Sunday, November 18, 2012

America at the Crossroads: "Heritage Leads to Legacy"

Here are the notes from the message delivered at New Life Community on Sunday, November 18, 2012.  The message is the third in a series AMERICA AT THE CROSSROADS: A Defining Moment.  The title of the message is "Heritage Leads to Legacy" and if you would like to listen to it, you may do so by going to our website at  God bless.

America at the Crossroads, Part 3                                                    Sun., Nov. 18, 2012
 “Heritage Leads to Legacy”

Four things that can make America strong again:
1.      Humility
2.      Faith
3.      Desire
4.      Morality
To carry these further:
1.      HUMILITY.  We’ve got to stop pointing the finger at each other.  We’ve got to humble ourselves before God.
2.      FAITH.  We must understand that God is sovereign and that trust in Him will produce benefit for our nation.  This means not only basic trust in the Living God, but also belief that hard word will be rewarded by our Creator.  That faith exhibits itself in an amazing way.  James says that faith without works is dead being alone.  There is a faith that says the government will take care of me and there is a faith that says God will take care of me and He will do that by teaching me how to prosper.
3.      DESIRE.  America is built on a dream.  It is the dream of possibilities, of ability to become more, of freedom, of opportunity.  We must become again a people who tap into the unlimited possibilities of a life surrendered to God.  “Our kids will have it better than we had it.”
4.      MORALITY.  All of this flows from a belief that God is God and there is a moral authority that rules our lives. 

Heritage is that which we receive from the past
Legacy is that which we pass on to the future.


Our legacy should be built on the heritage that we have received from the past.
So what have we received?
There is the spiritual and the natural or national.

Israel had to face this problem.  They knew that God had done some awesome thing for them.  They were instructed in how to preserve their heritage and then pass it on to the next generation.
Exodus 13
And Moses said to the people: “Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. On this day you are going out, in the month Abib. And it shall be, when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters. And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘This is done because of what the Lord did for me when I came up from Egypt.’ It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt. 10 You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.
11 “And it shall be, when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you, 12 that you shall set apart to the Lord all that open the womb, that is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the Lord’s. 13 But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.
He sets up ways of remembering and keeping the importance in front of the people.
So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ that you shall say to him, ‘By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  Exodus 13:14 (NKJV)

So what have we received?
There is the spiritual and the natural or national.
We could speak of that first Thanksgiving in Plymouth Colony in 1623 when William Bradford saw the bounteous harvest that prompted him to proclaim a special day to “render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.”
We could speak of Washington at Valley Forge in the hard winter of 1777 when the Continental Army hunkered down to endure the winter.  It was said:
Soldiers received inadequate supplies of meat and bread, some getting their only nourishment from "fire cake," a tasteless mixture of flour and water. However, due to the talents of Baker General Christopher Ludwig, the men at Valley Forge more often than not received fresh baked bread, about one pound daily. So severe were conditions at times that Washington despaired "that unless some great and capital change suddenly takes place ... this Army must inevitably ... Starve, dissolve, or disperse, in order to obtain subsistence in the best manner they can."
We could speak of the will of character displayed in such men as Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and of course Abraham Lincoln. 
We could speak of the heroism of our military in the battle against tyranny in WWI and WWII.
We could speak of the times that America pulled together during times of trouble. 

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot.  The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.  Psalm 16:5-6 (NKJV)

I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah. For You, O God, have heard my vows; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name.  Psalm 61:4-5 (NKJV)

15 So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Your glory.  16 For the Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory.  17 He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer.  18 This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.  Psalm 102:15-18 (NKJV)

O my people, listen to my instructions.  Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable.  I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us.  We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.  Psalm 78:1-4 (NLT)

Heritage is what we RECEIVED from the past.
Legacy is what we PASS on to the future.

13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.  II Timothy 1:13-14 (NKJV)

And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. II Timothy 2:2 (NKJV)

Three Steps in Building a Legacy:
1.     HOLD it.
2.     GUARD it.
3.     PASS it on.

Four Words to America
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.
11 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, Deuteronomy 8:11 (NKJV)

1.     Remember the Lord!

12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;

15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, Deuteronomy 8:15-16 (NKJV)

2.     Remember how He led you and fed you.

that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— Deuteronomy 8:16 (NKJV)

3.     Remember where God is leading you.

18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

4.     Remember the abilities God has given you.
19 Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. 20 As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God.  Deuteronomy 8 (NKJV)

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