Influence…and a recap of yesterday @ The Ridge

Yesterday @ The Ridge was a great day. Good attendance and some new faces as well as returning guests. We signed up for small groups for this semester. If you missed that opportunity, you can sign up next Sunday or go HERE for more info on this semester’s groups.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day. Dr. King was certainly a man of influence. But what influenced him the most? I was listening on the radio today

Martin Luther King Sr with his family (Martin Jr is front row right)

of one recounting of some of the things the younger M. L. King was taught by his father, Martin Luther King, Sr. It was interesting to hear what a great influence he was to his son. The one who would become a “reformer” in the civil rights movement was influenced and inspired most by his father who had changed his name to one of the greatest “reformers” in history. While we rightfully laud the influence that Martin Luther King, Jr. had in our country, it can be easy to overlook the one in his life who, apart from God, influenced his character, his spiritual life, his boldness, his vision. It was his father.

It is said that one day, Martin Sr and his son were driving through Atlanta when they were pulled over by a police officer. When the officer called the elder King “boy”, Martin Sr. is said to have pointed to his son in the seat next to him and told the officer, “This is a boy. I am a man. And until you address me as such I’ll not respond to you.” Now, I cannot corroborate the accuracy of that story, but don’t you think that would have had a great influence on the junior King? That passion, courage and vision that his father showed and instilled into his son would influence him greatly in the years to come. This young man who would become a great influencer, was influenced greatly by his dad.

Fathersdon’t discount the influence you have on your sons & daughters! YOU have a great opportunity and responsibility to invest in your children. It is critical not only for them now, but for generations to come. Don’t take that responsibility lightly! As generation yet to be born is depending on you.

This past Sunday we also continued our Family Matters series by looking at this responsibility in Psalm 78. This is what made me think about Martin Luther King, Sr. today and the influence we as fathers have on the next generation.

This Psalm is a “Maskil” which means it is to be contemplated; it is a psalm to give instruction. When the Israelites heard “Law” the first thing that would have come to their minds was instruction. Instruction from God for their benefit. It was seen as positive instruction, instruction that was by example as well as negative warnings. We just think of Law as the negative. We see here that God has appointed this Law as a testimony and fathers are commanded to teach it to their children so that they may teach it to their children. Now there are three positive results that will come from the study, remembrance, teaching and application of God’s Word…

  • we would put our confidence in God
  • the Law is to teach us is that God is sovereign, so we should be humble and grateful in our thinking toward Him
  • the Law is to move us to obedience…We are to show our gratitude to God for His mercy & grace by keeping His commandments.

The One Negative that the instruction of the Law reveals is in this next verse. (v. 8)

and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

In other words: “Don’t be THAT guy!”

Don’t be like those in your past…or those in the past (or even current) generations of this nation who were stubborn…putting their confidence in themselves or in the things of the world or in things that they saw others doing …rebellious… willfully choosing to NOT be obedient. Choose your path…choose wisely. Fathers especially, choose wisely and humbly what path you will lead your sons down. Your influence will impact generations to come.

Influence is a great responsibility. And you have it, positive or negative, whether you like it or not. May the influence you have on the next generation, be founded in the Word of God, in the sovereignty and grace of God. May it impact a generation yet to be born…for the glory of God!

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