But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children ~ Psalm 103:17
My maternal grandmother died when I was four. I don’t remember much about her.
I was almost forty when I came to faith in Jesus Christ. Within a span of a few years, four of my siblings, a couple of nieces and sister-in-laws, and I all came to understand God’s call to believe the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Even then I thought that was an amazing work of God.
It took me a few years to find a Bible preaching church. During a visit from our new Pastor, he listened to me talk about my family’s faith. Thoughtfully, he said, “You must have had a praying Grandmother.”
I knew that she was a Christian. Talking to my mother, she confirmed that my grandmother was, indeed, a praying woman I am sure she had been praying for us for years.
Over the years, many women have talked about the difficulties of practicing spiritual disciplines.
- Reading our Bibles
- Always considering others more important than ourselves
- Loving our neighbors
- Fighting for the oppressed
- Caring for the widow and the orphan
- Obeying God’s law
- And more.
Loving our neighbors can take on many forms. Sometimes it can be difficult or even exasperating. They may appreciate our efforts. They may not.
Feeling a little discouraged lately, the Lord reminded me that practicing the disciplines, and continuing to obey God’s call for me, is not just about me.
Surely, I will see the blessings for obedience or the curses for disobedience. Reward and punishment are mine in the here and now and in eternity.
God also has a bigger plan. Future generations of my family and of the families of those we work with will also benefit (or not) from the effort we put into this life. We do it for God’s glory and the good of those we are to teach and train for Him.
Our children (Deuteronomy 6:6-8), our grandchildren (Deuteronomy 4:9), the younger women if we are older (Titus 2:3-5), and our neighbors (Matthew 22:39) all stand to benefit when we use our gifts for the good of others.
When Christians are strengthened in the faith by the works we do, God’s Kingdom grows and our faith increases. That kind of work has a ripple effect through family and friends, and future generations.
So, do not be exasperated by the lack of response or the negative responses we might get from the works we do for Christ. The results may not be visible today, but we want a faith that keeps on giving, generation to generation.
I am so grateful for a Grandmother who was disciplined in prayer for her grandchildren.
What discipline do you and I need to restore to a regular habit for the benefit of others – now and in future generations?