“LORD, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.” “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I( make known Thy faithfulness to all generations.” Psa 90:1 ; 89:1
The Generation Principle
A generation represents the duration of an individual life or lives during the same period of time. Our God is the refuge and rest for all generations. He is eternal and timeless. In regards to a life as measured by the beginning of successive new generations, four generations represent the span of an individual life in begetting other. For example, after his great trial, Job is said to have lived to see four generations, that is, he saw his children, their children and his children’s children before he died. Most of our Sunday lunches are in the presence of our four generations. Anyone who gets to see great grandchildren can be thankful for a full life, duration-wise.
The Spiritual Generation
The Great Commission embodies the same idea. We will win one who wins one who wins yet another, multiplying the generations of converts. Jesus and Paul also expressed the principle when they spoke of entering into another’s labours, one sowing, one watering and another reaping. We can rejoice in a physical legacy of generations, but even more important, is the understanding of a spiritual legacy of generations. Our ambition and motivation for life should be tempered with a burning desire to have “spiritual children and grandchildren” for God’s glory.
A Living Example
Around 1962 I was earnestly witnessing to some young men at a tailor’s shop in Lebanon. One lad of fourteen years of age came to a young people’s meeting in my van a time or two but then disappeared. Apparently he was just curious and wanted to ride in my van with the other boys. Still, I had done my best to sow the Gospel seed. The seed would lie dormant for about 30 years until a Christian couple from our church in Australia would come to Lebanon and rekindle the Gospel witness with their uncle resulting in the salvation of this man and his family pictured below. The eldest son of our 14 year-old lad was recently ordained to the Gospel ministry at which both photos on this page were taken. Pastor Elie not only pastors a church in north Lebanon at the base of the mountains where our Good Shepherd Conference Center is located, he is the manager of the camps held during the summer, sometimes reaching up to ten different groups or churches. I consider him an “adopted spiritual son” carrying on my vision and labours for North Lebanon.
God’s Promissory Note For Spiritual Grandchildren
The writing of the Bible History Old and New Testament books and the development of survey courses with students’ and teachers’ manuals was altogether of God’s strength and grace. It was during the time of my greatest weakness in the long battle with MS. The books and materials are in English and Spanish in more than 50 countries. Yet, in recent years God put a burning desire to see them in Arabic, the language of our ministry among Arabic peoples for the past 62 years. That project is nearly finished and now we can rest, believing that God has promised to make these materials representing a piece of our lives and labours a blessing to pastors and churches throughout the Middle East countries that have such a vital prophetical significance in the last days.
How Many Grands and Great Grands
Will We Have?
None of us can answer that question. We don’t always know who planted or watered, who prayed and other actions that God uses in the process. What we can know is, if we are steadfast in doing God’s work and plan, unlovable in our focus on the truth, God will have a warehouse full of surprises waiting to show us throughout the ages of eternity. How can we ever thank so many of you who have faithfully prayed and stood with us these many years? The spiritual grandchildren and great grandchildren of whom we speak are also yours to share!