40 Days of Blessing
Sunday Sermon Oct. 19th
Title: The Generational Power of Blessing.
Text: Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV if possible )
Truth to Go #15 Seniors
total reading – less than 20 pages plus reviewing one 30 minute DVD session
- Read The Power of Blessing chapter 5 The Family Blessing of Abraham (7 pgs.)
- Read The Power of Blessing chapter 14 Senior Years (8 pgs.)
- The Power of Blessing page 154 – Grandparents standing in
- Read The Blessing for Seniors in The Blessing Handbook on pgs. 100-101
- Read pgs. 27-29 of The Blessing Handbook
- if time permits, review DVD #10 – especially the story of Ray and Cathy blessing his dad
Theme of Sermon: – The Power of Blessing can go beyond the people you actually bless and will outlive you through the generations.
for those who whish to go deeper they can follow this study on Blessing through the generations after the 40 days
“How much does what you do today matter years from now?
Who will remember it and what difference will it make?”
Then read ‘LEGACY’ at end of this document
Introductory comments –
something to the effect…
“I shared this true story to remind us that I want to use this week’s message to underline how powerful Blessing is. The power of blessing can transcend a lifetime – it can span many generations to keep on bringing God’s favor to those who follow . A Family Blessing you begin today may out live you and last for many generations. As we enter our final week of the 40 Days of Blessing, let’s go back to the Bible to remind ourselves just how powerful it really is…”
Point 1. Your blessing is bigger than you! You cannot understand the true power of Blessing until you understand that Blessing is a by-product of Covenant.
Blessing is mentioned around 60 times in Genesis – more than once per chapter starting with the first chapter . But these words were not just for the benefit of Adam and Eve but also for the generations that would follow them
After the flood, God picks us His plan to bless with Abraham.
From chapter 12 through 50, the plan and power of Blessing is unfolded step by step throughout the generations of Abraham’s family.
A covenant is an unbreakable promise. And that’s what God made with Abraham
let’s look at Genesis 12:1-3 - (note that the blessing is multi-faceted , Abraham’s personal blessing becomes a blessing for his immediate family members, then to extended family, the nation, and through the generations to all nations – the actual word in Hebrew is ‘family groups’ so NKJV translates it ‘all the families of the earth’ )
Matching this with Galatians 3:14 – ‘through Christ we may share in the blessing of Abraham’ and you can see that when we are grafted in to Christ’s body we also share in the blessing on all families promised to Abraham.
Interesting side point if you wish to make it Dave which goes along with the opening paragraph from chapter 5 of The power of Blessing
Abraham – Isaac and Jacob – why did the Israelites refer to God that way? why was it so powerful to them?
The power of Blessing cannot be understood apart from God’s covenant of love – the power we see in effect is actually the outworking of His covenant to love us throughout all generations – this covenant was a more powerful faith-builder to Elijah and subsequent generations than the fact of previous miracles – I usually say it this way – covenant is more powerful than precedent when it comes to seeing miracles.
When God introduced himself to Moses in Exodus 3:6,15 He calls himself the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – a reminder to Moses that Moses would be able to do anything God called him to do because of the covenant of BLESSING
And remember that the sins of the parents go for 3 or 4 generations, but the COVENANT of love to a THOUSAND generations (Deut. 7:9)
Point 2. In order to pass along a blessing that will last for generations, we need to honor and bless the previous generations
If you think of a chain, when one link is link then the chain breaks and cannot keep anything together regardless of how strong the remaining links may be. To some extent that is similar to blessing.
Remember this is the first commandment with a promise (Honor your mother and father that it may go well with you and that you may live a long life…)
When Absalom dishonored his own father David, it became the source of his downfall
Ø at this point some personal examples would be helpful – note pgs. 27-29 of The Blessing handbook
Dave – here’s one story you can share if you like… Melissa has studied her family’s spiritual history on both sides and has documented that both families have served the Lord for many generations.
Melissa has five brothers and sisters – 4 of whom were actively serving the Lord at the time of Melissa’s parents 50th anniversary celebration.
At that time, we had just discovered the power of blessing and so during the renewal of vows ceremony by her parents, in front of many extended family members, we actually had all 6 children and 18 grandchildren literally ‘rise up’ and recite a prepared blessing which went something like the one I wrote recorded on page 100-101 of The Blessing Handbook.
Through this event, we believe that the one child who had not been following the Lord ‘connected’ with the generational blessing upon the family – within 48 hours the child of that family member gave her heart to the Lord.
It would be powerful to add your own story here as well.
Point 3. Grandparents can sometimes overcome a weak link in the chain of blessing
when a chain has a weak, sometimes it is possible to connect links around it directly together in order to keep the chain strong.
This truth will be covered one day this week in your journal
In Genesis we see that Abraham’s descendants didn’t always act in the appropriate ways they should have – Jacob tricks his father into an improper blessing and has to have a reconciliation with estranged brother before he is ready to pass the blessing along to his sons and grandsons
And also Joseph’s brothers dishonored their father Jacob by lying and selling their brother into slavery. – the long involved tale of how Joseph rose to power and eventually his brothers bowed before him and then had to bring their father to Egypt is really a story of restitution for their earlier dishonoring behaviour – after that time the covenantal blessing of Abraham began to pour out upon the family
NOW - Look at the story of Genesis 48 – (see journal entry for Oct 22nd – for your convenience I have added it at the end of this document - basically what is written there is the third and final point. and at times you have a role to bring a missing parental blessing when one or more parents is derelict in their spiritual duty – this requires wisdom and discretion but can be done – It is often seen both in scripture and in life today that a generational blessing can sometimes skip a generation that is unwilling or unaware and land on the following generation - this can happen especially with praying grandparents who are wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove!
One grandparent from Lakemount Worship Centre I know used to take their grandkids to ‘babysit’ them because their kids weren’t following the Lord and when they had them they would lay their hands on them and bless them with words they felt that God had given them for the child. In this manner an effective blessing CAN be given across the generations. You could also make a case for saying that both SIMEON and ANNA who were used by God to bless Jesus at his dedication at the temple were stepping in and doing the grandparent’s role for blessing.
Take Home point: So where do we start to apply these truths?
- don’t unwittingly choke off the intended flow of blessing to your family by failing to honor the generations before you in your family (and in your church! - it applies in a church setting as well – who are the founders or the pioneers who paid the price for getting the church to where it is today? They ought ot be honored at some point in a public manner)
- GRANDPARENTS – WE NEED YOU! We need your accumulated prayers and wisdom to help bless the generation that is now rising up! Don’t take a back seat attitude that says ‘I have done my time, and worked hard, now I can rest while the next generation proves themselves like we did – NO – help them to go farther , to spiritually stand upon your shoulders by blessing them – and help your children’s generation bless the next generation –come alongside to help and bless with always correcting and judging)
Parents have you thought about your legacy lately? In case you haven't, let's start with the basics:
Webster's Dictionary says a legacy is, "Something handed down from one who has gone before." How we live will influence our children and descendents for generations
Let me share a story with you that demonstrate the powerful legacy (both good and bad) that parents create.
Jonathan Edwards was born in 1703 in Connecticut.
He attended Yale University at age 13 and later went on to serve as president of the college of New Jersey (now Princeton). He was also the acknowledged leader of the greatest revivals in history - often called ‘The Great Awakening’.
Numerous books have been written about Edwards' life, his work, and influence on American history and his powerful professional legacy. But the legacy that Edwards would probably be most proud of is his legacy as a father. Edwards and his wife Sarah had eleven children. Despite a rigorous work schedule that included rising as early as 4:30 a.m. to read and write in his library, extensive travels, and endless administrative meetings, he always made time for his children. Indeed, he committed to spending at least one hour a day with them. And if he missed a day because he was traveling, he diligently made up the hour when he returned.
The scholar Benjamin Warfield of Princeton has charted the 1,394 known descendents of Edwards. What he found was an incredible testament to Jonathan Edwards. Of his known descendents there were 13 college presidents, 65 college professors, 30 judges, 100 lawyers, 60 physicians, 75 army and navy officers, 100 pastors, 60 authors of prominence, 3 United States senators, 80 public servants in other capacities including governors and ministers to foreign countries, and one vice-president of the United States.
The story of Jonathan Edwards is an example of what some sociologists call the "five-generation rule." How a parent raises their child - the love they give, the values they teach, the emotional environment they offer, the education they provide - influences not only their child but the four generations to follow. The example of Jonathan Edwards shows just how rich that legacy can be.
But the five-generation rule works both ways. If we fail to work at being good fathers, our neglect can plague generations.
Consider the case of Max Jukes, a contemporary of Edwards.
As an adult, Jukes had a drinking problem that kept him from holding a steady job. It also kept him from showing much concern for his wife and children. He would disappear sometimes for days and return drunk. He made little time for loving and instructing his children.
Benjamin Warfield has also charted Jukes' descendents. Warfield was able to trace 540 of Jukes' ancestors. They offer a stunning contrast to the Edwards' legacy. Of Jukes' known descendents, 310 died as paupers, at least 150 were criminals (including 7 murderers), more than 100 were drunkards and half of his female descendents ended up as prostitutes.
Of course this doesn't mean that people are simply a product of their parenting and that who they are is determined entirely by their ancestry. There have been many who descended from men like Jukes and overcame great obstacles to succeed. Others have come from loving homes like Edwards' only to descend into a troubled adulthood. But these are the exceptions, not the rule.
The stories of Jonathan Edwards and Max Jukes offer powerful lessons about the legacy we will leave as fathers.
Five generations from now, it is likely that our pastoral accomplishments will be forgotten. In fact, our descendents may know little about our lives or us.
The way we parent today will affect not only our children, but also indirectly our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren and even generations that follow.
Parents we will leave a legacy. What will yours be?
©2001 Family First. All rights reserved.
Grandparents, we need you!
READ: The Power of Blessing, pages 41,154-155
and Proverbs 13:22
Key Quote: ‘There are times when the grandparents need to take the initiative to bless because the consequences from refraining can be too great’
REFLECT: In many families there may come a time when a grandparent’s input is crucial to ensure that the Family Blessing is passed on from generation to generation. One example of this in the Bible is found in Genesis 48:9-20. This unusually lengthy description of a blessing illustrates that God had revealed something to Jacob that Joseph did not realize about his own sons. Without Jacob’s input, God’s best plan for these boys lives may not have been realized.
Joseph was eager for his father to bless his sons. However, if parents are unavailable or unwilling to walk in the fullness of God’s plan for themselves and their children, it may be necessary for grandparents to step in and give the needed blessings on their own. Great wisdom may be required to find a balance between parent’s wishes and the need for important family blessings to be received.
If you are a parent, is there a way to include your parents in blessing your children? If they are no longer available could someone else stand in their place? If you are a grandparent, how can you find an opportunity to bless your grandchildren?