AND THE NEXT GENERATION
Sunday Morning Sermon
September 13, 1998
Fair Avenue Baptist Church
Turn with me to JOB 42:16 and let's read again:
"After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' son, even four generations."
With today being Grandparents Day, I began to think about grandparents.
Job got to see his sons,
He got to see his grandsons,
He even saw his great-grandsons,
three generations of sons, and probably many granddaughters and great-granddaughters,
four generations total,
I have a picture at home of four generations of the Way family.
My grandfather, Andrew Jackson Way, who passed away on August 21, 1998.
My dad, Donald Jackson Way,
Me, Garry Don Way,
And my son, Richard Alan Way.
One of these days, Lord willing, I will be able to sit with my son, my grandson, and my great-grandson for a total of four generations.
But I started thinking,
What will my son say about me?
What about my grandson? or grand-daughter?
I just vaguely remember two of my great-grandparents, a great-grandfather on my dad's side, Grandpa Morgan, and a great-grandmother on my mom's side, Grandma Roberts. They both passed away when I was seven years old.
When God laid this verse on my heart for a message on Grandparents Day, I began to think about my past generations. I started thinking about all the conversations with my parents and my grandparents about my great-grandparents.
I don't remember hearing that my great-grandparents were good godly people, faithful to church, faithful to the Lord, and to the church.
I don't remember them telling me that my grandparents really served the Lord, or taught a Sunday School class or served in a local church, let singing or played the piano.
I don't remember them telling me that my grandparents were soul winners and told people about Christ.
I must insert here that it was my great-grandmother who took my dad to a revival service back around 1947 or 1948 and my dad got saved.
I'm not saying that they weren't good people, because they were. They took care of their families, loved their kids, and provided for them.
They were good people,
But no one knows if they really loved the Lord and served Him to the best of their ability. I believe some of them were church-going people and lived decent moral lives.
But there is no legacy, no heritage, no memories that have been passed down from generation to generation.
No heritage of godliness,
No legacy of righteousness,
No memories of service to the Lord,
No heritage of faithfulness to the Lord,
No legacy of full-time Christian service.
And so I started thinking about my great-grandchildren:
What will they remember about me?
What will they tell their kids?
What will my children and their children tell their children about me and my wife?
These young people here today -
What will they say one day about their great-grandparents?
Then my mind wondered back to my grandparents. My dad's mother is the only grandparent I have that is still living. Many of you have met her, she’s been here before.
My mom's parents have both gone on to glory. As I mentioned a few minutes ago, my grandfather, my dad’s father, passed away last year.
What do I remember about my grandparents?
My mom's father was almost always good to us when we were kids, but he never did go to church. He only got saved when he was in his 70's, right before he passed away.
But in talking to my mom and her mom years ago, I found out that my grandfather was an alcoholic, wouldn't work and forced my grandmother and her kids to stay on government relief all their lives.
He would leave them for months at a time with no money. He would beat my grandmother on occasion.
I remember times when I was a kid that he would be gone the entire time I spent with my grandmother.
Not many pleasant memories,
He never went to church,
He was an alcoholic,
He wasn't a good husband or a good father to his kids,
And I have always thought that the memories of him were not happy memories.....and that's sad.
But when I think of my grandmother, my mom's mother, I think of a great saint of God - in fact, the best Christian I ever knew personally.
Never one time in my life and I knew her for over 30 years:
never one time did I hear her say an unkind word,
never one time did I see her do an unkind thing,
never one time did I hear her criticize anyone or anything,
never one time did I hear her raise her voice,
never one time did I hear her complain about anything, and she had a lot to things to complain about,
an alcoholic husband,
an abusive husband,
never owned a car,
never held a job,
never had a good husband,
never had a good father to her children,
if anyone had a right to complain, it was my grandmother,
never one time did she let me down as a Christian,
She was faithful to church...and I went with her. I remember walking several blocks to the Westside Baptist Church in Sweetwater, Texas. They didn’t have a car so we walked. It was at the Westside Baptist Church that I first attended Vacation Bible School.
She read her Bible every day...I saw her. When was the last time your grandkids saw you reading the Bible?
She told people about the Lord...I heard her.
She invited people to church...I watched her.
So many pleasant memories of my grandmother. All good memories and no bad ones.
In fact, just a few days before she died, we stopped at the Dairy Queen and got her a vanilla milkshake. And if she thanked us once, she thanked us a hundred times in the next few hours for that little milkshake.
So many memories.....good memories of a godly Christian woman.
And so I thought again, what will my grandchildren say about me?
Will they be able to say that I was a good Christian?
Will they be able to say that grandpa was a hellfire and damnation preacher?
Will they be able to say that grandpa was a soul winner?
I'm looking forward to taking my grandchildren soul winning with me one day - say, about, 10 years from now, no sooner. Don’t forget that Rachael and Richard, about 10 years from now.
I'm looking forward to the time when my grandchildren will watch me lead someone to Christ.
I'm looking forward to seeing my grandkids saved and baptized...like my dad did back in 1987 when we baptized Richard together.
How will they remember me?
Will they tell their kids that I was faithful to God's house?
Will they tell their kids that I never quit?
Will they remember me reading the Word of God? Will they have memories of their grandpa sitting in a chair with a Bible in his lap?
Will they remember me knocking doors for Christ? Will they have memories of knocking doors with their grandpa, or maybe even with me as their great-grandpa?
WHAT WILL THEY SAY?
WHAT WILL THEY TELL THEIR CHILDREN?
Then I thought about my children - Rachael and Richard. I thank God for two good children. They mind well, they act like kids are supposed to act. I love my children.
But what will they say about me in 20 years?
What will they say about me behind my back when they get older?
What will they do when they leave my home and begin a life of their own with their spouses?
My daily prayer is that I will never let them down in the cause of Christ.
I don't want to do anything that will cause my children in 20 years to look back and use me for an excuse.
I want my kids to say that Dad was always faithful to the house of God.....even on vacation!
I want my kids to see me read my Bible at home...not just in church!
I want my kids to see and hear me pray at home...not just in church!
I want my kids to tell their kids and to tell their kids that dad and grandpa and great-grandpa was at home what he was in the pulpit!
I want my kids to tell their kids and to tell their kids that dad and grandpa and great-grandpa loved the Lord and gave of his tithes and offerings to the church.
...went to church every time the doors were open,
...loved preaching the Word of God,
...took them to hear the great preachers of their generation like Dr. Jack Hyles, Jim Vineyard, Keith Gomez, Bob Smith, and others.
How will they remember me?
How will my kids remember me?
How will my grandkids remember me?
How will my great-grandkids remember me, if they get to see me at all?
Will I be found faithful?
Years after I'm dead and gone, will my kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids remember me as a man of God?
Will they tell their kids and friends about old grandpa being a preacher who loved the Lord?
Will they want to go back to the churches I pastored and see what old grandpa did many years ago for the Lord?
What will they remember?
What will they say?
With these babies here this morning,
With these toddlers here this morning,
With these young school age children here this morning,
With these teenagers here this morning,
With these generations,
GRANDPARENTS, HOW WILL THEY REMEMBER YOU?