Generations of Christians
" I am blessed to have been born into a family that knew and loved God, and to parents who, as young people, had given their lives to God in glad surrender. I am the grateful recipient of a spiritual chain of blessing that goes back as far as we can trace it, on both sides of my family. In Exodus 20:6 God spoke to Moses of “showing love to a thousand generations, of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Now that is a chain of blessing!
When I was twelve years old, a guest speaker came to our church. One night he preached on the importance of being born of the Spirit of God. He explained that all people are created by God, but all are not children of God. In order to be God's child, we must choose to be born into God's family. He turned to John 3, and read to us the story of Jesus, explaining this truth to Nicodemus. Then, he said that God does not have any grandchildren! He went on to explain that you are not a member of God's family because your parents and your grandparents placed their faith and trust in Him. Every person must choose for themselves whether or not to receive this wonderful gift.
That night, alone in my bedroom I knelt by my bed and prayed this prayer. Dear God, all of my life I have believed that I was Your child, but tonight I want You to know that with all my heart I accept Your gift of a new life. I want to know that I have been born into Your family. I believe Jesus died for my sins, and He has forgiven them. Now I know that I belong to You. Thank You, in Jesus name, amen.
Three years later, I was at our summer church camp when the speaker talked of the privilege and the importance of giving your life to Christ in glad surrender. He spoke from Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. “THE LIFE I NOW LIVE, I LIVE BY FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD, WHO LOVES ME, AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.” Then, he invited those who wanted to make that commitment to come stand at the altar.
I still remember the battle in my mind. If I went forward, it would mean that for as long as I lived I would seek to know God's will and to follow His ways. I would try to learn what it meant to allow Christ to live in me. Life would not be all about me. It would be all about Him! That night, I walked down to that altar.
The years of my life have flown by. I can honestly say that, in so far as I have known how, I have honored my commitment. God knows the dreams I walked away from because I knew they would not honor Him. As I move through my eighty-third year, I have no regrets. I believe my life bears witness to the fact that God always gives His best to those who leave the choices with Him. Furthermore, I agree with my mother, who wrote these words in her Bible: “The Christian life is the happiest, healthiest, most exciting, most rewarding life possible! “
This is the life that James and I tried to share with our children and grandchildren. Today, by the grace of God, we are blessed to see many of the seeds that were sown coming to fruition, even as new seeds are being sown in the lives of our great grandchildren. Several weeks ago, two-year-old Emma Grace spent the night with Lynn. Lynn said a bedtime prayer with her, and at its conclusion Emma commented, “Good job, Mama. Good praying!”
And so, the blessing is being passed on, and may all who come behind us find us faithful."
- Marjorie Kann Jackson