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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Passing the Torch of Faith

Today’s Post is in loving memory of my brother-in-law,
Raymond Gostowski
July 8, 1921 – June 24, 2011
Ray was a man who carried and passed a blazing torch of faith.

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely

so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen

or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.

Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

Deuteronomy 4:9 NIV

I have experienced that the Garden of My Heart is where my spiritual growth takes root. However, today I am thinking that it is outside the garden that my faith is lived out. All those I rub shoulders with outside the garden are individuals that are influenced either for or against Jesus Christ by what they observe happening in my life. But today my immediate family and my extended family are my greatest responsibility. It would be a tragedy if I were to minister to the entire world and neglect those that God has specifically given me.

I personally was blessed to have godly parents. I have fond memories of my mother sitting at the kitchen table reading her Bible and praying. All through out the day she laced life lessons with Biblical truth. Her greatest desire was for her family to know and serve Jesus Christ. My father was a pillar of faith as I observed him struggle with providing for our family. Dad read his Bible regularly. He prayed before meals and sometimes I would be awakened in the night and hear him praying for his family. One of my treasured possessions is a small hymnal that Dad would sing from in the evening. Now as I look through that little song book I see check marks next to all of his favorite songs. The lyrics to most of those songs spoke of God’s faithfulness and love. You see, my parents lit a torch of faith and passed it on to all six of us children.

A spiritual heritage is something that I never want to take for granted. The fact is that it is my responsibility to take the torch of my spiritual heritage and pass it on. My greatest fear is that I will not fan the flame of this torch and it will get weaker. Consequently, when I pass it on to my children it will be a dimmer light. This can happen to any of us when we allow the necessities, pressures, and pleasures of life to fill up our days until there is precious little time left for God.

If I allow the flame to diminish I am sending a message to my children that faith in God is important but not the most important thing in life. Consequently, when it comes time for me to hand the torch to them the torch will have become dimmer. If my children do not fan the flame and they too ignore and neglect God then when it is time for them to pass the torch to their children they may find themselves with a torch that barely has a flicker. Of course, with only a flicker of a flame there is a good chance that when the torch is handed off to the next generation the torch will go completely out!

If you are a first generation Christian and you have not been privileged to have a Christian Heritage do not loose heart. The good news is that you are the first to light the torch and to pass it on. What a blessing and a privilege you have. What a responsibility and honor to lead a new family line of believers.

God’s Word reminds us, “Know therefore that the Lord you God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.” Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV

I am reminded every day that I am not where I am by accident. God has guided me every step of my journey. It is the prayers of each generation that fuels God’s love and compassion for the next generation. I want to take hold of God’s promise that he will bless my children, my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren and my great-great-grandchildren, and on an on for a thousand generations. When I pass my torch of faith I want it to be blazing!


Are you a first generation Christian?

Do you have a faint flickering spiritual heritage?

Do you have a blazing spiritual heritage?

If you are a believer you are holding your family’s torch of faith in your hand.
What was the condition of the flame when you received your torch?

Is your torch’s flame in the same condition it was in when your received it or is it now blazing brighter, has is it gone from blazing to bright, is it flickering, is it dim, or has it gone out?

Do you desire to fan the flame on your torch so that it will burn brighter as you pass it on to the next generation?


Dear God,

In all honesty I have to say that my flame could be brighter. Life and selfishness offers me so many opportunities to set my torch in the corner and neglect fanning the flame. Satan desires to distract me in any way that he can so that when it is my turn to pass the torch of faith it will be dimmer. Father, protect me from distractions that take me away from you. Help me to make the choice to put you first in my life and then go about my responsibilities. Teach me God how I can lace life lessons with Biblical truth all through the day. Make me a silent example as I live a life of faith before my family. Forgive me God for making my priorities about me instead of you. God help me to seek you with my whole heart and say without hesitation that you are at the top of my list. I’m yours God, no matter what happens I’m in! God, when I pass my torch of faith to my children I want it to be blazing!

In Your Son’s Name I Pray. Amen.