Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, April 22, 2014 0 comments

by Steve Risner

Recently, I was at a men’s conference in Columbus. The first night, we had a very powerful message spoken by 3 generations—a son, his father, and his grandfather. The grandfather, an 88-year-old preacher from Kentucky, told the story of his father who was a hard man who was drunk much of the time and was known for his violence. This is the sort of man this Kentucky preacher was growing up to be when he found Jesus at the age of 22. His life was radically changed immediately. Because of this event—meeting Jesus Christ—this man dramatically changed the destiny of his children, his children’s children, and their children. In fact, it’s impossible to know just how far reaching this one event will be but we know it will be for generations. We have a family of pastors now—three generations of them so far—who have emerged from the family line of a man whose life was turned around by Jesus Christ. The family curse of alcohol and violence was broken when this Kentucky man invited Jesus into his life. He chose, at that moment, to pass on something different to his children than what had been passed onto him. So my question to you is: what are you passing on to the next generation?

We’re all in a relay race—every last one of us. We’re carrying a baton right now that we’ll eventually hand off to the next generation. Now before you decide this isn’t for you—that you’ve already passed on your baton or you don’t have kids or whatever the excuse—let me stress that, regardless of who you are or where you are in life, you have something to offer to those who follow. Whether you choose to pass on good things or bad things is completely up to you. You see, that’s the great thing about carrying the baton right now. You get to choose what you pass on to the next runner. As the next runner, you have no say in what gets passed on to you, but as the one with the baton, you decide what you impart to those who follow.

If you read my blog from February 25th of this year, you’ll recall that the role of the father in the home is more influential than any other factor. If you didn’t get to read that, you can read it here. It’s true that the actions of fathers influence their kids’ decisions more than anything. But this doesn’t let the ladies or those men who aren’t fathers off the hook. We’re all passing on something. We all have people in the generation behind us that we’re pouring into. Are we pouring in good things or bad things?

We can choose to pour life and goodness into the next generation or we can choose to pour bitterness and dissatisfaction into them. Are you passing on integrity, honesty, and a good work ethic? Or is it more of doing what’s necessary to get ahead, lying if it benefits you, and doing the least amount of work necessary to collect a check? Are you passing on the idea of an honest day’s work for an honest wage or something more like an attitude of entitlement? Are you passing on honor and respect? What about alcohol and anger? Kindness and gratitude are in short supply these days. What a powerful thing to pass on to the next generation.

The truth is we’ll all pass something along. Most likely, we’ll pass several things along—good and bad. I encourage you to focus on passing on those things that are good and try to minimize those things that are negative. Pray for God’s guidance and start surrendering ALL of you to Jesus Christ. In so doing, you’ll allow Him to produce the best version of you possible. For some tips on doing this, read my blog from last week on Beachhead. It was eye opening for me. I hope it’s the same for you.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 says, “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live And may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

The choice is yours today, to choose what you'll pass on to those that follow. You choose life and blessings or death and curses. With the power of the Holy Spirit, you can stand and say, “No! It stops with me.” You can break that family curse and refuse to pass those negative traits on to the next generation and join Joshua as he proclaims, “Choose this day Whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” --Joshua 24:15