Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Psalm 78 - telling the next generation

Take a few minutes today to read Psalm 78. It is a great Psalm. There are a few verses that struck me today. "We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders he has done." (Ps. 78:4 ESV) The writer then goes on to tell of the wonders in the lives of the Israelites - the plagues, the time in the wilderness, the feeding of manna and quail, the water from the rock - all amazing events in the lives of the people. Look at them. Tell the next generation of those events. Stand in wonder of what this great God does in the lives of His people.

If only...He did those things today. People would believe. They wouldn't get involved in sin. They would focus their attention on the Lord instead of themselves - the instant gratification and selfish actions that so many desire. If only...but that isn't true. Even with the events in front of them, the people of Israel strayed from the way of the Lord. We read, "In spite of all this, they still sinned; despite his wonders, they did not believe..." (Ps. 78:32 ESV) What does it take? What does it take to remain on the path that the Lord puts before us? What does it take to even "get on" the path? If the people couldn't do it even after they saw the mighty works, how can we?

Through the working of the Holy Spirit! That is how! He works in our lives the same was every day - through the Means of Grace. The Word opens to us the wonders of what God has done. Most especially does it open the reality of the greatest event in history - the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. There in the Word He shows us the greatest of all His deeds - greater than manna and water from the rock. He also does wonders with water and bread today. Water - baptism, saving the soul, giving faith, bestowing forgiveness, life! Bread - Lord's Supper, simple wafer on the tongue, the body broken on the cross, united in the Supper by the word of Christ, given to the sinner for the forgiveness of sins. Powerful stuff!

Tell it to the next generation! Tell them about the love of Christ. Tell them of the wonders that the Son of God has done and continues to do your life. That is what we are about. Sunday school, religion classes, confirmation - all ways to tell the next generation. Day school - 7 hours of telling the wonders of God to the next generation. What an opportunity! What a privilege we are given.

We see the importance of telling the next generation but are we willing to support that work? Are we willing to give sacrificially to support the ministry to reach out to the next generation? Churches that have schools struggle with that question. They look at the costs of a school and wonder - can we do it? But that is the wrong question. Instead we should ask, "Why are we not doing it?" How can we not do all we can, not just in word but in deed (which includes financially), support the work of the schools of our churches? There, you and I have the golden opportunity to make a difference in the life of our children. We can do as the Psalmist writes, "We will not hide them from our children..."

Read the Psalm. Pray about it. Ask the Lord how He can use you to reach the next generation.

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