Presentation on theme: "Legacy is defined as something one leaves behind. It can be possessions, property reputation, influences or a combination. We are all leaving a legacy."— Presentation transcript:
Legacy is defined as something one leaves behind. It can be possessions, property reputation, influences or a combination. We are all leaving a legacy to our children. Some are fortunate enough to leave behind earthly wealth along with godly influence, but when compared- the godly influence is more lasting than any amount of worldly possessions.
“children are a heritage of Jehovah and the fruit of the womb His reward.” 6 million people a year have their lives altered forever with the birth of a child.
Judg 13:8 Then Manoah intreated the Lord, and said… teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born. Judg 13:12 And Manoah said…How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?
God has particularly given the charge of these blessing to parents (Eph. 6:4- fathers provoke not your children to wrath but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Parents are charged with the awesome responsibility of giving their children the proper godly tools found in God’s Word ( His legacy to all mankind).
In Luke 2: 52 we see that Jesus grew in wisdom (knowledge), stature (physically) and in favor with God (spiritual) and man(social). Jesus was well-rounded. His parents were charged with teaching and guiding Him in these areas. We as parents are to properly mold our children likewise.
What kind of legacy are we leaving for our children to build on? Be assured you are leaving a legacy of some kind. Some have been left a legacy of divorce, abuse and sin. These have either chosen to rise above their raising and seek for a better way (in Christ) or they have succumbed to the powerful discouragements of an ungodly raising and have become embittered and hard. In each case they chose their direction.
Others receive a legacy of faith, love, strength, character and integrity. In response to such a scriptural raising some have rejected godly training and followed the deceptive call of the world while others have responded with thankfulness and are growing, vital, happy spiritual people. Again in each case the choice of how to respond to their raising was their own.
The Bible reveals to us both types of child- raising. We see such examples as Abraham- Isaac- Jacob and Joseph- All godly men for the most part. In their stories however, God revealed their strengths & weaknesses. Abraham was a godly man who waited a long time for his son Isaac, and he loved him dearly. But Isaac was raised in a home where there was sometimes favoritism (he and Ishmael) and it showed up in the way he raised his twin boys (Jacob and Esau).
Later we see Jacob continued a legacy of favoritism that showed in his treatment of his 12 sons. He clearly favored Joseph and Benjamin. The choice of what to do in their homes was their own-but the example they had was not good. Favoritism passed down, brought division and pain.
Samson, Eli and Samuel the last three judges in Israel all show what happens when there is not proper godliness as it regards enforcement of righteousness in a home. Samson’s parents did the right thing in devoting their child to the Lord in accordance with what God had told them about him, but they did not follow through when necessary in demanding obedience.
This resulted in Samson becoming a selfish young man who used the blessings God gave Him to build a personal reputation. He commanded his parents to “go get him a wife from the foreigners” his parents responded by asking him why he did not seek one from among his own people (godly advice), but they folded and complied to his demands- like many parents do today when they allow their children to rule the house.
Eli refused to restrain his sons. While he guided them in right paths in so many ways, their true character of covetousness and wickedness showed itself and God held him responsible because he “refused to restrain them.” In this case the actions of his children (though they were accountable for them) are tied in large part to the failure of Eli to restrain them. His lack of godliness in this area did not give them a godly example of accountability for actions. Samuel had two wicked sons, but he was a good man. He is not assigned any blame by God for their wickedness.
In Ps. 78:1-8 The author stresses the generational nature of the right ways of God. He speaks of the necessity of passing down a heritage of history and he proceeds to give a history lesson in the rest of the psalm – “give ear, o my people to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will utter sayings from of old, things we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from our children but tell to the coming generations the glorious deeds of the Lord and His might and the wonders he has done....
He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
What the psalmist enjoins is the necessity of future generations knowing their history (the back story) of who, what, when, where and why of their legacy.
Let me illustrate legacy this way: A son inherits a watch from his father that belonged to his father’s father (4 generations). The watch is just a possession and has little meaning unless each generation is told the story of the watch, values it and passes it to each generation. That way the watch never leaves the family, due to generational stressing of the history of the watch. …
Each generation stresses the original story of the watch to the ensuing generation and the watch maintains it’s status in the family legacy. Without the back story ensuing generations will simply see a watch (made of gold and old) and value it only as a relic. It may even be sold and cease to be a part of family legacy.
It is essential for proper balance in our children for them to be told constantly of their spiritual heritage. Israel did a pretty good job of stressing their heritage to their children as Deut. 6:1-9,20,21 teaches. What led to the downfall of Israel was the failure of Israel to properly stress God’s command to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”
In spite of the efforts of many to teach these things, for the most part, Israel got tired of the stories and did not value their heritage properly. God sent prophets to remind them, he was longsuffering and patient, but he held them accountable. He was there to forgive when they repented, but they departed over and over from the legacy of godliness God provided for them.
In Josh. 24:15, 21,24- we all know that Joshua spoke for him and his house being devoted to serving the Lord. This should be the declared aim of each and every parent. Children should know from a young age that God’s ways are what we are devoted to in this house. They should see it in our lives and should be expected to live up to God’s standard in their own lives.
In accordance with Matt. 6:33 each child should be directed to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” They should know also that when they do this that everything else in life will always work for the best “to them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”
Wisdom should be a part of the heritage of each child. Respect for age and wisdom should be stressed. Listen to Proverbs 1:8,9- “hear my son, your father’s instruction and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. Note that the son is to Hear and Heed- The parents are to Instruct.
More principles of wisdom are stated in Pr. 3:5-8- “trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”
Wisdom also implores the young man to appreciate the value of righteous discipline in Pr. 3:11-12- “my son do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of His reproof, for the Lord reproves him who he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” Children are to be left a legacy godly discipline. Law without a penalty is just a joke (this is true in the home, church and nation).
Even if you were not guided in these ways, you can start today to make your home a place where righteousness reigns and you can guide your children in the ways of God. We have all been given this godly pattern for a legacy to follow in God’s precious Word.
The value of a good, earthly name is stressed in Pr. 22:1 and Eccl. 7:1- however it is a mistake to train children to only be concerned about the family name. Our spiritual family name (Christian) should be our deepest concern. None of us should want to bring reproach in any way on the precious name of Jesus.
Why are we stressing the value of a godly legacy? The present- day picture of the legacy many are leaving for their children is not good as a nation:
For the first time in the history of the U.S. we will leave the next generation worse off than ever. Recent signs indicate that we will leave the next generation- MORALLY PERVERTED and SPIRITUALLY WEAK AND ECONICALLY BROKE. Indeed the next generation may be the first to have the freedoms that we have enjoyed for many years taken away, and our status as a people free people will be lost.
The Psalmist observed in Psalm 11:3- “if the foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do?” The answer is that the righteous must remain righteous and rally others to righteousness. As a nation it is our task to warn and plead (as Jeremiah and others did ) and it is the job of the hearer to respond or face the consequences.
As a nation too many have grown silent. They do not speak up and teach the lessons to their children of our history and the price paid for their freedoms. We have a nation of young people today who have no idea of the price paid for what they enjoy. We face a generation that does not like to hear the “boring” stories of our heritage. Our schools are teaching everything but honor, integrity, and an absolute right and wrong way.
The wise man decribes this in Pr. 30:11-13- “there are those who curse their father and do not bless their mothers. There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth…” he goes on to observe their arrogance.
In Jer. 5:29-31- God asks the question about Judah, “shall I not be avenged for such a nation as this? A horrible thing is committed in the land. The prophet’s prophesy falsely, the priest bear rule by any means, and my people love to have it so.” Any nation that insists on walking away from God will fall- when we do not know- but it will fall when there is not enough righteousness to preserve it (Pr. 14:34).
How did we get to this point? Remember that Moses’ generation of Israelites never imagined their descendants would pass their children through the fire in worship to a heathen god even though Moses told them it would happen. Gradual compromise led to this travesty. Compromise is how we get to where we never thought we would be. How does a generation arise that knows not God? By failing to pick up the mantle of a godly heritage. Gradually.
Remember that throughout the years when sin has run rampant in a nation God’s Word still stands as the way out of trials. God continues to speak through His word and warn. He has ordained however, that His people be the ones who carry this message to a lost and dying world. Nations choose either demise or rise. When the voices of the righteous go silent, or when the message of righteousness is not heeded, any nation will fall.
It is our job to speak up and stand for what is right- How many of us do that and how many of us just complain about how bad things are? Remember the enemy is never defeated when righteous soldiers cower in the caves and wring their hands in frustration with no intention of actually taking a stand.
Is it possible to raise godly families in the midst of a decaying society? Certainly it is- New testament Christians did it daily. Our homes can be strong and full of faith. We can leave a righteous legacy for them to follow. We must be diligent for as the home goes- so goes the church and a nation. We have much to do, but we need a spiritual revival in our homes, the church and our nation today- we dare not put it off.
First and foremost let us understand that a godly legacy cannot be achieved with compromise with sin. Compromise always makes things worse and is one of Satan’s greatest weapons.
So how do we leave a godly legacy for our children?
1.Start by being committed to the right paths yourself do not just teach in words but also by personal action and application.
2. We must establish a legacy of deep abiding love and respect for God’s Word. It is the source of our strength (2 Tim. 3:16,17, Rom. 1:16). Romans 10:17- “for therein is revealed God’s will from faith unto faith” Ps. 119:97- “o how love I thy law it is my meditation day and night.” Do you love the Word of God? Then teach it to your children- -daily family bible study. What kind of Bible knowledge do you and your children presently have?
If graded on bible knowledge what grade would they get? What grade would you get? Do you have a home curriculum to teach your kids the Bible? Do you insist that the Bible be taught where you worship (Waldron material- memory work, etc)? Do your children know that David did not fight a giant pickle but a man named Goliath, the enemy of the Most High God?
2. While it is not the job of the church to train you children in the ways of God (primarily), they should be teaching God’s word in the bible classes with some sort of cohesiveness and standard. EXAMPLE- children respond to challenges- memorize books of bible, ten commands, ten plagues, first psalm, other vital passages. Each church should have a goal for what a student is know before they leave a class. Maybe even remedial classes for those who have not achieved those goals.
3.ESTABLISH A LEGACY OF GODLY PRIORITIES, VALUES, MORALITY AND SERVANT SPIRIT. These virtues do not just happen. Gal. 5:22-6:10 tells us how to live pleasing to God and Gal. 5:19-21 teaches us what to avoid. How are these things established in our homes- the church- our nation? Time and Work. A godly legacy has to be are learned and learning takes teaching. Where will we get the time to do this?
1.Turn off the TV, the hand-held devices and video games 2.Go to gospel meetings- singing hymns as you travel 3.Talk with them daily about the bible 4.Ask questions and LISTEN to what they say 5.Never forget what being a young person is like 6.Be their parent- Commit passages like Eccl. 12:13,,14- fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole of man, God will bring every work into judgment whether good or evil. Matt. 6:33- seek first the kingdom
4. We must also not neglect discipline in our homes- Mark Mayberry will most likely say more on this in his lecture, but here is my short contribution- MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT LET THE KIDS RULE THE HOUSE. They are a part of the household but everything should not revolve around them. Be careful how driven you become by sports and other activities with them- they can rob you and your children of more valuable things.
Teach them that life does not consist of the abundance of things- all their toys will grow old and be discarded but their soul is the most precious thing they possess. Losing it is the biggest loss of all.
Love them enough to discipline them according to God’s word. No one enjoys discipline but it works for lasting good later. Apply the board of education on the seat of rebellion as taught in Proverbs 29:15,17; 19:18 and 23:13-14.
5.Establish a legacy of a godly example- 1 Cor. 11:1- be ye followers of me as I am also of Christ. Our children need to see us do the right things. The high standards of a godly legacy apply to all.
Those my age were raised by a generation that loved God, the Truth, the church and their country. This was a generation that knew sacrifice and battles. God’s word was revered by the majority. It was read every morning at schools accompanied with prayer in the morning and at lunch before we ate. We enjoyed a time when kids could be kids and feel safe.
Mom’s were homemakers and dads worked hard and both were respected. We were taught hard work and were not handed everything (paper routes, collect pop bottles). Many of us were raised poor but did not realize it until we got older because our parents were not whiners about the sacrifices they made. Kids were raised to be servants, to have manners and to love their family and the Lord.
Sadly the Greatest generation spawned And they are raising the ENTITLED generation. who gave us the ME generation the Baby boomer generation-
We can see these generational attitudes in our nation, in our Homes and the church.
In our nation- We now have same-sex marriages (with the applause of our president); abortion on demand- “gay rights” and rampant immorality and decadence at every turn.
In Homes- permissive homes run by undisciplined kids and cowering, permissive parents who fret and wonder what happened. No masculine leadership and all of this is carried over into the church.
In Churches- Elders more concerned with numbers than the truth. Little if any discipline of the wayward. A generation of preacherettes- preaching sermonettes- resulting in Christianettes. Strong preaching is considered by many to be unkind and chases folks off. We are having shorter gospel meetings, shorter sermons, assembly line worship and what do we have to show for it? Are we stronger? Are we keeping our young people with that approach?
Sermons on godly living, the sins of immodesty, social drinking, gambling are frowned on by many. Anything that hurts someone’s feelings is taboo. Let’s make sure everyone goes to hell with a smile on their face seems to be the philosophy of many. There are many preachers who are more concerned with keeping their job than they are with preaching the Truth- My dad advises all gospel preachers- keep a bag packed.
6. Establish a legacy of how to overcome when righteousness is attacked. Not kinder, gentler approach remember we have a “sword” of the spirit- use it skillfully. There is absolute right and wrong. Take your kids to debates- let them see you talk with the Mormons, JW’s etc.
In the church, do not let yourself go along to get along. Take a strong stand for truth- you will be considered by many to be mean-spirited by those who spout empty noise from the pulpit. Do not mistake good PPT presentations alone as sound lessons- listen to what is said and do not be more concerned about the technical aspects of the lesson than you are the content. Do not let “cute speeches” replace Bible truth.
Teach your kids of church history. Generations fed on the “old paths where is the right way” changed the world for Christ in the first century and in the early part of the 20th. They debated, they did not apologize for the truth. We must arise from our apathy as brethren and make necessary changes to win the world for Christ. We cannot as individuals sit back and wait for others to fill the gap. Digression and failure will follow if we do.
Men in the church must not be ruled by a vocal ungodly bunch like Tobiah in Nehemiah’s day. These types rule by intimidation and due to the silence and cowardice of otherwise godly people they take over offering “peace at any price.” We do not want a future legacy for our children of a secularized, weak church. It lies on this generation to stem the tide and show the next one what it means to defend the truth in love.
7.Establish a Home where the memories are pleasant and a good name means something. I am the blessed to be the product of such a home. I love to hear the stories of my heritage from my family. These stories passed down have impressed me.
Had family tree traced hoping to find some famous, wealthy patriot in the line somewhere. Instead I found a heritage of mostly, poor, rural folks who lived honorable, spiritual lives. That spiritual legacy spans many generations. Wealth is not a part of my legacy but faith is.
My ancestors stood firm when errors arose, when dangers threatened our nation and when sin entered the family. There was no compromise with sin. They paid a high price for such a stand in the loss of friendships and family association. At my house my dad told us that the only thing that would separate us as a family was if any of us decided to walk away from God. We have passed on and practice that same thing with our kids.
We learned that right is always right and you do not look to see how many stand with you before you stand up for the Lord. We were taught that when you are wrong- integrity demands you admit it and correct it. From my mom and dad I learned the beauty of true love. Mom never raised her voice as she dealt with us and others, but she stood strong and firm.
I also come from a legacy of preachers. All of us were told not to preach if we could help it. We had to have a burning in our heart that would not allow us to be quiet with God’s word. If that fire ever went out we were taught we should get out of the pulpit. These are some of the aspects of my legacy- you have yours- we all realize that those who raised us had flaws, but they were striving to be what God wanted them to be.
I want to speak to those who have raised their children with such a legacy as mine for a moment. We have already stressed in this lecture the necessity of providing a godly heritage for kids- but what if in spite of all we do our children reject such blessings?
The story of the prodigal sons needs to be heeded by all. It is the story of two sons- raised by a godly man- who were obviously directed in the right ways- who enjoyed wealth security and blessings- but in spite of this legacy- one chose to depart and take on a carnal life and the other one showed himself to be a self- righteous hypocrite. One came to himself, repented and returned- we do not know if the other ever did.
Note that the father is never blamed in any way for the direction those kids went. He did not chase them down to make them do right and he was hurt when they disobeyed. -BUT IT WAS NOT HIS FAULT!- This father represents our Heavenly Father who did not fail to give the proper guidance to anyone. Children make poor choices- (sometimes they have time to come to themselves and repent- sometimes they never do).
Ezek. 3:18-21; 22:3-9 clearly teaches individual accountability for sins. It is the job of parents to warn, guide and enforce God’s Word in our homes with words and actions. Then it is left to each child to appreciate and implement Truth in their lives.
Too many godly parents are beating themselves up needlessly over their children who have left the Lord in spite of the godly upbringing they were provided. This needs to stop. If we have given the proper warnings and led them in the right paths- WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR SINFUL CHOICES! THEY ARE! God had rebellious children with Israel and Judah and He trained them better- yet they were drawn away by their own lusts and enticed and went into sin by giving into the lust of the flesh, eyes and pride of life.
How long are we accountable for our children’s actions? Remember that the prodigal’s father was a constant source of strength and was there looking for His son in hope as he came down the road. When that son “came to himself” in a pigpen he only then truly valued the blessing of a godly home- until then he had taken it for granted and thought the grass was greener in the world. His father never stopped watching and hoping for his wayward son to return- all of us who have been in this position know how the father must have felt.
Ezek. 18:4-20 teaches it is possible for a righteous man to raise a rebellious child- We must be careful not to bind where God does not bind in this matter.
Let us not cheat the church out of qualified leaders due to the disobedience of children after they leave the home. Pr 22:6 does not teach the impossibility of apostasy. How the parents deal with the rebellion of a rebellious child is what matters.
With every good planted the devil is busy trying to pluck it up. Satan will never stop working to rend our families apart. He is a monster that wants to devour our families. Do not invite him into your home. Resist him at every turn and he will flee. When our children depart from the Lord, sometimes we must patiently and prayerfully wait for them to reach their low-point where they will come to themselves and return to the Lord in penitent sorrow-and be ready and willing to take them back with joy and open arms.
Finally- We must be more active in pursuing righteousness than the devil is at sowing pain. It will take time, a burning hatred for every false way and convicted assurance that our children nor us can take the fires of sin into our bosom and not be burned.
Make your children see heaven as their home- and there travel here as a journey. Stress to them clearly the dangers and horrors of hell and let them know that they must take every avenue to shun that path. Stress to your children to hope they have in Christ and the hopelessness they will experience outside of Him.
Conclusion- The day will come when our children will view our physical body for the last time, then possibly more than ever will the importance of a godly legacy have full meaning to them.
God has provided for the faithful the legacy of “an inheritance incorruptible, that fades not away, reserved in heaven…” (1 Pet. 1:4). Let us leave our children a legacy that leads them to that same hope.
Let’s engage the enemy in our homes, the church and our nation by reviving in ourselves zeal and determination to put Satan to flight in the battle that rages on every hand. May we all- Watch, stand fast, behave as men, be strong…” (1 Cor. 16:13) and commit our lives to standing for righteousness and leaving our children with a legacy, centered in God’s Word, that will help lead them to eternal life.