“What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation?” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
My Grandfather was a man of integrity. Not a perfect man but a man who genuinely desired to please God. When he spoke, people listened. I listened. He only had a grade school education but he was a student of God’s Word…and he lived it. He passed away in 1994 at the age of 92. I’ll never forget the hundreds of people who showed up for his memorial service. It was standing room only. They represented the lives he had touched and the next generation he had influenced. With his days on earth completed, we would have to now carry on the work God had been doing through him. For many of us attending the service that day, we realized we were God’s “succession plan” for the work He had been doing through my Grandfather.
The same was true at the end of the life of King David, “a man after God’s own heart”. The next generation would have to learn from his mistakes and listen carefully to the wisdom he had gleaned. David wanted to put success in his succession to the next generation.
As the time of King David’s death approached, he gave this charge to his son Solomon: I am going where everyone on earth must someday go. Take courage and be a man. Observe the requirements of the Lord your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go. (I Kings 2:1-3 NLT)
Final words are memorable words. They resonate and replay themselves in our minds. The final words my Grandfather had with me were about living life in the context of eternity and with the hope of heaven. He had a simple and abiding faith that carried him peacefully through all the ups and downs he encountered. His life was a simple sermon about living in obedience to God. As a result of a life well lived, people in this generation continue to be impacted by his legacy. In David’s final words to Solomon, he had three basic instructions:
- Be courageous
- Practice your faith daily
- Be obedient to God in all circumstances
David promised that the outcome of faithfully living out these principles would result in being “successful in all you do and wherever you go”. David wanted to put “success in succession”.
You are crucial to God’s succession plan for the next generation. Let your life and leadership be the living legacy God intended. Are you living in such a way that when you talk, people listen? Determine what you need to do today to put success in your succession. Be courageous, practice your faith and be obedient in all things. That’s success!