Generations to Come
by Randy Chambers, 2004-10-01
As I sat playing video games with my son, I thought about how I used to play board games with my parents as a child. I played chess with my father and brother, and the whole family often played other types of board games on weekends.
All these years later, it was interesting to me to note the difference. We still play games together, but how those games have changed within the generations!
While many things seem to be on the path of rapid change, it is also amazing to see how many things do not change through the generations as much as we might think. Within families, a lot of things are handed down from one generation to the next – for example, genetics, belief systems, attitudes, etc. We can often look at the lives of the children and see a perpetuation of the persons of the parents. I see within my own children a great deal of myself – some things I would rather not see. While they are different people, having differing tastes, desires and characteristics, it is amazing how much they are like their mother and me.
Since Jesus walked this earth, we have had about 100 generations. The Gospel has managed to be handed down quite well through the years, and why not? After all, God Himself put it into motion and it is His Spirit who keeps it living – it will not die.
Consider the family tree that has had many men, women and children who loved the Lord. We might think of that family as a strong family which will probably continue the same way for many generations to come.
But consider also a family who perhaps has had some people who were dedicated to God, and some members who became more interested in worldly pursuit than in following Jesus. We could see how such people could easily become a weak link in the family chain and then what would become of the following generations?
If we look to our society today for a possible answer, we are sure to find a great variation between the spiritually strong and the spiritually weak.
The spiritually strong (not to be confused with strongly, religiously opinionated) are they who walk with God, and who seek His will in their lives and the lives of their children. The spiritually weak are they who seek after self gain, and do not desire to serve or follow God at all.
But what about those who seem to be somewhere in the middle? Jesus said, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:15-16 NIV).
The fact is that there can be no middle ground – we either have a heart for God, or we don’t.
Ouch! That does not set well, but it sure seems to be upheld by God’s Word on more than one occasion.
Why does that step on our toes so much? I guess it is because our flesh wants to have our cake and eat it too. We want to delve into the pleasures of this life without any lasting ramifications. Yet the plain truth remains that every time we weaken to our desires and give in, we are setting an example for our children, and our children’s children. If we do not hold strong to the path of righteousness, then we are setting up our own descendants for a fall, and perhaps an eventual breaking of the link that might otherwise lead our children to come into eternal life.
In our country today, it is a popular view that you should be able to do whatever you want, as long as it is not harming anyone else – as defined by an individualistic society. We want to absolve ourselves of responsibility over the things that we consider are "not really hurting anyone..." But how we live our lives as parents, and the examples we set, will have lasting impact on many generations to come.
So it is our choice. We can live our lives as though it is for now, for us, for what we can get out of it. Or we can live our lives with the knowledge that we may be the very person who strengthens the faith of many generations to come.