A Heritage from the Lord

Pam and I joined an elite club recently. It has all kind of benefits to the membership. The others in this club have some unique and special commonalities. They are often showing pictures to anyone who will look at them, sometimes even to total strangers. Their social media sites focus upon these kind of pictures as well.

By now, you have guessed that I am talking about the unofficial group of people who are grandparents. Georgia Noelle Linna ushered us into this distinct company of people who are now seeing their children have children. Our youngest daughter, Allison, and her husband,are the proud parents of Georgia Noelle. The little one is named after her maternal grandmother and great-grandmother, Georgia, and she is further named after her Aunt Noelle.

Although this grandparenting experience is new to us, we have already begun the joyride of enjoying a grandchild as well as viewing mother and father assume their new roles as parents. This new experience in life has caused me to reflect upon the blessing of children and how they change the world. I realize that marriage is not for everyone, nor is parenthood for all people, but those so blessed to be parents and grandparents have an opportunity to contribute to the future with a strong calling of raising children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Psalm 127 speaks to this calling. The first two verses resemble the language of Ecclesiates. The word “vain” is used to describe a life devoid of God’s guidance. Verse three has different tone. “Children are a heritage from the Lord.” This is another way of saying that children are a gift from the Lord. Every time you look at a child remember that affirmation.

As I reflected anew upon this verse, I was enthralled by the word “heritage.”  “Children are a heritage from the Lord.” That is a unique way of underscoring the reminder that God is the Giver of life and the Giver of life eternal.

Children have a special place in our hearts. You ask a parent who has numerous children and he or she will tell you that each child has a special place in the heart of godly parent. I am pained when I discover children who have been abused or neglected. This is why I believe in the ministry of the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries. They offer ministry to children who do not know special love. These dedicated servants, among others, provide a special place in their hearts and in their homes for children who are in need.

Children are a special part of our history. For me personally, I began to think of our granddaughter’s ancestors — people she will never know but people who led the way for her being who she is. I have not spent much time studying ancestry. I appreciate people who do have that passion and who have an understanding of their lineage. In a spiritual sense, the parents of our grandchild have become a part of a long stream of history in terms of Christians who have sought to live by the Word of God and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. That is the most important factor in the life of Georgia Noelle.

Children are a special provision of our hope for the future. Jesus Christ is our hope, but our Lord God has offered the gift of parenting and grandparenting to give us hope in the future. There is a cloud of hopelessness pervading our culture at present. It is a feeling of helplessness that leaves people in a state of dread and fear. Every time a child is born, there is a shout of hope for the future. Things can change. Life can be different.

Just recently, someone said to me, “Why bring a child into this kind of world?” I did not respond except in my own mind. Having children and raising them up to abide in Christ is a missionary calling. Do we want Christians to cease having children? God forbid! No, we want Christian parents to do their best in shaping the lives of the next generation.

Like you, I was so dismayed and disgusted with the recent video depicting a lunch conversation which centered on harvesting body parts of aborted children. The subject was bad enough, but the casual nature of the discussion was indescribably despicable. Children are not machines to be broken apart and used in other ways. They are “a heritage from the Lord.”

I want to thank all of you for congratulating us on grandparenthood. Pray that we will be positive influences in the life of this precious child. Pray for her sweet parents. Also, bear with us when we show you or send you photos.

Executive Director of Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions

State Missionary Rick Lance was elected in June of 1998 to serve as executive director of the State Board of Missions and treasurer of the Alabama Baptist Convention. Rick leads state missions efforts and facilitates Great Commission Ministries for the Convention's 3,200+ churches and more than one million Alabama Baptists.

Rick and his wife, Pam, are members at First Baptist Church, Montgomery. They have two daughters.

Any requests for Rick Lance to speak in or visit your church should be directed to Billie Davis at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 253 or (334) 613-2253, [email protected]

For questions about Dr. Lance's Facebook and Twitter accounts or his blog site, you may contact his social media assistant, Keith Hinson, at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 289 or (334) 613-2289, [email protected]