn’t a lonelier sound in this world as the empty and hollow ring of success without God. It is all meaningless in the end. You can spend your life building your dreams, but in the end your dream dies with you. And your children? They will have their own dream. Most of what you spend your life building will blow away like dust in the wind. Sounds depressing, but my grandfather and father knew of something greater that they could pass to me and my children that would only gain in value; a Godly Christian heritage!

I think Psalms 146 covers this subject very well. The Psalmist said:
Psalms 146:2-6 NLT
(2) I will praise the LORD as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.
(3) Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.
(4) When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them.
(5) But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God.
(6) He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever.

Our own earthy plans die with us, but God’s Promises to Bless our families will carry on FOREVER! Many of the family members who lived before me knew this, they counted on it! When they breathed their last breath, their thoughts were not on the material things they would leave behind, but rather on the spiritual treasure that they had buried deep in our hearts. IF they had a worry, it must have only been the question; “Did I plant enough seed in my children’s heart?” And, “will my children remember to do the same?”

As I looked around the room housing the reunion, I began to do a mental count on those who were no longer with us. My dad, my grandparents, an uncle, my cousin Carolyn, some great aunts, too many I think, but then a thought brought great joy to my heart; I will see them ALL again! Wow! In all my years, I have never stood at a coffin and said goodbye to a close loved one without knowing that they knew Christ, and that they were resting with Him. What a testimony! Did my family before me leave a treasured legacy? You bet they did! There simply isn’t a higher treasure than that. Did they leave mansions behind for us to see? No. What they left was far better, and for that, I am grateful.

We live in a day where lines of decency have been blurred as people have labored tirelessly to do away with rights and wrongs, and replaced them with only ‘good and better’. Morals have been rewritten with a less offensive modern interpretation, which rejects the sound doctrine handed down to us from our forefathers. The people who gathered at my family reunion have clearly rejected today’s modernism philosophy and have held firm to something this world has tried so hard to obscure; TRUTH! This didn’t happen by accident, and it wasn’t a result of genetics. My family is this way because of a conscious effort of our fathers and mothers who put the highest priority on a relationship with God, which transformed their lives into a tremendous heritage for generations to come.

I can only repay what my family left for my inheritance by leaving the same to my children. I hope I can leave them with many comfortable earthly things, but I will always remember to put priority on the things that truly matter; a spiritual legacy. I must always remember Psalms 146; my dreams will die with me, but God’s promises, and the blessings that come from following Christ, are forever.

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