I was in a restaurant one afternoon last week when I received the following text message from Jeshua, “We are at the hospital. The baby is on the way.”
It was expected news, and it was exciting news. By the time Terry and I arrived at Sentera Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia, the next day, Elias B. Branch had been born. Brother Micaiah even accompanied us on the trip. Mother Megan and child had done very well, for which we thank the Lord.
After three girls, Jeshua finally got a son. For Terry and me, it makes nine grandbabies. There are now five granddaughters, and four grandsons for us. I am very happy to have them all. The girls—-“my girls”—-have me wrapped around their little finger. The boys make me very proud.
I have a three point prayer for them while I still live. First, my prayer for each of them is that the Lord will raise them up to be mighty giants for Him. I pray for their early salvation. At least four them have already received Jesus Christ as the personal Lord and Savior, but I pray for completed conversions for the whole group. Then, I pray that they will grow to be obedient to Him, live out His expectations, and practice His principles. They should be visibly faithful to God. They should be vocal about God. They should know the Bible from having learned it at home and at church, and they should be very willing to tell others about the principles of God. The next generation from all families need such prayers prayed on their behalf now and today. I do not want a faithful generation to end with me and this generation. It would be tragic if that happens.
Second, my prayer for each of them is that they will grow to make a difference in society. People need Christian people willing to serve in the name of Jesus Christ. This is true because it needs to be communicated to others that Jesus Christ makes a difference in the lives of people. Jesus puts this in terms of being “lights” for Him. For example, He said, “Let your light shine before men that they might see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” Apostle Paul added, “That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of a perverse and crooked generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
I am prayerful that the light my grandbabies make for Jesus Christ will not go out.
Furthermore, the Lord also puts things in terms of “salt” when He pointed out that Christians making a difference in society create a thirst in others for Jesus Christ. There are distinct advantages with Christ. There are distinct blessings associated with Christ. These need to be talked about. These need to be demonstrated. In the days to come, this spiritual thirst will need to be advanced.
These are weighty spiritual principles that can be easily forgotten if we do not keep reminding ourselves about them. I pray that our grandbabies will be constantly positioned to practice them for the sake of society at large.
Third, my prayer for each of them is that they will allow God to fulfill His will and purposes in their lives. What this has in mind has to do with personal spiritual growth. It has to do with having personal experience with God, which leads to getting to know God. It has to do with getting to the point of absolutely trusting God. Life is particularly rigorous if you are not exercised by the will and purposes of God in your life. My prayer is that the lives of my grandbabies will be blessed and enhanced by the will and purposes of God.
I will tell you this—-I told Elias before I left him, “Now, son, Paw says that he does expect that you run for 1500 yards your freshman year in high school football, and maybe have one hundred and twenty-five tackles. Okay?”
Well, just hush my mouth!
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.