Lesson Three – Every generation is important!
Families traveling together is a big thing at Disneyworld! You can observe the grandparents, parents, and children walking along together, sometimes with strollers, wheelchairs, and electric carts. They work at staying together and experiencing this vacation as one unit. It was so encouraging to see grandparents with a grandchild on their laps riding them along in the electric carts or sharing their wheelchair with them. They were smiling and enjoying their time together. I also witnessed children in distress after one of the rides. They needed to be comforted and the grandparent held and spoke to the child with much patience. There were times when not all the family could ride but sacrifice was made in order that others could ride. Input into the generations is so important and it isn’t always the very young who need that input. A mother who needs her mother to put her arm around her and rub her back in the middle of the day when everyone is so tired. A father who hears from his father, “I’m proud of you son for all you’re doing for your own children today. I know this is a sacrifice.” We all need encouragement regardless of our age. The generations after us are important and we need to step up in our families and also in our church family.
God’s Word has much to say about how we are to treat others in his family. There is a reason we are to encourage, love, confront, be kind, have patience, live at peace, and carry one another’s burdens. We do this because of all that Christ has done for us. He lived perfectly for us. He died to make us his. He rose from the dead in victory! He intercedes for us today at the right hand of the Father. It is these works of Christ which make us part of the family of God if we have placed our faith in him. We do what we do because Christ did what he did! That is easy for us to remember but not always easy to do. This includes all generations within our family. Let’s look at Psalm 78:4-8. (This is a longer passage but please read it all as it is of great importance for our family.)
“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 that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generations might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generations, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
The purpose of our involvement in the other generations is so that they would put their hope in God and follow him. This is a high calling which every Follower of Christ is given. When was the last time you shared your space with a child, or comforted someone who’s tired, or used your words to encourage another generation? It’s so easy to get caught up in who we think we are, or how we don’t have time, or maybe we think we’re not competent to do it at all. But God has given us a great challenge to get involved with another generation, to step outside of ourselves, and to love others well for his glory. How can we do this within our church body? It needs to be intentional. We can be involved in the children’s ministry, the women’s ministry, the men’s ministry, or a small group. Each of these opportunities gives us the chance to be involved with others who are of a different age and circumstance. If you are older, like me, then you have much in the way of experience of how God has worked in your life that will be of great benefit to others. We should want to be a part of the next generation putting their hope in God.
There was someone or many who put their time into you, pointing you to a Savior. Remember and be grateful today for them and God’s direction in their lives. They loved you well. Let’s seek to love well too for God’s glory.
“Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.” Joel 1:3