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Focus: Sharing the legacy
Psalm 78:1-4 (CEB) Listen, my people, to my teaching; tilt your ears toward the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a proverb. I’ll declare riddles from days long gone—ones that we’ve heard and learned about, ones that our ancestors told us. We won’t hide them from their descendants; we’ll tell the next generation all about the praise due the Lord and His strength—the wondrous works God has done.
‘Being responsible’ is something most people who are recovering from depression and dependency don’t want to hear much about. But hopefully, by now, you’ve made enough progress that you can consider some of the important duties characteristic of anyone who realizes their life was meant for a purpose.
You weren’t just put here on earth to live and die. You were put here to learn from those who are older than you—so that you could teach those who are younger than you.
Whether you have children or not—you aren’t released from the responsibility of living a life that will model Godliness to the next generation. Not so much that you’d be capable of living a completely perfect life before them—but that you would be recognized as a sinner saved by grace.
If you haven’t been anything close to a good example up to this point, don’t worry about it. Most younger people can’t relate to someone who they think has never done anything wrong anyway. If you have a background of failure, God can still use you, if you commit yourself to a life of learning and growing in righteousness.
You may not have had a good example to follow. Maybe righteousness was never ‘acted out’ as a model for your benefit. Or, you might have had wonderful parents and grandparents and other people you looked up to—and you still blew it…like me.
Whichever the case, none of us are excused from doing our part to ‘show forth the praise of Him who called us out of darkness into His glorious light’ (1 Peter 2:9).
Children constantly observe the mannerisms and behavior of people who are older than they are. It’s the way God made us. Most of the important things you know, you learned from listening to or watching another person—probably someone more experienced than you—and that kind of learning doesn’t stop. It continues all through our lives.
When you were a baby, you were fascinated by hearing older people talk…especially when they were talking to you. By watching their faces and their expressions, you learned to make sounds that weren’t words at first, but as you continued to listen and watch and practice…eventually, you got to be pretty good at talking.
The accomplishment of learning to talk is a primary building block in child development and an important tool for basic survival. But, our ability to communicate is something we continue to work on throughout our entire life. Almost everything about the way we talk—we learned from other people.
Any person who has basic communication skills can be a witness of the power of God to the next generation. You may not think you have the ability or knowledge to be an evangelist or a preacher—but anyone who has been forgiven of their sins can share the wonderful feeling they had when they were set free from the weight of guilt and shame. Your own personal testimony is the most powerful story you could ever share with your children, grandchildren, or anyone at all.
When you tell someone else about what Christ has done for you—you are giving God praise. When you share how you were lost and now your life has meaning and purpose because of the love of the Jesus, who was willing to die that you might live—you are giving Him the glory He deserves.
The Bible itself is the record of the faithfulness of God to the generations of mankind—starting with Adam and Eve and continuing down through the ages to the life of Christ and projecting all the way to His future return to earth. The Bible is the result of people who were responsible enough to write down what God motivated them to record—for the benefit of future generations.
Many of the words written centuries ago, are the same words we use when we sing and praise God today. Using ancient phrases is not a lack of creativity on our part—it’s a way of confirming that God was and always will be all-powerful. He is the same—yesterday, today, and forever.
Declaration: I will find new strength by being a living witness of the power of salvation to the next generation.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.