This Sunday, September 11th, 2016, Pastor Bob Cook, associate pastor at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX, unpacked an amazing message on The Power of a Legacy.

The Power of Legacy:

 “Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts.” (Ps. 145:4, The Message)

National Grandparents Day is a day that falls on the first Sunday after Labor Day of each year. It’s not a holiday invented to sell cards and flowers. It was initiated at the grassroots level by West Virginian Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, with the behind-the-scenes support of her husband, Joseph L. McQuade.

They had fifteen children, forty-three grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. After being married for over sixty years, Mr. McQuade passed away in 2001 followed by Mrs. McQuade  in 2008.

There are three purposes for National Grandparents Day:

  1. To honor grandparents.
  2. To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children.
  3. To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

Mrs. McQuade did not envision the holiday as particularly belonging to grandparents. Instead, she saw it as a day of celebration involving the whole family, a day to connect the generations.

The first Grandparents Day was in West Virginia in 1973. It was in 1979 that President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day each year as National Grandparents Day.

In part, the proclamation reads:

Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near-past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own, or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our mobile society, our senior generation also provides our society a link to our national heritage and traditions. We all know grandparents whose values transcend passing fads and pressures, and who possess the wisdom of distilled pain and joy. Because they are usually free to love and guide and befriend the young without having to take daily responsibility for them, they can often reach out past pride and fear of failure and close the space between generations.

Here is a comment made by one member of the Canadian parliament speaking on behalf of the motion:

I do not hold grandparents to be glorified babysitters but rather as parents surrogates who bring love, a continuance of generational values, and a sense of the child’s worth to the integrity of the family… I was brought up by a grandparent. My parents both worked outside the home for most of my life. They needed to for economic reasons. It was my grandmother who nurtured me, gave me a sense of worth and molded in many ways the course my life was to take. My grandmother was my role model, my mentor, and my confidant.

One of the most intriguing things about Grandparents Day is that it portrays a Biblical principle, and it’s always good when our thoughts and plans line up with God’s plan!

God is a generational God. He often declared Himself to Israel as The God of Abraham, Issac, Jacob. This was not a ritualistic religious formula, but rather a powerful declaration of His faithfulness and intention to continually bless our offspring and us eternally.

As grandparents and parents, we have a biblical responsibility to teach our children God’s Word and the principles of how to properly apply it to their lives. Why is this important? Because He will visit the iniquity of the fathers to the 3rd and 4th generation, but keeps His covenant blessings on those who obey to a thousand generations.

God wants us to have generational blessing and continuity, not generation gaps or conflicts. Each generation usually has a major life event or factors that will impact their world view and value formation.

What is important to one generation may not be the most important thing to another. There are different perspectives that often lead to conflicts and negative views of the following generation.

Here are some examples:

“Boys and girls talk back in school nowadays without even knowing it. There is no respect, dignity, discipline, responsibilities or manners. They have too much money, and confused children are being turned out into a confused world.”

Here’s another:

“The children now love luxury, they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, and they no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, misbehave before company and tyrannize their teachers.” – Plato speaking of the younger generation in 423 B.C.

Different is not always bad. We need to change our perspective. We need a God perspective to tell us how to live the way 2 Corinthians 10 tells us:

“The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way – never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.” (2 Cor. 10: 5-6, MSG).

How do I turn that into a legacy? Psalm 78 addresses this question. The writer speaks of God’s instructions handed down to them by their ancestors and what they must now do.

“We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statures for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their ancestors – a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.” (Psalm 78:4-8)

Verses four and five tell us the what, and verses six through eight tell us the why. 

There are three reasons why:

  1. So the next generation will know and in turn teach their children
  2. They will trust God, not forget and keep His commands
  3.  They will not repeat our mistakes

You’ve been adopted into the family of God . We have a Good Father who is willing to teach us because He loves us tremendously. Change your legacy by accepting His provision for you.

How will you change your legacy?

To learn more on how to change your legacy, watch the full message here:

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Sarah Simington


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