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A Thousand Generations
1 Timothy 1:3-5 3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, 5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
2 Timothy 3:14ff But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Big Idea: Cultivate a Burden for Heirloom-Quality Faith. A Burden to teach and train and influence generations to come.
—Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren. (Deuteronomy 4:9)
—Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation. (Joel 1:3)
—One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. (Psalm 145:4)
—Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come. (Psalm 71:18)
“All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”” (Matthew 13:34–35, ESV)
Our deepest desire for our children and grandchildren and generations to come should be that they are faithful to God. (Psalm 78) That they would...
1—Have Confidence in God. We want them to set their hope in God. (7)
2—Remember the Works of God. We don’t ever want them to forget the works of God. (7, 11)
3—Be Submissive to God. Keep the law of God. (7c) Not stubborn and rebellious (8)
4—Be Valiant for God. We don’t want them to turn back when things become difficult but we want their spirits to be steadfast with God. (8-9)
5—Never Turn Away From Walking with God. We don’t want them to break covenant with God and reject the law of God and refuse to walk in his law. (10)
6—Pass the Faith to Their Children. Tell Their Children and Grand-children. We want them to pass the light of this truth undimmed to the generations to come, to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren (4, 6)
If your children stray:
-Be a Faithful Example.
-Repent of Sin.
-Seek wisdom from the Spirit
Don’t give in to selfishness or despair or discouragement.
The nearer we get to the heart of God the more we have a vision within for multi-generational faithfulness. This is true of the Church. When you see the Church grow cold and apostate you will notice that they speak little and care less of the generations beyond our immediate family. We are more concerned with our happiness and prosperity than we are with our holiness and posterity. We are more preoccupied with our own comforts than we are with the world and the church our sons and daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will inherit. We insist on our own preferences without regard to the effect such selfishness has on the generations that will follow us.
When the Sprit brings revival, though, things are different. When men and women of God grow close to the heart of God they begin to consider and cherish God’s values, including an obsession with generations of faithfulness to God. When you read Christian biography you see this clearly.
I discovered a beautiful example of this in the biography of the great Baptist missionary Adonirum Judson. His story was powerfully written by his son Edward Judson in 1883. Five hundred and thirty pages in, in the record of the final weeks of his life, the great missionary experienced an awakening, a renewal of spirit. As his physical strength ebbed away his inner man was being renewed with spiritual vitality. The effect of that renewal was to stir up his heart for the generations to follow for the glory of God.
These observations on the final days of his life were written by his wife in a letter to his sister. Notice how he was taken more and more with Christ and with things eternal:
“I believe he has sometimes been thought eloquent, both in conversation and in the sacred desk; but the fervid, burning eloquence, the deep pathos, the touching tenderness, the elevation of thought, and intense beauty of expression, which characterized those private teachings, were not only beyond what I had ever heard before, but such as I felt sure arrested his own attention, and surprised even himself. About this time he began to find unusual satisfaction and enjoyment in his private devotions, and seemed to have new objects of interest continually rising in his mind, each of which in turn became special subjects of prayer. Among these, one of the most prominent was the conversion of his posterity. He remarked that he felt impressed with the duty of praying for their children and their children’s children down to the latest generation. He also prayed most fervently that his impressions on this particular subject might be transferred to his sons an daughters, and thence to their offspring, so that he should ultimately meet a long, unbroken line of descendants before the throne of God, where all might join together in ascribing everlasting praises to their Redeemer.” (Italics mine)
When a man or women walks with God and nears the throne of God he/she acquires the heart of God and the heart of God is for a godly posterity. Men and women of God are concerned, burdened with godly generations. They are not content to simply survive the entrapments of this present world and make it through safe to heaven as the world crumbles behind them. They want to build bridges of faith for those who follow them on the path. They want to plant trees of fidelity to truth so generations can live in the shade and eat the fruit of them.
Deu. 7:9 1000 Generations—only God!
“O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” (Psalm 71:17–18, ESV)
When Everything Gone… will what is left last forever?
Benediction: God in Heaven burden us for the generations to come if you delay your return. Give these today who have gathered in your name a great burden and a great vision for generations who are faithful to you. Forgive us for giving in to discouragement. Help us to be an example. Help is to be an influence. Help us to love. Help us to pray without ceasing. Give us repentant hearts. Fill us with creativity to influence the generations to come to follow God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength adn never turn aside.
May 31, 2020
God in Heaven, We gather here because we love you. As we assemble here in obedience and loyalty and love for you, our hearts are heavy for what we have seen in our nation this week.
We love our country. We love this state. It hurts us to see hatred, prejudice, anarchy, lawlessness, disregard for life and destruction of property, vengeance, rage, mistreatment of people who are made in your image. The threats, and assaults, and ugliness rob us of sleep and break our hearts.
Remind us Lord in the secret place of our hearts that all people of all skin pigmentation, cultures, and countries of origin are precious to you and created in your image.
Remind us, Lord that you were not a white man like many of us… and you were unjustly abused, reviled, mistreated, misunderstood, tortured and murdered.
Remind us that one day there will be a vast multitude around your throne from every nation and every tribe and every language. What a colorful world you have made.
Forgive us for the times we have been silent when others are suffering. Help us to see and confess the pockets of prejudice in our own hearts and true empathize with those who are oppressed and crushed with generational systems poverty and injustice.
God convict those in authority who have abused their power. God protect those in authority who are trying to serve and protect.
Thank you for those who have taken up a calling to serve and protect. Now more than every we need men and women in authority who are peace officers. Protect them and give them wisdom. They deal with great evil every day and their sleep is often broken with nightmares. God, only you know what it does to them to live with a continual threat of harm hanging over them.
Strengthen our leaders still to thrive and be effective in their calling when they exposed to threats, abuse, and hatred. Help them think clearly and act justly.
Help us Lord not to put all people in one category to condemn them no matter their ethnic identity or calling in life. Help us instead to put all men and all women in one category to show them dignity—the category: Created by God.
Give, I pray your church great revival so many would yield to Christ and submit to the law of God and reflect the nature of God.
Unite us, Lord to fear your name… give, I pray great success to the gospel that would welcome the Prince of Peace into the deepest place of our souls and our culture.
Even so, come Lord Jesus, that your will will be done on earth, in America, in Michigan as it is in Heaven. Come Christ the King and bring your peace to this earth, lift every burden, forgive our sin, reign as our King. Amen .