I Shall Live
The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. Psalms 119:144
Around seven years ago, my dad gave me one of his Bibles that was precious to him. As a born again believer, he owned many Bibles. I remember, while in my teens, my dad taking us to the bookstore in the mall. While I was looking for the newest horror book, he was looking for the newest printed Bible. He loved the word of God, it was precious to him.
Often he would “preach” to us about doing right and encouraged us to read the Bible. He gave us a hard time over listening to the wrong music, hanging around the wrong people or saying the wrong things. He would encourage us to go to church, read our Bibles and often said to us, “don’t do what I do, but do what I say”.
I recall numerous times while sitting on the couch and trying to read my book or watch TV, my dad talking (for what seemed like hours) about God and what he had read that day in the Bible. I must admit, it got annoying after a while and I just tuned him out. I learned quickly how to respond with an “um huh” or a “that’s right” to make him think I was listening. Believe it or not, I now miss those days because he is no longer living, but has gone to Heaven.
Returning to that Bible my dad gave me around seven years ago, I can honestly say that it is now very precious to me. In this Bible, he has written the day, date, time and place that it was purchased (Tuesday, March 13, 1984 at 12:45pm in Charleston, SC). In the front cover of this Bible, my name was written by my dad with my height of 4’ 10 tall, I am now 5’6. For those teen years of my life, I did not know the Lord, I was not saved. I did not appreciate all that my dad was trying to give me. His walk and relationship with God was not my walk and relationship with God. Little did he and I know, that just a few years later, I would be saved and dedicate my life to serving God. By God’s grace, I have been walking and trusting the Lord with my life these past eighteen years. I can honestly say without pride but with truthfulness that my relationship with the Lord has surpassed anything my dad had ever done in his life for God or ever imagined for me.
Again, Psalms 119:114 states, “The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.” By this very verse my dad has written, “I love you, Brandy.” Due to his prayers and his nonstop talking about God, I am alive in the Lord and have received the understanding that only the Word of God can bring. Romans 6:11 says, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Christian, if you are discouraged because the one you are trying to reach, just isn’t getting it, don’t give up! God promises that His word will not return unto him void in Isaiah 55:11, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” God’s word is powerful and will hit its’ mark.
Also, if you were like me and just ignored the “preaching”, let me caution you, you cannot ride on the coattails of another’s walk with God forever. There should come a time in your life where you establish your own walk with God. The mom, dad, church member, or loved one can only pray, encourage and help you to do right so many times before they grow weary or pass away. It is time for you to establish an unshakeable and consistent relationship with the Lord. My dad is now in Heaven, he can no longer pray for me or my family. As a result of my own established walk with God, I can now pray for myself, my family and others. I can now encourage others to follow God’s word and live for Him. When your God-given example and loved one passes away, who will fill their shoes? Will it be you?
& One Day at a Time Devotional,
a ministry of Riverview Baptist Church