11/12 - For The Coming Generations

November 16th, 2017

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 For The Coming Generations

Psalm 78:1-8

  • It Makes a Difference

    • My Dad was a soldier

      • Paratrooper, purple heart recipient
      • Didn't talk much about it; only shared a few stories
      • But he handed down to me a fundamental respect for soldiers, for their struggles, for why they fought
      • And having received this from him, and having seen my father's service respected at his funeral, it is almost painful to see the American flag held in contempt...
    • That connection is becoming more rare
      • Recent statistics show just one-half of one percent of American adults have served on active duty at any given time. Fewer that one-third of those under 30 have immediate family members who served. 
      • And if you look at the difference between those who live in the big cities and those from the rural areas, the differences get larger.
    • And with the loss of that connection comes a loss in understanding, respect, and common values. That happens when the important things are not passed on to the next generation...
  • So it is with our Faith, and its Foundations
    • Remember that push years go to "not force our kids into our faith?" Against this today's scripture says: " We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. "
    • How well do you think we've done?
      • Noah, Jonah, Moses, Sampson...ok
      • Do they know the story of David and Jonathan? Or David and Absalom?
      • Do they know that a prostitute named Rahab became the ancestor of Jesus?
      • How Elisha prayed so his servant could see God's armies defending them, and he saw the hillside surrounded with "chariots of fire?"
      • They know the 23rd Psalm; do they know that the 22nd Psalm was the cry of Jesus on the cross?
      • For that matter, have we told them of our personal struggles with faith, when God delivered us, or gave us strength to carry on?
    • These are the foundations of our shared faith, mutual understanding, common values...
      • Are our foundations solid? Will "the children yet unborn,... set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;... that they should not be like their ancestors, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God"?
      • (God's church is there to equip you and support you in this calling; this is something God's church and God's families do together. But the church can never take your place.)
    • Beyond the Foundations, we must Build Well
      • But even if we get that RIGHT, that is only the first step!
      • Do you think the Pharisees had a strong biblical foundation?   And yet they put Jesus to death...
        • Of all the national instances of violence in the last few months, only one was (possibly) seeking fame. The others killed, at least in part, because they thought they were in the right... just like the Pharisees when they had Jesus killed.
      • The foundations must be solid, yet Christ-like love is the mortar that holds them together...
        • Every story we share is told in the light of Jesus' love, sacrifice, and resurrection... done so ALL may come to Him
      • Please consider this well...
        • God has given us infinite grace, but in this world we have a limited amount of time

          • We know (hopefully) that our faith has made us "better," in how we handle the trials of life, how we reach out to others...
          • But bringing it down to that limited resource of time, please consider this question: What practical difference has it made in my family's life that we identify as Christians, excluding all church-based activities? And should I be satisfied with the answer?
            • Maybe there should be more time with my spouse, with my kids, sharing the stories, talking about the faith, praying for the hurting and lost?
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