Lesson 2 -- fourth quarter 1996
September 8, 1996
© Copyright 1996, Christian Light Publications
So, heritage may not be all that it's cracked up to be?!
How shall I deal with the wrong which is deeply grooved in my life?
I fall out of family trees all too easily, particularly my own. But I think I have two facts straight about Josiah's tree: Hezekiah was his great-grandpa, and Manasseh was his grandpa. Hezekiah we know mostly good about; Manasseh was markedly different. Manasseh turned against Hezekiah's heritage, but Josiah turned against Manasseh's heritage in favor of Hezekiah's! So what difference does heritage, especially a good heritage, make?
Heritage will not make us good nor will it make us evil. Heritage will not block us at heaven's gates, nor will it fling them open for us. However, heritage is a powerful director, one to be followed or one to be overcome. Viewed another way, heritage may be perceived as a salesman, peddling a foundation. You must decide whether you will build on the foundation offered by your heritage, or whether you will find something different. So heritage makes a significant difference in the course and culmination of our lives.
My heritage directed me toward a Mennonite perspective, offering me the foundation which is the Lord. One friend of mine has a heritage which directed him toward Catholicism, offering him the foundation which is that church. Another friend's heritage aims him toward an materialistic life view, insisting he build on mammon. What we are today was influenced by our heritage, yes. But in that famous "something" called the final analysis, we each had to choose.
All people, regardless of their heritage, need to personally make "a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant." I challenge you to put your allegiance to God above that of any human heritage. Make His life, His Word and His ways your heritage.
Grooves. How handy they can be! They most often develop without any deliberate, conscious effort. They not only show us a certain way, they easily lead us along that way. Grooves. The same factors that make them handy also make them frustrating and even dangerous.
Grooves are hard to break out of. The wrong ones we must break loose from, or we'll pay dearly. A friend of mine in Mexico fell asleep at the wheel...at 75 mph...with the cruise control solidly locked on. His left wheels went off the road and got snagged by a groove of sorts. Despite his best and most desperate efforts, that groove took him into a culvert. The vehicle flipped end over end two or three times; he survived with minor scratches and major bruising. God be blessed!
What are some questionable or even pagan grooves in which you find yourself? Identify them personally, or sort through some of them as a class. Music? Stuff? Attitudes? Disposition? Reading? Lust? Appearance? Pleasure? Selfishness? These grooves will lead you to all sorts of sometimes-predictable, sometimes-unexpected catastrophes. Perhaps you'll survive; perhaps you won't. My friend, scour this lesson for the ways to break out of these grooves before they break you!
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