11 November 2012

Believing in the Next Generation

We are at a crossroads. We are in an especially important time for the church and for future generations because so much of our focus to move the Kingdom forward consists of good intentions.   But, if we leave it simply at ‘good intentions’ and don't transfer those good intentions into actions, then we will- in so many ways- short circuit what God wants to do.

If we don't impart spiritual life into the next generation, we are on the road to losing them when it comes to having  faith in Christ.

Although Moses had the vision to go into the Promised Land, he never got to do it. But Moses, being the leader he was, still did some amazing things.  One of the best things he did was to mentor the next generation with a strong faith.  He raised up Joshua, and when he died, he handed off the leadership to Joshua in a seamless transition.

Joshua was able to fulfill what Moses had always desired; it was he who led Israel into the Promised Land. He became a phenomenal leader, but he had one tremendous downside.   Joshua did not ‘raise up’ the next generation.  Consequently, when his generation died, tragedy plagued  the next generation.

“After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers” (that means they died) “another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10

Since Joshua did not raise up spiritual leaders in the generation to come, the next generation did not know God intimately or experience His power.

What are we supposed to do now?

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good...” Titus 2:7

One of my goals in life is to be a godly example. If you hang out with me for about 30 seconds, you’ll quickly realize I’m not perfect. But with everything in me, I plan to love one woman and serve her faithfully for my entire life, loving her as Christ loved the church and I plan to live with financial integrity.   

I would be entirely stoked if someone younger would come along and say out loud, "You know what? I want to be a little bit like that!"  That would be one of my greatest honors.

How could we possibly settle for any less of a goal? …to be a great example, simply through the way we live our lives.

Are you thinking that you have nothing to teach the next generation? Have you ever…

  • been hurt by someone and you've overcome that hurt?
  • failed at something and you learned from that failure?
  • had a significant setback and you overcame the setback?
  • fought and survived cancer?
  • overcome an addiction to pornography or drugs or alcohol?
  • committed adultery, confessed it, and experienced God’s healing in your marriage?
If you have experienced anything close to these examples, God can use you to be in a mentoring relationship to someone else, like Paul was for Timothy.  But, don't insult God by telling him you don't have anything to offer the next generation.  This generation needs to hear from you. This generation needs to hear your God stories.

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