Honoring Those Who Came Before

 

My purpose in sharing these brief biographies of great Christian lives is to encourage you to go deeper in study of the lives of those who especially inspired you.  Their stories can influence us in a way that is like being one of their disciples.  The stories of those who walked with God still have power and an impartation, as do many of the biblical accounts.

Studying the history of those who walked with God is one way we obey the commandment to “Honor your fathers and mothers.”  This is the only commandment with a promise, and it is a great promise — “that it will go well with you, and you can dwell long in the land that the Lord has give to you” (see Deuteronomy 5:15 MVB).

We should always keep this in mind.  Obeying this one commandment can hugely impact our life and our longevity.  Just this is worth the investment of our time, but there is more.  By doing this, we can receive an impartation of what they had, and that is priceless.

As we previously covered, the only place in the Bible that explains why Christians get weak, sick, or die prematurely is for “not discerning the body” (see 1 Corinthians 11:29 MVB).  This failure to discern the Lord’s body in this text is connected to partaking of the ritual of communion in an unworthy manner.  To partake of communion in an unworthy manner is to substitute the ritual for the reality that it represents.

In this case, it is partaking of the ritual of communion without actually having communion in our life.  The required communion is with the Lord and His body, the church.  We cannot have one without the other.  If we are properly joined to the Head, we will also be rightly joined to His body.  Rituals are important reminders, but they are not the reality.

My point is that the body of Christ is composed of all who have walked with Him, from the first century until now.  Even though we cannot physically walk with those who have passed from this life, we can still be connected to and honor them by studying their life and work.  In this way we can have communion, or common-union, with the whole body of Christ.

By studying the life and work of those who have gone before us, we also get a clearer picture of what has led to our own times.  We can know our destination, but we must know where we are in order to get there.  It is like shopping mall maps that tell you where the stores are located.  Those maps would not help much, however, without the little dot that says, “You are here.”

We will continue this study of great Christian lives, but if any of them touch you, determine to study them further and gain a greater impartation.  More than developing a communion with their memory, study them with the Lord and ask Him to show you what things He wants to be a part of your life.  Ultimately, it is all about Jesus and how He manifested through those who walked with Him.

Also, as we continue to review some great Christians in history, keep in mind that we could write volumes about most of these people.  I’m condensing each to a couple of pages, but even with volumes, we could only cover a snapshot of their life.  Even so, that is all we need for the impartation.

Let us also keep in mind that the most important accomplishment of our lives is not what we accomplish, but what we become.

 

~ Pastor Rick Joyner


Rick JoynerPastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.

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