Lesson Fifteen | Devotion #1: Agrippa
Ryan Story | Student Pastor

(A letter to my son Zeke)

You are the start to the greatest blessing God has ever given me, our family. Your mom and I were just talking about me having to learn to be a family man the hard way. At one point I was open to the idea of being single for the rest of my life, and then God saw fit to let your mother fall in love with me. A few years later God saw fit to bless me with your brother, and then on February 16, 2017, God saw fit to bless me with you. Sadly, my family never gave me a blueprint on how to be a godly husband or a godly father. Sadly, you very well might be the first, second-generation Jesus follower that our family tree has. Do not take this as an opportunity to judge your family, but realize you and your brother are something special, and I will do everything in my power to show you how to live for Jesus.

In the Gospels, there was a man by the name of Herod the Great. Herod was the Roman client king of Judea. Herod’s power over all of Judea was artificial because the Roman government had given it to him.  When Herod heard stories about the coming of Jesus the true King of kings, Herod feared he would lose his authority and attempted to kill Jesus. Son, when you read the Bible, make sure you take the whole thing in context and connect the dots. Genealogy is important, do not skip it. If we fast forward to this Herod’s grandson, we see a man by the name of Agrippa. He is showcased in Acts 25 and 26. We see Paul pleading for his life in front of many men who want him dead. A man named Festus put Paul’s case in front of Agrippa. After hearing all the allegations before him, Paul was fearless and was able to defend his faith to the point of evangelizing to an entire room of enemies. In the end, Agrippa found Paul innocent and even scolded Festus for imprisoning him.  It is hard to imagine, but I have always been curious if there was a change in Herod’s family. Herod was so much against Jesus that he was willing to kill babies to keep his power. Fast-forward two generations, Agrippa has one of the world’s most renowned church planter before him, and he lets him go. I could not tell you if there was a change in this man or not, but what I do know is that we are not chained to the mistakes of our forefathers.

Son, I have no idea what this world holds for you. I do not have the slightest clue what decisions you will have to make to stay true to God’s Word. Watching the news scares me. Spending time on Twitter or Facebook, causes me to lose sleep thinking about the strength it is going to take for you to stay true to God. The one thing I do know, you get to choose your path with God. Not me, not the world, not our past, nothing on this Earth dictates your desire to live for Jesus. Son, I ask one simple thing, help me start a new branch for our family.  Jesus has started an amazing work in you and your brother. You are going to be something that our family tree has never seen. Help me start a limb that lives for Jesus with passion and zeal. Help me grow a branch that does not succumb to alcohol or addiction. Help me break the cycle and start a new heritage with Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  If Jesus is capable of making a person new, He is capable of making a family new, but only if you push after Him. It only happens if you see how great your life will be living for Christ. Son, never let yesterday affect your tomorrow; that is one lesson I learned very late in life. So, what great blessings await you, your sons, or your son’s sons?

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