Peter’s passion was people. It hadn’t always been that way. Before he finally surrendered to THE LORD, he had tried to be lord of himself. To quote the words of Lord George Noel Gordon Byron (1788–1824), “Lord of himself—that heritage of woe.”
Peter discovered a better heritage to pass along – the heritage of the knowledge of God, not self. He made a commitment to live out his life passing along that heritage to those he had mentored. He wanted to be sure that the things he taught became so much a part of their lives that they would never forget them.
2 Peter 1:15 “And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.”
The heritage we leave is important. We start leaving it the moment we begin having any sort of influence on others. Even children, who are learning what their heritage will be, are passing along what they learn from an early age. That’s why God places such an emphasis on parenting in the Scriptures.
Remember the words of God through Moses in Deuteronomy 6?
“These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the LORD your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life. Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you. Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
It has always been and will continue to be the primary responsibility of the family to pass along the heritage of true faith in the one true God, the LORD of all, to the next generation. It is essential to the health of a church to pass along the heritage of truth to all that are brought to saving faith in Jesus Christ. It is imperative to us as individuals who truly love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, that we commit ourselves to teaching God’s love to others both in word and lifestyle.
We must become keenly aware that every one of us is passing along a heritage of one form or another. The heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future.
So what kind of seeds are you planting in the people around you?