My mother turned 90 last fall, so we had an open house for her after church. Over 200 friends and family members joined us in celebrating her birthday. Our family is blessed that she is still going strong at her age. She is physically and mentally healthy, she lives in her own home, and still drives to the grocery store. She plays the piano in the “old folks” home (as she describes it), providing lunchtime music for people who are younger than she is.
Our family is blessed to have a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who can still be an active part of our lives. Our blessings, however, go far beyond her mental and physical health. As I looked around the fellowship hall on the day of her open house, I saw four generations of blessed people. On both my mother’s side and my father’s side, our Christian heritage goes back farther than I can trace. My siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, and their children are blessed because our forefathers and mothers lived in obedience to God’s word. We have been blessed with spiritual wisdom and knowledge—taught to us from the day we were born. We have been spared many of life’s tragedies and sorrows because of the obedience of those who walked before us. Though our extended families are far from perfect, most of them are walking with the Lord and passing on the faith to the next generation. In Exodus 20:6 God tells us, “I lavish my love on those who love me and keep my commandments, even for a thousand generations.” (NLT)
The older I get, the more I realize the truth of that promise. I also realize that many people are not so blessed as they witness and experience generational sins being passed on from one generation to the next. But here’s the great news: no one is without hope! In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the Apostle Paul tells us, “Those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” (NLT)
If you are not living under a generational blessing of godly ancestors, you can be a catalyst for change. Those who become Christians are new creatures in Christ. They no longer live under the generational sins of their ancestors. New believers can be the first of many blessed generations, so that those who follow can know the joy of living a life of faith. If you are living with a firm faith and foundation in Jesus Christ, then your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will be blessed as you pass down your faith. God’s love will be lavished upon them.
If I live to be 90, I hope that I will be strong and healthy like my mother. But more importantly, I hope and pray that those who come after me, will be followers of Jesus Christ. “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children live in the truth.” 3 John 1:4 (NLT)