Week 17

Breaking with the Past

Today’s Bible Reading2 Chronicles 15:1–19

Recommended ReadingGenesis 12:1–5Matthew 12:46–50Galatians 1:6–10

Who says we can’t overcome our past?

When Asa assumed the throne as king of Judah, he also inherited a terrible family tradition. For three generations his family had led the nation in the practice of pagan worship, with its accompanying sexual immorality and moral and spiritual decay. Asa knew that changing these long-established practices would alienate him from his relatives. But he determined that pleasing God was more important than pleasing his family. So King Asa destroyed all evidence of idol worship in Israel and repaired the altar of the Lord. He even removed his grandmother from her powerful and influential position as queen mother. Imagine the flak he received after making that decision!

Most important, Asa led Judah back to worshiping the one true God. He changed the course of his own personal life and in the process changed the course of the nation he led for as long as he held his position.

Perhaps, like Asa, you’ve inherited patterns that you know don’t please God. Perhaps you came from a family that has ignored—or even ridiculed—the practice of worship and the presence of God in the family’s life. Perhaps abusive behavior and a quick temper are part of your family legacy. Or perhaps unfaithfulness, deception and greed are family “traditions” that prevent you from becoming the man God wants you to be.

If this is the case, take heart and encouragement from this story. You don’t have to continue to practice these negative traditions. You can make different decisions; you can change, with God’s help. And the change in your own heart and life can have a long-lasting impact on the lives of those whom you influence on a daily basis.

Is such a transition easy? Not usually. But you may be surprised at how receptive your friends, family and coworkers are to the changes in your life. Set your goals today, and allow God’s words to King Asa to encourage you: “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded” (verse 7). Walking in God’s approval might bring earthly criticism, but it will yield eternal rewards.

To Take Away

  • What family traditions keep you from a life that is pleasing to God?
  • What steps can you take to change the way you’re living?
  • What new traditions can you establish in their place?

Copyright © 2006 by Zondervan.

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