Reaching The Next Generation For God

In Psalm 78, the Psalmist shared the importance of reaching the next generation for God. His emphasis went beyond passing down knowledge of Him.

When reaching the next generation, and for that matter, every generation, we do it so they can experience God. Then, they will put the hope and trust in Him.

Each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Psalm 78:7

Have you ever spoken to someone and you didn’t have their undivided attention? God obviously wanted the attention of all who read this Psalm, including us.

O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable. Psalm 78:1-2

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The Psalmist said that God would teach them hidden lessons. Lessons taught from stories handed down through the years. Stories they already knew. Then, look at what the next verse says. 

We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. Psalm 78:4

How will any generation hear about the deeds of God without a previous one reaching out to them? We must open our ears and listen to God’s instructions for two important reasons.

Listen to God’s Instructions

First, without having and maintaining a relationship with the Lord, we can’t help the next generation. This takes learning His Word and allowing it to speak into our lives.

The second one is reaching out about our experience to the next up-and-coming generation. The following two verses explicitly made this second step into a command.

He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. Psalm 78:5-6

Reaching The Next Generation

No wonder the Lord wanted His people, Israel, reaching the next generation. Then He wanted that generation reaching the next one, and so on. He expects that pattern to continue.

He reminded us what happens when we forget how the Lord can intervene for us. The Psalmist used the warriors of Ephraim as an example.

  • The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned their backs and fled on the day of battle.
  • They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his instructions.
  • They forgot what he had done—the great wonders he had shown them, the miracles he did for their ancestors on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt. Psalm 78:9-11

This Psalm deals with reaching the next generation of God’s people. It’s not speaking about reaching the next generation in our neighborhoods, which God commissioned to evangelize. 

The opening words of this Psalm, “O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying,” means this timeless message also points to us.

So, how are we doing if God mandated us to pass His message on to the next generation? Statistics show that many young people at the high school and college levels leave the church.

Reaching the Next Generation

Reaching the Next Generation is Who’s Responsibility?

Let’s make one thing clear: God hasn’t given us the responsibility of growing the church. Jesus made the following statement regarding building the church:

Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. Matthew 16:18

God has, however, given us the responsibility of reaching our next generation for Him.

Maybe you have one of those wayward children who has walked away from the church and the Lord. Please don’t beat yourself up or condemn yourself. Pray them back into the Kingdom.

Parents tend to depend too much on the church for their child’s spiritual maturity. Don’t get me wrong, I love the church, and as a pastor, we want our children to grow spiritually.

But how much time does the local church have each week with your child? For most children, one to three hours. They can learn Bible stories in Sunday school, but that’s not enough.

Sometimes, we confuse the building we meet together in, mainly on Sunday mornings, as the church. The church, though, consists of much more than a building. People make up the church.

Many large and small groups, or we could refer to them as life groups, make up the church in general. Worship services of all sizes worldwide make up many of these groups.

Local churches organize ministry groups for discipleship, fellowship, and outreach opportunities. But God established the family as the primary ministry group of the church.

Reaching The Next Generation

The Church’s Primary Ministry Group

Mom and Dad, you get to teach your children what God did through the pages of the Bible. And they also get to experience Him working in and through your family.

Our verse for today says, “So each generation should set its hope anew on God.” How does that happen? It happens when your children see your faith in action when God meets your needs.

Because of your relationship with God, their faith grows, and their trust in Him solidifies. Then, as they get older, they have already thought about reaching their next generation.

But then, that shouldn’t surprise us because the Psalmist told us that would happen.

So the next generation might know them—even the children not yet born—and they in turn will teach their own children. Psalm 78:6

I understand sometimes children don’t take kindly to parents sharing Jesus and the Bible with them. We experienced that with our two boys in their younger days.

God called parents to raise their children in a godly manner. He didn’t say we should stop encouraging them in the Lord if they don’t want to hear it. I know it’s not always easy.

Let me close with a personal testimony. Our boys each went wayward for a season. Now, they are both serving the Lord and active in our church, as are their wives and our grandchildren.

So, your time is well worth reaching the next generation or, for that matter, any generation for the Lord.

Lord, help us to obey your commands and never forget your miracles. Continue to remind us of the importance and urgency of reaching the next generation and beyond.

Check out some other posts related to reaching the next generation by relating to others.

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2 thoughts on “Reaching The Next Generation For God”

  1. Talking about the love of God with our grandchildren blesses them and us! Wearing masks provides wonderful opportunities too, for instance, by wearing ones that say “God is good” and “Jesus loves YOU!”

    • We love to share the good things of God with our grandchildren as well. That is one of the few positives I’ve heard about masks. Thanks for your comment. God Bless You


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