Normally the saying goes do as I say not as I do. That way of saying it is a bad way to pass something on. The title is a much better way. What you believe and do is what you will hand down from generation to generation. Unfortunately in many cases the legacy is an empty way of life that is handed down. James 2:17 “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless.” The gospel is not a matter of talk but power, as Paul would say. How you live will be passed on from generation to generation. It is very strange but many times the kids grow up to be just like the ones who raised them whether they want to or not. Dad stops going to church, the kids follow their path. It also goes for the church as a whole. If they are not following wholeheartedly after God then apathy or luke-warmness will be passed from one generation to the next and they will end up having no idea about the power of God or who he even is. This even happens when the new generation says I don’t like the church I was raised with and they make some cosmetic changes like clothing and music and say this is better but in the end are further away from God than the last generation. They continue to be talkers and not doers of the gospel because they do not obey. Thankfully by the grace of God in repentance we can turn away from the generational sins that ravage many churches and families. This is done by turning from our wicked ways. We have been talking about the church and how it has left the path of holiness. The present message is not one of obedience and holiness but of disobedience and short-range vision. The truth of the matter is that many who think they are visionary are actually blind. No longer do they concern themselves with the ways of God but focuses on the here and now, my way, my needs. 2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” They are so self-absorbed that many Christians seem to have no concern about what happens to the next generation, let a lone the thought of spending life forever with God. They only look at what they can see and touch, the tempory. As far as the word of God goes they do not realize how important it is to abide. Most Christians really don’t comprehend how crucial it is to adhere to the Word even when all around us seems to be falling apart. The question is will you obey no matter what? Is your Christian life more than talk? Are you concerned about the future, the unseen.
The results of not obeying the word of God can be devastating. Take a look at Saul in 1 Samuel. Here Saul was King and had the opportunity to have a lasting dynasty. “1 Samuel 13:7” Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. 8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.” Here Saul saw the enemy was advancing, his troops were quaking with fear and running away so he took matters into his own hands. He was focused only on the present situation, which in this case was bleak. You can also look at Solomon for the opposite situation of immense prosperity and not following the word of God. Saul did not obey God because he did not trust that Samuel would show up nor did he believe that God would protect him. In his eyes Samuel was late but in reality he was right on time as God always is. He went ahead and offered the sacrifice. Samuel then shows up at the right time and says, 11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favour.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.” Here is a question. How did he think he was seeking the Lord’s favour in disobedience?
Now this is a case where the doing did not line up with the words of God. With God the saying is, do what I say and do what I do. So Saul looked at his present situation and forgot that the Lord had anointed him leader over God’s inheritance that could have been established for all time. It wasn’t his but God’s, so did he not think that God would not look after his own people? The Spirit of the Lord had come upon him and he was changed into a different person, his heart was changed and signs came to pass but he was told to wait. He did not do as he was told. Saul was told later 1 Samuel 15 “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.” God still expects the same of us. If we would do what we were told things would go much better for us and then the saying would also be changed in our lives to Do as I say and do. This would be passed on from generation to generation.
Because he did not wait, Samuel then told Saul “13 You have done a foolish thing, Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” “Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” Saul lost the kingdom that would have been established for all time but instead it was given to another. When David gave the charge to Solomon, all Solomon had to do was to obey but he did not and lost most of the kingdom.
In our day we must be very careful to obey the word of God by keeping the charge. Jesus said do as I say and did. In the area of obedience nothing has changed. Jesus said in Matthew 28:20 “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” What makes us think that the Holy Spirit will continue to empower us if do not obey. We must once again teach obedience not to the church organization as many do but to the word of God. Genesis 18:19 “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” We must look past our present and look to the future of our children and their children and then on towards heaven. Psalm 71:15 “My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all. 16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. 17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvellous deeds. 18 Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” I have felt much of my journey is for my kids so that they will know there is more to the gospel of Jesus Christ than what they are seeing now. I too like David Psalm 27:13 “remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Job also said 19:26 “And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.” We are praying for revival so that the generation to come will stand as the church was meant to be. They will do what we say and follow what we did because all will be like Caleb Numbers 14:24 “But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” Wouldn't it be amazing if that was what was happening? I think it would look like this.
As we humble ourselves we wait in obedience for this to be. Ezekiel 37:34 “They will be my people, and I will be their God. 24 “My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. 25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.”