Monday, November 24, 2008

Blessing Your Grandchildren

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
(Psalm 103:17-18)
Your relationship with God can be a wonderful blessing to your grandchildren. When you know the Lord and honor Him, you are leaving a legacy that will greatly benefit them if they are willing to receive it.

God knows no generational barrier. He is eternal and His mercy is everlasting. The Hebrew word for “mercy” is hesed, which can also be translated as “steadfast love” and “faithful love.” It speaks of covenant, the commitment the Lord has made to His people to love them forever. It is for you, your children, your grandchildren.

God has always worked through families. When Adam and Eve disconnected from the life of God in the Garden of Eden, He promised them a Seed who would trample the serpent on their behalf and restore them (Genesis 3:15). When the earth was destroyed by the Flood, God made covenant with Noah and all his descendants (Genesis 9:9). God called Abraham out of the house of idolatry and promised him an heir from whom a mighty nation would arise to bless all the families of the earth (Genesis 12:1-3). This covenant was confirmed to Isaac, then to Jacob. Jacob prophesied it over his children, especially to Judah. David arose from the line of Judah and received promise from God that his descendant would rule and reign on his throne forever. Generations later, it was fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God whose mother was of the house of David.

In the reign of King Jesus, God continues to work through families. When Paul and Silas were jailed at Philippi for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ but were miraculously released by an earthquake, their jailer fell to his knees begging, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:30-31). The jailer’s decision to receive the Lord Jesus brought divine salvation within reach of his household. They all believed and received this great legacy. The Bible records, “And immediately he and all his family were baptized … and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household” (Acts 16:33-34).

Proverbs says that “a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22). There it is speaking of a physical inheritance, but it is true in the natural because it is first true in the spiritual. Whether we realize it or not, we all leave an inheritance, whether good or bad, to our children and grandchildren. When we walk in the awe of the Lord, to love, trust and serve Him alone, we leave a legacy of divine blessing for them. The word of promise, the message of the gospel, comes very close to them and if they are willing to believe it, they will live in the reality of it.

In the branches of my family tree, I have discovered generations of godly men and women who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and were saved. Generations later, here am I, of their house and walking in relationship with the same Jesus in whom they entrusted their lives. From their faith, through the convergence of many family lines, I can trace a path that led me to faith in Jesus at a very early age.

Many people do not have that kind of heritage but the good news of the gospel is that, in Jesus Christ, they can leave that kind of legacy. There was a time when my family lines did not know anything of the grace of God in Christ. But then there were some who heard the message and dared to trust Him — and I have reaped the benefit of their faith. In the same way, you might be the first in your line who has received the Lord Jesus, but it can be a blessing to a thousand generations.
Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
Your relationship with God will be a legacy for your children, your grandchildren and generations to come.