Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals for September 7-15 are provided by Pastor Mark Chun of Radiance Christian Church (S. F.).
Devotional Thoughts for Today
2 Kings 17: 1-6 (NIV)
In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him. 3 Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up to attack Hoshea, who had been Shalmaneser’s vassal and had paid him tribute. 4 But the king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was a traitor, for he had sent envoys to So king of Egypt, and he no longer paid tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore Shalmaneser seized him and put him in prison. 5 The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes.
This passage introduces us to King Hosea, whose place in history is that he was the last king of Israel; and on his watch, the capital city of Samaria fell. The description of his legacy was that he was evil in the sight of the Lord, with the only caveat being that he was, at least, not as wicked as the kings before him. This is not exactly a glowing endorsement of his life. In truth, all of us want to leave something behind that will be remembered by future generations. I believe this is a sign that all of humanity is born with eternity in our hearts.
However, the Scriptures remind us that there is a right way and a wrong way of leaving behind a legacy. People in the world like to think that through the power and wealth they accumulate in this life they can leave a legacy, which will prolong their influence and cause them to be remembered. History is filled with the accounts of powerful men who tried to live on through monuments, great tombs, and stories of grandeur. Though some are still remembered in dusty books, they are mostly forgotten, their monuments destroyed, their tombs robbed, and their stories unknown.
Although history is rife with the failures of men, this is not to say that we cannot leave a legacy or that trying doing so is foolish. On the contrary, it should be our greatest aim to leave behind us a godly heritage. So what kind of life story should we seek to prepare? The Scriptures teach us that a truly divine legacy is one of righteous deeds, influence for good, and a pure soul that will live forever with God.
Father, You have placed eternity in our hearts for a reason. Help us to remember that what we do in this life actually does matter, and the good we do for the sake of the gospel will build an eternal legacy before You. Show me today how to glorify you in my thoughts, words, and deeds. Teach me Your ways so that I may one day hear You say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 20
Lunch Break Study
1 Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
2 Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.
6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
7 They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn will be lifted high in honor.
Questions to Consider:
- What are the conditions of God’s blessings?
- What is the specific nature of these blessings?
- What is the source of our security?
- God’s blessings are for those who fear Him and find great delight in His commands. We don’t want to fall into the danger of espousing a salvation based on good deeds and works; but at the same time, many of God’s other blessings are reserved on the condition of obedience.
- The specific nature of these blessings is that the godly and their children will experience prosperity, peace, and goodness in their lives. In this way, those who are gracious and compassionate are remembered through the lives of the next generation. We don’t want to fall into the dangers of a health and wealth gospel, but material blessings are a part of God’s reward for the upright.
- During difficult times, the source of security for the godly is that they will be remembered by God forever. They will not live in fear of bad news because of their unwavering trust in the Lord.
If you were to die today, how would you be remembered by others? How would you be remembered by God? Would you pass on to your children just a bunch of stuff, some money, and some fading memories? Or would you pass on knowledge of God and a life well-lived? As one pastor stated clearly, “Let each of us determine that we will do more in the days ahead to leave a legacy of righteousness.”