Bible Studies for Life

with Bobby McKay

Sunday,  August 25

Leave a Legacy

2 Chronicles 17:1-13

For those of you old enough to remember and were inclined to such musical offerings, you may remember the song from 40 years ago titled, Family Tradition, by Hank Williams Jr. While the lyrics are far from conducive for this publication or your Sunday School class, they do assist in helping my illustration on a couple of levels. One, we have spent the last several weeks studying the remarkable life of King Asa. It is an example of how the sufficiency of the Lord’s presence is enough to sustain in the most adverse and difficult of times. Also, at the end of Asa’s life he tragically compromised his trust in God, and it cost him. The lessons we can glean from his story are plentiful — both good and bad.

The real “family tradition” story doesn’t end with Asa. In some ways, it was only the beginning. Asa was a man like any other man: not perfect but could still be used by God. He was able to instill in his son Jehoshaphat a love for God. Growing up, he had watched his father, King Asa make some hard decisions while leading the kingdom and at the same time trusting the Lord. Asa’s greatest accomplishment may not have been on the battlefield but rather in his bloodline. Jehoshaphat took the mantle of leadership that came to him after his father’s death and rose to the occasion. He dedicated himself to God and desired to honor Him in all his decisions.

Like his father, Jehoshaphat set out to rid the kingdom of any places where people were worshiping false gods. It was this family tradition he first learned from his father many years ago that helped his people in the eyes of God. Because of Jehoshaphat’s actions, the Lord’s blessings flowed. Following this action, Jehoshaphat sent men out to teach God’s precepts and help strengthen their recommitment to authentic worship. Jehoshaphat understood that for God to bless the kingdom, everyone must be committed and not just a few. As a result, God allowed Jehoshaphat’s influence to grow and reach even beyond his own borders. Rival nations responded by bringing Jehoshaphat gifts. They recognized there was something different about this king and they respected his authority. Don’t forget — this power came from God and was in part a result of his obedience he first learned from his father Asa. By now, Asa may have been a memory for some of the people but his legacy was as strong as ever.

I mentioned the song, Family Tradition, earlier. I am proud to be part of a family tradition. Several years ago, one of my great-aunts did the research and discovered there had been a minster in every generation of my family since the 1790s. I don’t tell you that to boast; we also have our share of horse thieves and outlaws as well. However, there is one minister in that lineage of whom I am particularly proud.

His name is Rickey McKay and he is my dad. This year he is celebrating 50 years in the ministry. Since beginning his ministry in 1969, all his ministry has been pastoring churches in Mississippi. I believe these churches are worth naming: Bethlehem in Ackerman, Mt. Moriah in Weir, Blackwater in Daleville, Mt. Zion in Walnut Grove, Standing Pine in Walnut Grove, Valley Hill in Greenwood, Good Hope in Batesville, Second Baptist in Kosciusko, Bethel in Woodland, and Calvary in Louisville. He served them all faithfully and with integrity. I was along for the ride through some of these as I grew up. I cannot tell you word for word any sermon I heard him preach, maybe because I was too busy watching him live his faith. Through his demonstration of loving people, sharing his faith, showing concern, and (what I personally benefitted from the most) treating all people the same, his ministry is a continual legacy and light in my life.

When a stroke slowed him down a few years ago, his greatest disappointment was leaving the pastorate and having to take an early retirement. The stroke did not take was his love for the Lord, Bible study, and desire to encourage all who will listen. For that, I am thankful. The thing about a legacy is that it mostly goes unnoticed. Call me selfish, but I would like to change that. I know many of you reading this know my dad. Why not drop him a line in the mail and thank him for his legacy? His address is: Rickey McKay 50 Eastside Circle Ackerman, MS 39735. Thank you, Dad, for the legacy. I love you and I am proud to be your son.

McKay is the pastor of Pleasant Grove Church, Brookhaven.