Human nature is self-centered.
In our daily lives, we think of and care little about the next generation. But God’s Word reveals that He is a generational God. The Jews call Him the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Therefore, we need to be like our Father, thinking generationally in all that we do. Consider the Church, in which many generations are represented within one body. We need to relay the grace of God in our personal lives to others so that they may know Him and proclaim His goodness after we are gone.
My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. 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. (Psalm 78:1-7)
The verses above command us to teach our children of the goodness of God.
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. (2 Timothy 1:5)
How great are your works, LORD, how profound your thoughts! (Psalm 92:5)
Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy splendor, your young men will come to you like dew from the morning’s womb. (Psalm 110:3)
Three principles to remember:
- Create an environment of respect, love and acceptance.
Do not become swayed by your own ideas and preferences, but maintain the Word of God and live by the Spirit. As we become the older generation, we need to inspire the young through our example of faith and obedience, not merely by imposing our ideas.
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (2 Timothy 1:13-14)
- Exemplify an authentic spiritual experience.
We must approach today’s youth in a way that is sensitive to their lives. Young people are passionate, always looking for unique and exciting experiences. Therefore, we need to show them how to authentically experience God. Only through personal experiences can we know God and believe Him. Without an authentic encounter with Him, we will start out living in the Spirit but end trapped by the flesh.
Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? (Galatians 3:3-5)
- Challenge yourself for a greater cause.
When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” (1 Samuel 17:28-29)
Scripture tells us that David, who was anointed, had a greater cause in mind than his brothers. He was so confident in the Lord that he was able to slay the giant. However, his own brother did not recognize the greater cause in his life. We need to be careful not to focus on our personal problems and fears, but to be sensitive to the calling of the younger generation. Eliab was more focused on his standing with the other soldiers than on the strength of his brother David.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:31-40)
We find in the above verses the need to remain sensitive to the needs of others rather than ourselves, for such is the Kingdom of God. This walk is all about taking care of the people God places in your path, maintaining a heart of compassion. The more Christ-focused we become, they more naturally and joyfully we will serve others.
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them” … (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
Remember your Lord God in the days of your youth before it is too late.