Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Monday, August 31, 2015

This Land Is His Land

The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me. -- Leviticus 25:23

The natural life of a person passes away.  We work and accumulate, maintain, save, store, perhaps even hoard.  Sometimes we forget that we must, at some point, leave everything behind.  We have to take a balanced approach.  I could die and leave it all behind tomorrow.  Or, I might live another 30 years.  Meanwhile, I am a manager of God’s property – what I own, even my own physical existence. 

Life makes more sense, is easier, and less stressful when we follow God’s will, trusting and resting in His goodness and grace.  As far as our lives and possessions go, the first rule is simply to be faithful to do what we can do.  There is no place in a Christian’s life for sloth, neglect, and ingratitude.  Yet the battle is not ours.  We do our part and give the Lord room to do His part.  We trust that when we have sought His will in prayer, He will meet us in our circumstances.  He wants partners not puppets, sons not slaves.  But partners trust one another, and a son believes in his Father, just as Jesus did, right to the cross, through the tomb and out the other side. 

It is our Father’s world.  We move through it and move on.  Someone comes behind us and inhabits what we have left, the echoes of our lives, the alterations we have made, the ruts of our failures, the pinnacles of our successes.  It becomes their responsibility to deal with what they have been given, while we give an account for what we left. 

Is our legacy the briars and barrenness of self-righteousness, envy, strife, and hatred?  Or are we leaving behind well-cultivated fields sown with “… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control …” (Galatians 5:22-23), the fruit of the Spirit to sustain our successors in difficult times. 

I am afraid the last few generations have squandered a great and glorious inheritance.  We have a few fields that have not been paved over, a few that have not been exhausted and depleted and abandoned to the sprouts, weeds, and brambles.  Will the next few generations struggle in a new dark age where truth becomes a scarce resource, or will we begin to break up our own fallow ground and reclaim some plot, however small and humble, for the Lord?

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