We will tell the next generation…

From Psalm 78:4-7

We will not hide them from their descendants;
    we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
    his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob
    and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
    to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
    even the children yet to be born,
    and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
    and would not forget his deeds
    but would keep his commands.

Old Testament Israel had much to tell their children. Amongst the praiseworthy deeds of their Lord, was the salvation of a nation from slavery in Egypt. After such a miraculous display of power and love, you would hardly think they would need to be reminded to tell their children. Surely they would be telling their children at every opportunity because they want their kids to have trust in such a loving and powerful God. And wouldn’t they want their kids to be ready to tell the next generation too?

What about us? We’ve seen an act of salvation that exceeds the greatness of the exodus. Jesus’ death & resurrection is the greatest act of salvation the world has ever seen. It’s the greatest display of love, kindness, and power anyone will ever see. Surely, we should be telling our children of the praise worthy deeds of the Lord, at every opportunity – so that they would put their trust in the Lord and they in turn will tell their children?

Or do we, like the Israelites, need to be reminded to tell our children?

The responsibility to teach the next generation can not be delegated only to an elite group of people with gifts for teaching kids (though, certainly those who are gifted in that way should use their gifts!). Likewise, it can not be delegated only to parents. The responsibility to teach the next generation is all of ours. We are all members of God’s family, and this instruction is for all of us. From teaching kids’ church to SRE to simply reading the bible with a child, there are many ways for us to be a part of it.

How will you tell the next generation?

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22

Lily Allen seems to have quite a talent for writing songs that resonate with her fans. Every time I hear ’22’ I’m amazed at how much I feel like this is about me.

When she was 22 the future looked bright
But she’s nearly 30 now and she’s out every night
I see that look in her face, she’s got that look in her eye
She’s thinking how did I get here and wondering why

It’s sad but it’s true how society says her life is already over
There’s nothing to do and there’s nothing to say
‘Til the man of her dreams comes along
Picks her up and puts her over his shoulder
It seems so unlikely in this day and age

She’s got an alright job but it’s not a career
Whenever she thinks about it, it brings her to tears
‘Cause all she wants is a boyfriend, she gets one night stands
She’s thinking how did I get here, I’m doing all that I can

It’s sad but it’s true how society says her life is already over
There’s nothing to do and there’s nothing to say
‘Til the man of her dreams comes along
Picks her up and puts her over his shoulder
It seems so unlikely in this day and age

I get that. When I turned 22 I was living with my partner of 3 and half years, and we were planning a marriage and children. Now, 6 months away from turning 30, I get what she’s singing about. It does feel like society thinks your life is over. Every day marriage seems less and less likely, which is a hard reality to come to terms with a lot of the time.

Here’s another description that was true of the 22-year-old me.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to this worldly age, according to the ruler of the atmospheric domain, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and by nature we were children under wrath, as the others were also. Ephesians 2:1-3

And the almost 30-year-old me…

But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved! He also raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavens, in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6

Whatever ‘society’ might say, reality is that God, through Christ has brought me from death to life!

So I’ll keep reminding myself that though it seems like Lily has put my life into song, she missed the most important bit – I’ve been saved and seated in the heavens with Christ, my saviour and my God, and I’ll praise him for it for all eternity!

Eyjafjallajokull

5 This is what God the LORD says—
he who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:

6 “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,

7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

Isaiah 42:5 – 7

Joy, Faith & Salvation

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth in to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though for now you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth that gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

These verse in 1 Peter 1 are among some of the most precious for me and I think they teach us a great deal about joy.

First – We find joy in things to come. It’s the eternal perspective again. The opening verses talk of a living hope, an inheritance kept in heaven for you and salvation to be revealed in the last days. It is in these things that we greatly rejoice! Even while we suffer now.

Second – Again… our sufferings are not worthless or pointless. It is by trials that our faith is not only refined but proven to be true. This is why we rejoice even in the midst of these trials.

Thirdly – The extent of the joy we have because of Jesus is endless. Inexpressible and Glorious! We are filled with this joy NOW, because we are receiving the salvation prophets spoke of (vs 10) and that angels long to look into to (vs 12).