Tomorrow morning at Providence, we will explore again the challenge we face in passing on a legacy worth leaving to the next generation. Since we as followers of Christ call Him our greatest treasure, are we treating the treasure as something to be honored and loved, preserved and passed on with pleasure to those we love the most.
The sermons in this series will be available at http://www.pray.org each week for the six weeks of this special focus. At Providence we love our kids and students and want to do all that we can to give them what means the most in this world to us (as well as the world to come!). They will not hold onto what they do not treasure, which accounts for the fact that so many who have been brought up to believe rightly have never learned what it means to love deeply.
The challenge? To present Jesus Christ as He really is and to demonstrate our affection for Him as the priceless treasure who is worth giving up everything just to know! Pray for us as we lay out the biblical calling to show Him in all His wonder, glory and beauty. Then pray that we will be faithful to live out our faith in Him in such a way that the next generation…and the next…and the next…will benefit from the inheritance we have passed along, just as we have received it.
After a week at Impact, our student ministry camp, I am once again convinced that the body of Christ gets it right when we invest in leading the next generation to know and treasure Jesus Christ. A commitment to help them come to love Him, however, involves much more than simply teaching them some principles, laying out some ideas about acceptable behavior and helping them memorize a few verses. All of these are good things, but are no substitute for giving them a genuine model of deep affection for the Lord. Their love for Christ will be more caught than taught.
Next week, we will begin a three-week series of sermons called “Generations,” and look at the biblical exhortation to parents and churches to provide a vibrant example of godliness that flows directly from the kind of loving relationship with the Lord that is contagious. Until our kids see that we really do love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, all of our programs and activities and teaching will produce little affection for Him.
The psalmist explains it in Psalm 78 and gives us simple instruction that we often forget or underestimate:
That they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments,(Psalm 78:5-7)
I long to see a new generation develop a passion for Jesus Christ. I long to see them treasure Him above all things. But I cannot just teach lessons about it, preach sermons on it and write articles about it. I must demonstrate an authentic passion for Him myself and encourage others to do the same–to live for Christ in such a dynamic way that they will delight to follow an appealing model.