Spirit of Grace Ministries
Spirit of Grace Ministries
-- Feeding Jesus' sheep
-- Equipping His servants
-- Proclaiming His Gospel

From Generation to Generation

By Dennis Pollock


I reached another milestone the other day. I attended the high school graduation of my oldest grandchild. Her name is Grace, and it is a fitting name. God's grace surely rests upon her life. She is a lovely young lady, inside and out. She is bright and beautiful, but most of all, she loves Jesus. She is the daughter of my oldest child, Joy, and represents another generation of serious and passionate Christ-followers. What a beautiful thing it is when you see the grace of Christ passing from generation to generation! The apostle Paul reminded Timothy of "the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also."


It seems long ago that her mother and I had a Bible study in her bedroom in the little town of Louisiana, Missouri. It was bedtime, and rather than reading her stories about Hansel and Gretel or Rapunzel, or about ducks or puppies or bears, I was in the habit of reading illustrated Bible books simplified for children. That particular night I read to my daughter perhaps the most unlikely Bible story book ever created for children, a story that seemed entirely unfitting for the five-year old little girl that she was then. It was the story of how Lot and his family were brought out of Sodom, just before God's judgment and terrible fire fell on the city. Who ever thought to make that story into a children's book? I suppose I first glanced at it in the store out of curiosity, but seeing that it was done well, and was accurate without being too graphic, I purchased it, intending to read it to Joy some evening. This was that evening.


I read it pretty much as it was written, throwing in a few explanations and trying to convey the main points without getting too deep into areas that five-year old girls didn't need to know about. Joy listened intently, and by the end had a couple of questions. She wanted to know if any of those "bad men" survived, and I told her, no, they were all killed by the fire that fell from heaven. She asked, "What about after that? Would they go to heaven?" I told her, no, they would have to go to hell for their wickedness.


And suddenly we were no longer talking about Sodom and Gomorrah. Joy wanted to know more about heaven and hell. Who would go to hell; who would go to heaven, and just how this process worked? Joy was a bright little girl, and the conversation went far deeper than would have been possible for most children her age. I was soon talking about Jesus and the cross and His resurrection, and how it was only He who made it possible for any of us to go to heaven, and that in reality we were all bad people. We were sinners who deserved hell, but because of Jesus' death and resurrection we could be forgiven and go to heaven when we die.


I very much wanted Joy to come into a relationship with Jesus, but up until then I considered her a bit too young for me to lead her through the plan of salvation. But this night she showed a keen interest in these things, and soon she was asking me if she could be saved.


Somehow, I felt the time was right, and I guided her to pray and receive Jesus as her Savior. She prayed earnestly and afterwards told me, "Dad, something has happened. I feel different!" I told her what she was feeling was the presence of the Holy Spirit confirming her decision to receive Jesus.


I'm sure some would consider this merely an emotional experience with little spiritual basis, but both she and I are convinced that it was more than that. Today Joy is forty years old, and she has steadfastly looked back at that evening in that little town in Missouri as her moment of salvation. She has been a strong Christian ever since.


In recent years it has been apparent that her daughter, Grace, my granddaughter, has also made that leap of faith and trusted Jesus as her own Savior. As a newly graduated 18-year-old, Grace demonstrates a spiritual maturity well beyond her years. The fire of the Holy Spirit is being passed on from one generation to the next, and I am thrilled.


It is often said that God has no grandchildren, meaning that just because we are a child of God, this does not mean that our children are as well - they will need to experience salvation for themselves. And of course, this is true. But if we are faithful to share the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ with our children, and to model what that grace looks like in our day-to-day lives, it becomes at least a strong possibility that they will at some point choose the God of their fathers and mothers. Muslims tend to produce Muslims, Hindus produce Hindus, and evangelical, Bible-revering followers of Christ tend to produce evangelical, Bible-revering Christians. But each individual must at some point in their life "lock onto" Jesus Christ and trust Him as their own Savior. Whether it happens at the age of five or fifty, it must happen if we are to live forever. And it is the gospel, the "good news" of Jesus Christ that brings about the change. Paul loved the gospel and described it as "the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust" (1 Timothy 1:11). Today that gospel is still being committed to the trust of men and women, and even five-year-old little girls.





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