This morning I walked down a path on Papa’s land to the creek. It had been a long time since I’d walked down that path; but it is well-worn, and I knew exactly where I was going, and how to get there.
I got to the creek and sat on a rock that used to look a whole lot bigger. And while I cried because I’m going to miss Papa, a whole lot, for a little while, I thanked my Maker, the LORD God Almighty, with deep gladness, for I, along with everyone else in this family, and this community, am a blessed man, far beyond what I could ever deserve from a righteous God.
Proverbs 20:7 reads, “The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!”
James Shelor is my granddaddy. And he walked this earth with such strong integrity that there was more than enough blessing for not just his children, but for us, his grandchildren.
His example and instruction is his legacy. It is before each of us, a clear, well-worn path on which to walk.
Papa feared and revered God, and he trusted and obeyed his Word, the Bible. Such is the demand on all God’s creatures, and Papa, with integrity, gave his life to it. We are blessed in that he left us no ambiguity in the way to go.
His legacy is his charge to us to walk the Romans road.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”
“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“To God be glory forever. Amen. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your rational service. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
His legacy is his charge to us to not be fools, but to look with set gaze upon Christ Jesus.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Look to Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
His legacy is his charge to us to read Luke 2 to our families on Christmas, in honor of Christ Jesus, who came to save sinners.
His legacy is his charge to us to sing a lot of great truths from the Bible to the great God of the Bible—and to do so with high volume.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
His legacy is his charge to us to build our families and our churches on the conviction that God’s Word is without error, is wholly sufficient, and supremely authoritative.
Particularly to the men in this room—James Shelor’s example and instruction to us is clear—do not be cowards, but, “be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”
Cousins, he is Papa to us. The rest of our lives, which is a very brief time, we sadly must walk this earth without him. And we’ll keep on hugging and crying about that together.
But if you have eyes to see, you’ll see that the path ahead has been clearly worn. He walked it with great love for us.
Cousins, let us follow that path. Fear God. Trust and obey his Word. Jesus is a great Savior, and a great King. And the way of his Word, the Bible, is the way to glory.