A LEGACY OF GENEROSITY
Generosity is not only a good and Godly way to live; it is also an inheritance that keeps on giving and giving. A generous spirit is one of the most valuable legacies that we can pass on to our family.
Generous people possess and perpetuate a blessing that can last for generations. We can bless our children and even our grandchildren more than we know by teaching and training those in our families, through word and deed, to be generous.
1 – GOOD IS LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN
It is a fact of life that our children don’t always do what we say; not matter how noble our instructions may be. But it is also a fact that they are more likely to do what we do.
When this truth is fully grasped it can put a lot of positive pressure on parents to be more responsible and effective in raising their children. I believe that parental pressure is greater than peer pressure in shaping the lives of young people, even in this wicked day.
There are many parents that take their roles seriously; they work hard to be the mentors and trainers of those that will carry on their name. Sometimes those good parents may wonder if their children are really receiving all that they teach.
Even when we are doing our absolute best, we often stop and scratch our heads and say, “I wonder if they ever hear anything that I say; am I getting through to them at all?” This can cause us some anxiety as we worry if they will really the ways of the Lord when they grow up.
But God’s Word gives us hope:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Every parent that has read this verse, realizing that it is a promise from God, has said, “Thank-you Lord.” We hold to it as a promise to FAITHFUL parents that if they train up their children in God’s ways, they will eventually walk in those ways.
As young people develop and mature, they may waver and get off course at times, they may become distracted or sidetracked, or even seem to turn and walk a different path that what was taught to them.
But we must hold to this assuring promise that in the end, faithful and dedicated parents who train up their children in the faith will see the fruit of their Godly labors. While we may not like and even become discouraged by the present, it is the end that really counts.
There are many things that are included in training up a child in the ways of God. One of those things is to pass on the trait of generosity to our children.
We are seeing the troubling results of parents that have not passes on that trait, so many children are living like they have bee taught, selfish and self-centered. Thank God it does not have to be that way for the Christian.
God is pleased when He sees young people giving to others. Make no mistake, when you see a young person responding to the needs of others, in their home, their Church, or in their community, it is no accident and it did not just happen out of the blue.
Liberal, spontaneous acts of generosity are evidenced in the lives of people, any age, because someone has passed the torch of generosity to them. If it is their parents, those acts will be evident sooner.
If the Lord tarried Him coming, many of us will be in Heaven and our children and grandchildren will take our place in this world. Most likely, they will be doing what they observed us doing.
They will continue the pattern of selfishness and stinginess that they were taught, or they will carry on the torch of generosity that was passed to them and that they will pass on to those that follo0w them.
God is looking for a few good men to pass on that legacy of generosity.
2 – GOOD IS LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN THAT WILL LEAVE A GOOD INHERITANCE
According to verse 22 of our text, a good man leaves an inheritance for his children and grandchildren. Bad men are never concerned about that. Why? Verse 21 gives us the answer:
Evil pursueth sinners…
It is difficult to prosper and leave valuable assets to your loved ones when you are constantly pursued by adversity. But that same verse gives us good news as well:
…but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
Good men that are right with God and living righteous lives can be assured of having a Go9dly inheritance to pass on to their children. We have that promise because God always blessed the obedience of His Word.
Good men love God, live according to His Word, and are serious about providing for their families, both now and after they are gone. Our provision for our descendants can continue long after we are gone, because of the inheritance we leave.
Good men not only look at providing for the needs of their family today; they look toward the future. God helps them by rewarding their righteous lifestyle. God will take from the wicked to provide for His obedient and generous children.
Have you thought about the spiritual inheritance you will leave for your children? Will it consist of only material assets, or will it be the legacy of a righteous lifestyle?
The inheritance of a Godly parent will be marked by their generous giving.
3 – GOD IS LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN THAT WILL TRAIN UP THEIR CHILDREN TO BE GENEROUS
As we said, “Generosity is a gift that keeps on giving.” Some gifts, like money or possessions, can only be given once. But a generous person gives over and over again because God blesses their love for Him and their generosity.
The spiritual truths that we teach our children will shape the way they live, not just on Sunday, but every other day. Generous people will train their children to be generous all the time.
There are three ways to train our children to be generous givers:
We are to teach our children the truths of generosity from God’s Word. The parent that desires to leave a legacy that will last will teach their children to tithe.
And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s: it is holy unto the LORD.
And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
There are many questions and rebellions in the Church today because parents have not taught their children to tithe.
Then, the parents is to teach the child to give offerings:
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
The proper training for our children is to include giving. And we must teach them that their giving must be generous:
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 2Corinthians 9:5-6
Our children will not know how to be generous unless we teach them.
We must set the example for generous living. Every parent must have a faithful record of bringing their tithes and offerings into the storehouse of God, as is commanded in Scripture.
Your children need to see you write out your tithe and offering checks and see you place them in the offering plate. At every opportunity, they are to encourage their children to do as they have seem them do.
It is easy with the smaller children, but we must also be faithful in our teaching and example when they reach their teenage years. They are to tithe and give of all of their increase.
This is where the rubber meets the road; you can’t expect your children to do what you have not shown them that you have consistently done.
Children learn what they live and if they have lived in a generous home, they will be generous.
I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
Good, Godly, and generous men make it a habit to praise God for His goodness and generosity to them. A great inheritance to give to your child is a home filled with praises to God.
It is vitally important that we train our children to praise the Lord. Again, they will likely do what they have seen their parents do.
4 – GOD IS LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN THAT WILL LEAVE LEGACIES THAT WILL LAST
Generosity will leave an impression on children that will last from generation to generation. As our children see what we do and see the response of other to what we do, they will know that their inheritance is something special.
The example of the Good Samaritan and others in the Bible has impacted people for hundreds of generations. They have left legacies that all of should want to imitate.
Children may forget a lot of what they experience while growing up, but it will be very difficult for them to forget the lives of parents that were lived and loved like the Bible instructed.
As they are influenced by that Godly legacy, they will want to leave that same legacy for their children.
God help us to leave our heirs a real inheritance – a lifestyle of generous giving to the Lord and to others.
5/4/05 WED. PM