I have watched Leslie Troyer grow into a beautiful vessel of the Lord. Her family first came to our church when she was a preschooler. Now she is our children’s pastor and the middle school teacher at Lighthouse Academy, a Christian school in our church.
Recently, Leslie shared something God had shown her in the Scripture. I was so moved by her testimony I asked her to write it down so I could share it on my blog. I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.
What’s Your Legacy?
In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.”
Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.
Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god. Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. Ezra 1:1-8 (NIV)
While looking at four different kings who ruled during Daniel’s captivity, we discover a great truth waiting to be uncovered. In the book of Daniel the first three kings—Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius—were pagan rulers. During their rule, they all had significant encounters with the prophet Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar spent time as a wild animal living in the fields because he thought too highly of himself. Belshazzar saw the frightening miracle of a disembodied handwriting on the wall when he took temple vessels to impress his party guests. Darius was tricked into writing a law that appealed to his vanity, which almost cost the life of Daniel, his favorite president. In short, all these men were unable to humble themselves and succumbed to the sin of pride.
In Ezra, we see the beginning of a very different rule by another ruler: King Cyrus. He is another pagan king, who ruled during Israel’s captivity and Daniel’s lifetime. However, instead of giving into his pride, Cyrus left a different legacy. He was the king noted for allowing and enabling the rebuilding of the temple. The lesson I learned from these stories—the temple could not be rebuilt where pride abounds.
The Bible teaches that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. God cannot build a temple to glorify Himself in us unless we humble ourselves and repent of our pride. A heart cannot be divided. It will either give glory to God or itself. We have a choice to make. Are we willing to become less and let God become more in our lives? He must increase and we must decrease. Our choices determine our legacy. Choose well.