Charles Stanley - Leaving A Godly Inheritance
When you hear somebody talking about inheritance, you usually think in terms of how much money they have or how much property, how many stocks and bonds and all the possessions they have in life. And usually the more they have, the more careful they are about how they leave their inheritance. And sometimes what you discover is, this wonderful happy family all just love each other and then somebody dies. All of a sudden, what happens? Greed, selfishness, pride, just all these emotions start surfacing.
And so often in this materialistic age which we live, most of the time things that have real value overshadow by things that have no lasting value. If I ask you how much will you leave your children, some of you will say probably everything. Secondly, you might say, well I'm not leaving them much for some reason whatever that may be. So we have different attitudes and different ideas about their inheritance. What they often forget about is this. The most valuable inheritance you can leave your children cannot be counted, can't be measured, far more valuable than any of those things.
So when I think about an inheritance and you think about for example what you've been thinking about or one of these days you will. Or you look back and say my parents and grandparents past away and here's what they left me. Do you still have it? Most people squander lots of money. If you get lots of money they're not prepared for it. If you don't squander it little by little they'll use it up on something they'll thought twice they had done it differently.
What I want to talk about in this message is this: Leaving a Godly Inheritance. What I want to do at some point here, I want to give you a number of things and suggestions, wise suggestions for you to think in terms of leaving your children or your grandchildren part of your inheritance. So I want you to turn if you will to 2 Timothy chapter one and Paul loved Timothy. He was his son in the ministry.
I want to read these first verses to get us started. Paul apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus to Timothy my beloved son, grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day. Longing to see you, even as I recall your tears so I may be filled with joy for I am mindful of the sincere faith within you which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and in your mother, Eunice. And I'm sure it's within you as well. And for this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of hands for God has not given you a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and sound mind or discipline.
More than likely he was a little timid according to some passages of scripture. If you turn over to the third chapter now let's look at a few verses because we're still talking about Timothy here and how he grew up and so forth. The scripture says in verse 14 you however continue in the things you learn and convinced of knowing from whom you have learned them. And from childhood, you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus which is Paul's way of saying to Timothy he recognized his mother and grandmother Eunice and Lois these women had terrific impact upon his life.
Wait a minute. When you talk about leaving an inheritance, how can you leave a spiritual inheritance? Well, a spiritual inheritance we're talking about leaving something that has lasting value, of course. Not something you can write and see. But a spiritual inheritance we leave over a period of time but by influence, by impact, by persuasion. By demonstration. By pattern in our life. We leave it. Your little child comes into this world and you immediately as a matter begin to leave that child and cuddle that child to your breast. The child grows up and walking around and from the very beginning, you started to leave something within that child. That child finally felt pretty quickly what love was all about but wouldn't know how to spell love or what love was. But you began and as you grew that child up little boy, little girl into a teenager whatever that might be who you were at that point, you were leaving them. It was getting inside of them.
Remember this. That little child, first thing you begin to say to them, they don't question. They don't say what does science say about this? What does historians say? What do theologians say? You say Jesus loves you. Before long they say Jesus loves you. What you do by persuasion, influence, impact, pattern of your life, you begin to develop that child. You are leaving something within that child in their conscience mind, listen, in their consciousness. And you are leaving something within them that will be there the rest of their life. Remember this. Everything you and I ever heard it's still here. Don't we wish we could recall it. Everything we heard is here. Everything we felt is here. We are leaving an inheritance. The question is, what kind are you leaving? You may look around at your parents and say my parents didn't leave me much.
You may say, they didn't leave me anything. Or you may be thinking, I don't have anything to leave. If you could ask my mother, for example, what will you leave Charles when you leave this world? She would look around and say, I don't have anything to leave him. And I would say oh, yes, you do. You've already given it to me. You gave it to me when you poured your life into me. Something money can't buy. Death can't take it away. It's a treasure. And every single one of you mothers have poured into your children something of who you are. It can be positive or negative. It can be love or jealousy or hatred or whatever it might be. You poured it into them. You have already begun to leave it. What many folks don't realize is it's not something you decide when you're 65. Get your lawyer out, what will I leave my kids? You already left it, friend. And if it's the right kind of wealth, spiritual wealth, you left them a treasure. How would you describe those things?
What I want to do is give you a list. They'll be on the Meg screens. And we'll just talk about each one of them a little bit. There's a number of them. Every one of them would be a message. So as a parent or grandparent, you think about what is the most valuable things I could leave my children or my grandchildren? Let's start off with number one. Let's put it on the screen. A desire to follow Jesus Christ. How can I leave that for them? Are you saying I can leave them salvation? O no. Here's what you can leave them. When they hear you talk about Jesus, when they hear you reading about Jesus. When they hear you giving testimony of how he worked in your life how he forgave you of your sins, how he's given you the gift of eternal life, when they hear this, and they notice that when you talk about him, there's a sense of happiness about you a sense of joy within you.
When you talk about how old you were when you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior. When you say to them, the most important decision you'll make in your entire life is when Jesus Christ becomes your Savior as he became mine, do you know what you're doing? You're creating within them the desire for him. Remember this. You ask any little boy, ask any little boy who is his favorite man in the world. My daddy. Ask any little girl, my mama. Do you know why? Because they absorb you. Listened to what you said. All the things you said about Jesus Christ. Remember this. You listening, say amen. Watch this. You as a mother and grandmother you have this awesome helper. And he's called the Holy Spirit. He's there, not only in your life to show you what to say, how to say it, when you ought to say it, how many times you ought to say it.
I remember my mother taught me a number of things by saying it over and over and over again. Hang up your trousers hang up your trousers. Hang up your trousers. You come to my house, you'll never see them lying around. What you say and say and say. When you talk about Jesus at the table and you talk about him when you're riding and you talk about him taking your kids or grand kids to school. You see he's so popular to you, he'll be popular to that child and they'll ask you questions. Where is he? In heaven. Where is heaven? All the questions you can't possibly answer sometimes. Do you know what you've done? You've poured part of your true genuine eternal spiritual wealth into that child. So it would be natural and normal for them to want to become a Christian early in life.
Somebody says, wait a minute now. I've been going to church and taking my family to church for years and years and years. I didn't say anything about going to church. You can go to church every Sunday. You can listen to messages and messages and messages. Your children and your grandchildren are not going to copy necessarily a few things that you do. They, listen, they are listening, first of all and watching to how you live. Who is the center of your life? If you're going to leave them a desire for Jesus, it's got to come from a heart which Jesus Christ is ruling and reigning. Just talking about him once in a what time and going to church and listening to sermons, that's not it. The wealth begins by leaving them with this awesome desire in your heart for them to know Jesus Christ like you know him personally.
A second thing is this. And that is, a reverence for the Word of God. I don't know how it got more important than this. How do you convey with your children or grandchildren the reverence for the Word of God. I can tell you how not to do it. Just don't read it front of them. Don't talk about it in front of them. Criticize the Bible in front of them. Say to them, you know, science and religion, they don't mix. Say to them, you know, the Bible is antiquated, it's out of date. Or tell them reading the Bible is a waste of time. You ought to be working on your studies, not reading the Bible. If you want them to destroy a kid, you take that approach. But if you want them to reverence the Word of God.
Listen. There isn't any book in the world, there isn't any book in the world to match this. No way to find eternal life. No way to discover what real love is all about. No way to discover how to have peace and joy and happiness and contentment in life, nowhere are you going to have the answers to life's questions other than in the Word of God. So naturally you should want to leave your children with the same attitude. How do you do that? Here's the first thing you do. Buy me a Bible. Buy more than one. I'm not selling Bibles. Here's what I'm saying. You ought to have one in the kitchen. Have one in the living room parlor whatever you have. You ought to have one in your TV room whatever it might be. You certainly ought to have one in your bedroom table wherever it is. Why Bibles all over the place? That's who you are. You're a follower of Jesus. The information in that book is the most important information ever given to mankind.
Now, here's the problem today. Is the Bible on the table. And maybe you read it. Maybe you don't. And I would certainly say to all of you who come to first baptist, you've learned a long time ago, come with the Word of God. That's what we're talking about. Let me ask you a question. How long does the Bible at your house lay closed and get dusty, how long does it take for it to get dusty? You should never have dust on your Bible. Watch this. When you get dust on your Bible, you get it in your heart. You say, I can live a godly life without reading the Bible. No, you can't. I don't care who you are. In a world that's absolutely totally consumed with destroying us, directing our mind away from God, you can't live a godly life apart from the Word of God.
So therefore, our children should have a copy of the Bible before they even know what it is. It's okay. You say, why do you want to give them something they don't even know what it is. It's okay. Watch this. That little black book, bluebook, whatever color yours is, in their mind there's something special about it because my mommy or daddy read it all the time. Before long they want one they can't read it but they want one. You've already planted that in their mind. Then you start reading it with them. If you want your children to respect the Word of God, you listen, not only defend it, but you read it. You explain it as best you can. As best you can what you believe the Word of God means and God will show you.
Remember you have the help of the Holy Spirit, who will teach you how. Your children will ask you questions. See God makes children, he makes them pliable for us. They have questions. Well, you can say, well ask your teacher at school, sometimes that may be good, sometimes it may be a disaster. You say why don't we get in the Word of God and find out what the Bible says. Do you know what? When you start that so early in life, here's what happens. When they have questions, that's where they're going. They do that in the world and they'll get tempted and tried. Do you know when? God will bring the Word of God back to them. What does God say? What does the Word of God teach? If you teach your children to reverence the Word of God you have to reverence it. Defend it at all costs. Talk about it. Explain that.
One of the best ways to do that is around the dinner table wherever you eat. Probably television I'm not saying all television is bad but television absolutely has scooped out our interest in spiritual things. People eat their dinner by the TV. They eat their breakfast by the TV. They get up with the TV. Do you know what you're looking at? Except for in touch and a few other programs like that, you find out how bad the world is and tough everything is. And taxes are going up and wars here and terrorism here. Fill, fill, fill.
What about the Word of God? When you look at how much time you spend in this book listening to the Word of God, versus how much time you're glued to a television set, most of the programs which do not contribute anything to your well being, and you know that. If that's the way you live, that's the way your children will live. Watch this. Watch this carefully. If you go this far in your life the wrong way, Mark it down. Your children are going that much further. You can just Mark it down. That's the pattern. That's the way we grew up. That's the way we live. If you want your children to respect the Word of God and live an obedient life, then they've got o respect and reverence the Word of God and nobody can do that like you can. And the way you do it is you reading it with them.
Listen. You say I don't understand it. Let me tell you something. It doesn't make a difference whether you understand it or not. You're training the children to respect the Word of God. You understand more than you realize you do. For example, if I say to you, do you think it's wrong to steal? Oh, yes. Is that in the Bible? Oh, yes. Where do you find that? Everybody in here knows that. Most of you know where that's at. In the Ten Commandments. Everything else you want to know is in here. Your children, listen, they need to have a respect for this book that puts every other book and every other source of information on the periphery of their life.
A third thing. And that is, an understanding of how to listen to God. You say, well, how do I teach my children that? Well, first of all you have to learn yourself. How do you learn to listen to God? If you'll just think about it for a moment. You want your children to learn to listen to you. And so you go about it whatever way you choose. What about learning to listen to God? When you start talking about that to them they'll start saying, listen to God? I can't see him. I can't feel him. I can't touch him.
I remember when my children were coming along early I would talk about, I would say to them, one of the most important thing in your life is learn to listen to God. How do I do that? Start listening. Where do I start? Just ask God to start speaking to you. So I watched this develop in them. And I watched them begin to pray. And when I would, they would bring me some question and I didn't want to answer it. I wanted them to figure it out themselves. Why don't you go ask God. Especially if they wanted to do something I didn't think was a wise decision. If you agree, it will be fine. They came back. What did he say? They said, he said, ask you. That's not going to work. You've got to learn to listen to God.
I can remember the day that I was kneeling in prayer with my daughter. And we were praying together and I thought, she was little but she had a few little years on her. I thought, thank you, Jesus. She's learned to hear you. She's learned to hear you. One of my granddaughters I did the same thing with her. She was living in another state. I had to call and write her every once in a while. I had a good long talk with her about learning to listen to God. What will he say? I don't know. When will he speak to me? I don't know. How will I hear? I tell you what, you just tell him you're listening. I'd call her every once in a while. I would say, what's going on between you and listening to God? What's happening? Tell me. She would say, well, so far I haven't heard anything. I would say, that's okay. Because I didn't hear until early in life either. You just keep listening and he's going to speak to you one day.
Now the best way to learn to speak to him is ask him about something that you need for him to give you an answer for. It may be something very simple. But you ask him that you need some direction at that point. I can tell you, I can look at the times that I remember and one day that I called her and she said gramps, I think I heard from God. Listen. Can you tell me anything anymore valuable than learning to listen to God speak to you and give you direction? Think of the assurance that you have. Think of the assurance a child has early in life when they're able to talk to God and listen to him. They may come to you and say, here's what God said. They may be dead on right and you may congratulate them or they may say something you know God didn't say it. You don't say God didn't say that. You say is that what he said?
Let's get in the Bible and see if we can find that in scripture. God will show you a verse to show them God wouldn't contradict himself. If I should ask you this morning, and I wouldn't want you to tell anybody. It's nobody else's business. How many of you know how to listen to God? And most of you would probably say I don't know how to listen to him. I can tell you why. Nobody ever said to you and impressed upon your mind that one of the most important things in your life early in life is learning to listen to God so you make wise, right decisions in your life.
So when kids grow up and they don't know how to listen to God, who is responsible? The parents are responsible. If they go to church and the pastor never talks about it and never explains it and gives them information, he too is partly responsible. I'm saying we are responsible for finding out, finding out how to listen to God. And you as a parent or grandparent, listen, probably if I had to put one week in my life, one week in my life growing up, what would be that week? One week I spent with my grandfather sitting on his screened in back porch in north Carolina listening to him tell me how he listened to God.
That's the reason I was 17 almost 18, that's the reason I went to see him. I know God's worked in his life in an awesome way. If God will work in his life that way, how will he work in my life, I have to figure out how he listened to God. Most valuable week of my life. He told me four things that directed my whole life. He never knew it. We didn't sit down. I didn't say to him, I called him grandpa. Grandpa, please explain to me how you listen to God. Do you know what I heard? I heard him say how God worked in his life and how he prayed and how God gave him direction and how he would go back to the Word of God and see if it was consistent with the Word of God. He told me these things in his life.
I walked away. I knew I heard a valuable lesson in life. You owe it to your children to teach them how to listen to God. And then, of course, a pattern for obeying God in every area of your life. In other words, obedience is obedience. How will I teach my children obedience? By obeying God. And no matter what you and I say, listen, they are going do what we do before they do what we say. And after you have left home and you can sit here and recall some things your parents said to you. Maybe something you heard them say and then you watch the way they live and something is wrong with that. The truth is, we need to know how to be obedient to God. And that comes with submission. We grow our children up. We say, you must do what your dad tells you the do. I want what's best for you. The Heavenly Father is saying the same thing.
How do we teach obedience? We teach obedience, not by talking about it, but by being obedient. For children, young children, teenagers, whatever it might be, then you talk about, here's the reason I did this. Because this is what God showed me. This is what God told me to do. I've been obedient. Here's what happens. Do you want to convince a child or an adult as far as that's concerned how God operates. Talk about what you ask him about, how he operated in your life, how he answered your prayer, the process he we want through, before long you pick up the pattern. You pick up the pattern how God operates. If I want to teach my children obedience, I have to talk about it but then I have to demonstrate it. Because they'll watch what you do.
And I think about in my own mother's life. I try to think about, did I ever see or hear her or think about her telling me one thing and doing something else? I tried my best because I talked about her a lot of times. Did I ever think about or remember anything that she said and she did the opposite? And I never could. Because she was so deadly honest with me about everything. And, listen, if we're going to demand it of our children and teach them obedience, yes have to show it. Which means we have to saw, do you know what? I made a mistake. I did the wrong thing. God showed me what to do. I didn't do it. I wasn't listening.
Here's what happens, whenever we're too prideful to admit to our children we made a mistake or we didn't do what we should have done, listen, you're not covering up anything from them. They're smart. They're perceptive. God's working in their life very, very early. And so we have to decide what kind of parents we're going to be. Remember this. You're going to leave it with them whether you want to or not. If you live around them, you're going to leave it. If you never call them and never talk to them, you're still leaving them something but maybe not the right thing. Then of course, you need to leave them a faith, listen, that conquers the trials of life. What do I mean by that? Simply this. They need to see in you faith. They need to hear you talk about how God is working in your life. How he's answered prayer.
You want to teach a child to pray? Here's how you teach them to pray. You get down on your knees and pray with them. You say I don't have to get down on my knees to pray. I know you don't. I say this all the time but I'll say it to the world. When you and your child or someone else, whoever it might be, and you're serious about something in your life and you're trying out to God and talking to God about it, there's something about kneeling in the presence of holy God that adds something to your prayer. You say, you mean God doesn't listen? No, I don't mean that. If I'm going to teach my children to pray, they've got see me. Not demonstrating something to them. I can remember for example, the day Andy and I were kneeling to pray. And I thought to myself, I looked over and him and I thought, God, he learned to talk to you. There's no treasure to match that. I could never give him anything to match that. You can't give your children anything of human value, materialistic value to match spiritual treasure, real genuine wealth.
That is, how do you overcome strife and difficulty and hardship? You put your trust in God. They need to hear you talking about it. They need to see you demonstrating. They need to see you face challenges and God brought you through it. They need to see your situations and circumstances that you're in just look hopeless. You can't tell your kids about that. Why not? When they get to the little age, not too much but a little age, let me tell you what dad is going through, what's happening, we'll trust the Lord for this and see how it works out. I never heard my mother say, we've got to fix this. In other words, came up to situation didn't have what we needed. We just needed to ask God to provide it for us.
Well didn't take me long to figure out, when I started school, I had $75.00 and three months before I didn't have anything. And didn't even have a way to go. My mother prayed long and hard, Lord, you provide, you know we don't have any money. You provide. One day I had no scholarship. Next day I had one. Went to school. Had $75.00. Every once in a while my mother would send me a few dollars. But she knew what she left me with. She had let me live with her for about those 18 years watching God provide our needs. She knew I was not going to worry about it. That's treasure. That's wealth. That's an inheritance you cannot buy. You can leave it to your children. You say, why so many of us have already past that stage. You have grandchildren. How do we instill these truths into our children? By the life we live. Then, of course, a forgiving heart.
If you don't teach them forgiveness, here's what you want. This is the way they're going to live. If they're unforgiving they're going to live all their life like this for the simple reason guilt and unforgiveness is a heavy weight in anybody's life. You marry somebody who has an unforgiving spirit, you just added a problem in your life. Forgiveness. Forgiveness means, I keep my heart open. And you teach your child forgiveness by being very forgiving. Watch this. And you also teach your child by saying to that child, sweetheart, I promised you I would be here and I wasn't. And I'm sorry. I need you to forgive me.
You say you don't ask your children to forgive you. Yes, you do. You ask them to forgive you. Because we're not perfect. Any time you come up with the idea you're not going to deal with the forgiveness. Think about this. Who has forgiven you of every sin you have ever committed? And I remember the day I was dealing with something in the church and the way people had treated me and so forth, and I had lots of ammunition. It's like the Lord said to me one day. When you look at me on the cross, is there anybody, anything that I've not been willing to forgive you for? Can you rightfully hold anything against anybody no matter what they do? Settle it for me.
Now, here's the trap on this one. In order to be forgiving, you got to have some hurt. You got to have some pain. You've got to be mistreated, falsely accused. Neared, if everything is going wonderful and everybody thinks you're the grandest person in the world, you've never learned to forgive. You learn to forgive by being hurt, mistreated, misjudged, falsely accused. All the things that go with pain and suffering, but we have to learn to forgive. The only way you teach your children, and the only way you leave them a spirit of forgiveness is watching it in you. If they see jealousy, for example, and they see this vengeful spirit that you're going to retaliate, I'll get the best of them. You don't know how I've been treated. Doesn't make a difference how you've been treated. That never changes. I never have a legitimate, biblical right or biblical authority to be unforgiving no matter what.
And you know, I've had some good, I've had too many opportunities to learn that lesson. I remember going through a difficult time way back in the church. This guy walks up on the platform in a business meeting. Back hands me, hits me in the jaw. Andy was sitting over here on the left and the deacon grabbed him. Andy, your dad just won that battle. When we went home, you can imagine what our conversation was about. And I knew the first thing I had to convey to my children was, I forgave him. As soon as he hit me. No retaliation. No vengeance. No getting the best of. It's instantaneous forgiveness.
Listen, that's the only way to live free is to be forgiving. If somebody says well but, but, but. Do you know what? No buts. He never said to you or to me, I'll forgive you. But I'll forgive you accept. Always forgiveness is at the cross. How many times have we been there? If we'll teach our children anything or leave them anything of value, one of the things we can leave them by demonstration is, I forgive you. But you got to be hurt. So you say how do we learn it? The only way you learn it is by forgiving. You might ask yourself the question this morning, is there anybody you have not forgiven? Then there's an orderly lifestyle, this is certainly a part of what we leave our children.
Now, if I came to your house would I be able to get to the front door to the kitchen without stumbling over four five six seven things to get there? You know I'm just sort of kidding you, sort of. Is your house junky? Do you all get up every morning and everybody go in different direction? You took this morning. You do the best you can tomorrow. Are you orderly about not only things, are you orderly about your time, orderly about your relationships? Or is it just you do your thing, I'll do mine. Don't get in my way. I won't get in your way.
I think about how some families live. I'm not sure I could live very well in a disorderly family. It was just my mother and I for most of my life, so I didn't have to worry about being orderly. Did she say Charles, be orderly? No. She laid out all of our clothes at nighttime before she went to work the next morning. She had everything on the breakfast on the table before we ever got up. She gave me instructions on what I was to cook, how I was to cook my breakfast and I was cooking my breakfast at about six years of age. It was no big deal. She said, here's what you do. And here's what you do with your clothes. You do not lay them down. You hang up your trousers. Hang them up. Hang them up. Hang them up. Until finally you hang them up.
The truth is, I think so many parents are afraid they'll have their children's disfavor and rejection, they won't even, they won't provide an orderly lifestyle. I think about Jesus. He didn't say, well, where am I going today? I'll think about, no. This is the day that demands and requires discipline for all of us. Discipline, watch this one. In our finances. Discipline in our diets. Discipline in our time. Go right down the line. These are days that demand it, require it. Our children need to see that in us. An orderly lifestyle is not one that's confusing.
See, some children grow up in a lifestyle that's so disorderly, they grow up confused. What to do next. How to make decisions. Then of course, look at this. One thing you want to leave them is a servant spirit which means you and I must have that. Most folks want to be waited on, pampered and according to the scripture of all the servants ever lived, Jesus is the perfect example. We're to leave our children that. We're to teach them, demonstrate to them what it means to be a servant, which means first quality, I must be willing to forget myself and ask what is best for him, what is best for her. How can I help him? How can I help her?
Think about this. Whoever you are, whatever you accomplished in life, you didn't get there by yourself. You are where you are because you've had some folks to help you. People who are willing to serve you. Think about this. You came into this world because your mother was willing to serve you. She gave you life. This is why I can't understand anybody who would mistreat a godly mother. Because she gave everything to get you into this world. And what did she do? She served you from changing your diapers to making your meals, getting you to school on time. In other words, think about what mothers have done. They have been servants.
Now there's many mothers who you birth the children and they just want to do their thing. I won't get into that. They'll have to decide how to live their life. It's up to them. But when a child grows up in a home and has a mother's love and sees that mother so willing to do whatever is necessary to help them, it builds something into their life. Because when you're served and taken care of, God builds that in your heart you want to do the same thing. When people shove you aside, you do the best you can, then they miss something.
I think we live such a fast pace. Most of us would say, I would be a better servant but I just don't have what? Time. But the question is, what do I want to leave? What do I want my kids to remember? That I helped them. That I served them. Not served them because I wanted something back because I wanted them to understand a servant spirit makes a person very, very valuable. It doesn't make any difference what their occupation. If you have a servant spirit and live that out, you're valuable to whoever you work for. Then, of course, a generous hand. You want to live a generous hand. That is, your children need to see you being generous. Because, listen.
I've never met a happy tight fisted anybody. A person who is tight fisted and you know straight and count every penny and you can't have this. Can't do that. In other words, that's no joy. No kid wants to grow up in that kind of a family. Generosity says I'm thinking about you. I have whatever I have. But I want you to have it. I want you to have whatever you need in life. And a generous spirit is a Christ like spirit, he gave himself totally and completely, continually giving, giving, giving, giving.
So, what are you saying to your children? Let's go back to second thing we said. And that is, a reverence for the Word of God. What does the Word of God say? Give and it should be given to you. It doesn't say hold, hold it tight. Scrape, pack it up. It doesn't say that. Give, give, give, give. And here's the promise. It will be given back, good measure, pressed down, shaken together. So if I want to teach my children to be generous, I want to get them in the Word of God. First of all say, here's what God says. Think about it. Our children come into this world with a bent away from God for the simple reason, they have a carnal nature.
So this is why little children get in a fuss over something that is oftentimes very ridiculous. This is mine. No, it's mine. That belongs to me. And they have big fights. Until finally they realize that that's not the solution. Would you say that you demonstrate to your family, your children, do you demonstrate generosity to them? You say, I don't have much. You don't have to have much. It's that you give whatever you have to give. And you can never out give God. Listen. A person who has the spirit of generosity usually has a kind spirit. Open spirit. Free spirit. They're generous. That is, giving is part of their life. It isn't just giving money and things. It's giving of themselves, their opinion, their faith, their witness, whatever it might be.
So what you have to ask is, would your children consider you a generous person? Then I would just say one last thing. The one thing you certainly want to leave them is a sincere love. Not fake. Not giving them things as a substitute for love. But genuine sincere love. It's real. It's unconditional. They can tell the difference. You can take two different grandmothers. This grandmother. This grandmother. This grandmother is generous and loving and sweet and kind. This grandmother over here is a little cool. And you know don't mess up my house. Don't do this. Don't do that. And when the grandchildren go to this house, they can't wait to get there. When you go to this house. Do we have to go there? Do you know why? It's in their heart. One grandmother has expressed love and the other one hasn't.
Let me ask you something. Don't you really and truly love to feel love from somebody? Amen. Now don't sit there like it isn't true. You do. We all want to feel loved. Do you know where we got that from? We grew up. And if you feel love growing up, I can still remember how it feels to hug my mother and to be hugged by her. And I think, I would wish that for every child. I know there's some families that have horrible problems. But you can love somebody. It's got to be real. One thing about a small child. The wonderful thing about a small child, they have not learned to doubt. You tell them something, if my daddy says it, that's the gospel, so to speak. And so, you love them. And you teach them to love other people. Do you know what? You're pouring, I keep saying this. You're pouring your God-given self into them. Now, I can still say more about that. I'll give you last three things. Put them on the board, if you will.
I want to answer this question, how do we leave a spiritual inheritance. There's three ways. Number one. By the pattern of our life. That's one way we do it. Number two. By the principles that govern us. What we believe. And number three. By the power of our words, what we say. Think about this. By the pattern of our life, how we live before them. The second one, by the principles that govern us. What we believe. And number three. The power of our words. What we say. We leave an inheritance in those three ways. And may God give us all wisdom to know how to do that in a way that transforms, works in the lives of our children and grandchildren to the point they grow up honoring God and living a godly life.
Father, how grateful we are, all of us who have had parents who have helped us through the troublesome times and learn the things we need to learn in life and keep on learning. I pray for all the mothers, Father, who have no husbands to help them. They're on their own. I pray you give them wisdom to know how to transfer these precious truths to their children in such a way, they too will rise up and call their mother godly. We love you and praise you, Father, and ask that the Holy Spirit would make all of us grateful. Thankful for what you're doing in our lives. But also with a heart to reach out to others who so desperately need us in Jesus' name, amen.
So let me say to you, if you have never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, listen to me carefully. You are going to miss life. If you just think worldly pleasure will satisfy you, it can't. The only thing that will satisfy you is the person of Jesus Christ living within you. You can have or have not. But when you have him, you have what counts. And I would encourage you to ask him to forgive you of your sins and trust him as your personal Savior. Tell him, I'm asking you to forgive me on the basis you paid my sin debt at the cross and I'm surrendering my life to you right now. Then he'll begin to work in your life things that probably you've missed all these years.