Passing it on to the Next Generation

from Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

March 29

Passing it on to the Next Generation

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 45:1-9 | Deuteronomy 11:1-12:23 | Luke 8:22-39 | Proverbs 12:4

Today’s Scripture Focus: Deuteronomy 11:1-12:23

Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the LORD your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm; the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country . . . It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the wilderness until you arrived at this place  . . . but it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the LORD has done (Deuteronomy 11:1-5 NIV).

In this text we are once again reminded that our love for God expresses itself in obedience to God and his word (1).  This is a key theme of Deuteronomy: The Torah—the law of God—was given to the people of God that they would be able to walk in the ways of God. True love for him was to be expressed in obedience. This basic principle remains true in the New Testament as well: “If you love me, obey my commands.”

Love for God also expresses itself in remembering what God has done and then passing on what we remember to the next generation. “It was not your children who saw . . . but it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the LORD has done.” We are quick to forget the answers to prayer; we are apt to forget the ways he has blessed us. Taking the time to remember produces gratitude in our hearts. It strengthens our faith during times of testing. Passing on the stories of God’s blessings and his intervention reinforce not only our own faith but also the faith of the generations that follow.

As we pass on the stories of God’s goodness—his intervention, his answers to prayer, his blessings—our words of testimony become a strong incentive for the next generation to love, trust and obey.

It was not your children who saw these things…it was you…so pass it on!

Heavenly Father, may I be aware of your presence and blessings in my life and take the time to notice your activity on my behalf. As I see your hand at work in my life, help me to tell others as a testimony to your greatness, as a witness to those who need to know his love. Help me to pass it on to the next generation so that they, too, will be drawn to your lovingkindness and follow you. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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