Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Will the Next Generation Know?

Last night, Catriona and I had the privilege of hosting the first meeting of MuMS - Making Mothering Significant. This is a new discipleship intiative of the Women's Ministry of Charlotte Chapel where we meet to study together what the bible says about being a mum as God intended. For our first meeting we listened to a sermon by John Piper a pastor from Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. We listened to a talk, 'Will the Next Generation Know?' from a series entitled "Raising Children who Hope in the Triumph of God." You can purchase this series from Desiring God Ministries or listen online here.

Piper's sermon was based on Judges 2:6-11 where we find that throughout the lifetime of Joshua and those who had witnessed the great things of the Lord, the people served the Lord. However, after Joshua's death and that whole generation, another generation grew up who did not know the Lord nor what he had done for Israel and did what was evil in God's sight. As a result God's anger burned against them. Piper brought out 3 lessons:

1. Wherever the knowledge of God, his greatness, his grace and his works are preserved especially by those who have experienced it, there is faith and obedience.
2. If we, as parents allow our children to grow up without this knowledge, we not only serve their ignorance, but their destruction.
3. Therefore, it is the solemn duty of all parents to instruct their children about God. Simple, but needful.

I was reminded about this again today in my devotions. Psalm 71:18 reads, "Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come." Don Carson commented helpfully in For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Treasures of God's Word: "David's vision is more comprehensive than mere protection. He wants so to live in old age that he passes on his witness to the next generation. His aim is not to live comfortably in retirement, but to use his senior years to 'declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.' That is a prayer eminently worth praying. Should not senior saints be praying for grace to pass on what they have learned to a new generation? Perhaps this will be one on one or in small groups. Perhaps one of them will take under his or her wing some young Christian."

And so the biblical reminder to 'pass on' what he have learned is not just for the parents of children but for all Christians, young and especially older. Will we 'pass on' what we have experienced and know of God to be true? Will we sit at the feet of another whom we have much to learn from?

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