Psalm 78:4 [We] will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.
The person who wrote this had no idea how many generations he would influence with his godly advice. Three thousand years later, God is stilling using his words to inspire parents to pass down their faith to the next generation.
This is what God had in mind when he chose Abraham to be the father of the nation of Israel. For I have chosen him so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord (Genesis 18:19). Abraham taught Isaac. Isaac taught Jacob. Jacob taught his children, and so forth. Over time, a nation of believers was formed.
Likewise, Moses taught the Israelites to pass down God’s words to their children. [Talk] about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up (Deuteronomy 11:19). Likewise, Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6), says Proverbs.
My wife is a third generation believer, and a good example of this principle. Her grandparents came to Christ shortly after they were married, and they raised their children in the faith. Then my wife’s parents raised their children in the faith, and we raised our children in the faith. Today there are four generations of Christians who trace their heritage to one set of godly grandparents, who have gone to be with the Lord.
When our children were small, we read a chapter of the Bible together almost every day. Most of the time they did not know what it meant, but we finished the whole Bible in about four years. Then we started over. When they were in their teens I allowed them to read on their own, but we got together once a week to discuss what they had learned.
The reason I did this was not only to teach my children, but to teach them how to teach their children. By God’s grace there could be several generations who arrive in heaven because we told the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.
Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Most tombstones have a date-of-birth, and a date-of-death, separated by a little dash. A million years from now, all that will matter is what we did with our dash. If you live to be ninety years old, you will spend over thirty-two thousand days doing something. You can spend those days for yourself, or for the Lord, but how you spend your days is how you spend your life.
No one knows when their life will end, but if you want a hopeful estimate, subtract your age from ninety, and multiply that by three hundred sixty-five. Then purchase that many marbles and put them into a container. Removing a marble a day will help you keep track of how many days you might have left. But, of course, there are no guarantees.
When I was a kid, I jumped belly first into a large inner tube and got wedged in the middle. My face was against the rubber, and I could not move or breathe. My friends were swimming nearby, and I could hear them playing, but they did not know I was dying. I still remember thinking, I didn’t expect to die today. I’m only nine years old! Somehow I wiggled free, but I learned the end is always near. Only this life will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.
Psalm 100:3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his.
The first duty of creatures is to find their Creator and obey him. We did not make ourselves, and do not belong to ourselves. We were made by God and, therefore, we are his.
Imagine building the house of your dreams on a perfect piece of property. Imagine a bold exterior, hardwood floors, a finished garage and more. But the day you planned to move in, the locks were changed, and someone else was living there. That is how God must feel when we take the life he made for himself, and lock him out. Repentance is giving our lives back to God and letting him live within us—not as a visitor, but as the rightful owner (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Our life does not belong to us; it belongs to the one who made us for himself.
Reflection and Review
How can we pass down the faith to our children.
How can we make every day count for God?
Why does God have the right to govern our lives?