“What a nice group of people.” The comment was made several times, and I had to agree. Of course, they were all my relatives! Two aunts, three cousins and spouses, my dear mother (in whose honor the hot dog roast was organized), my sister and her husband, two of our children and their families, and my dear husband. So, what makes us so nice? 🙂
My husband wasn’t a pastor for very long before I realized that my extended family was not “normal.” My childhood was filled with memories of family get-togethers which included my no-nonsense grandmother and her children: five girls and one boy. My mother was the youngest of the tribe. We were always a close-knit family, but there were a few missing elements to these gatherings. There was never any raucous music, alcohol, or pornography. We were God-fearing people. All of my cousins grew up in the church. Most were married in the church. We learned our lessons and were fairly faithful.
Sad to say, that isn’t the case anymore; however, something stuck. The principles which my grandparents taught to their children were passed on to the next generation—it was just what you did, and there is still the aura of Biblical truth whether we all attend church or not. However…
What about the following generations? How many of them attend church or even believe in God? And what about my generation? How many of us still hold to the truths we were taught as children? I’m afraid that in some homes, something is missing?
Even though I’m so thankful for the heritage I have been given, I am even more thankful for the mercy of God upon my life! Romans 9:15 says, For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. God had mercy on me! He tugged at my heart as a child, and when I was hell-bent on ruining my life as a teen, He reached down and saved my soul! And to top it all off, He led me to a young man whose life was also changed by the same true spirit of God.
Where are you in your walk with God? Is He tugging at your heart or, perhaps like Paul, sending “pricks” which you are having a hard time kicking against? Maybe it’s that uncle who keeps mentioning God, a lot of times without ever saying a word! Or perhaps its that neighbor who keeps inviting you to church, or the blogger who keeps bringing up the subject of salvation; and every time you read or hear or watch, God touches your heart. Why don’t you give it up and surrender to Him?
Maybe you are in the “ruining your life” stage. That’s an awful place to be! It starts out fun, but as the consequences of sin begin to pile up, the burden can be unbearable. God meant it to be that way. He wants you to give up and look up to Him! Just take the plunge and drop dead! Paul writes in Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Or perhaps you’ve made it: You have surrendered your life to Jesus, asked Him to forgive your sins, and you are trusting Him to take you to heaven when you die. Do you know what that means? You are His child and you are on the top of the spirit-chain. You have the awesome privilege to live your life for Him! You have the opportunity to be the spiritual spouse, parent, or grandparent. You get the opportunity to live for Christ and pass the baton on to the generations which will follow you!
I know I quote it often, but one of my favorite verses is 3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. I have that privilege and opportunity to pass the baton! Oh, the joy of gathering with my children and grandchildren and seeing the love of the Lord in their lives—to watch as my sons train up their children in the Lord, and my daughters lead my grandchildren to know the Lord! We all get along and love being together; in fact, next year, we hope to take a week and vacation together. Our time will be sweet, and it will be centered around the Lord, not this world! Praise God for what He can do, if we will just yield to His way! Try it—the benefits are out of this world!
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the LORD,
and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither,
but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud,
that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
it shall not return unto me void,
but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.