Posted by: everynation | April 4, 2008

No Greater Joy!

pastorron.jpgby Ron Miller

I have enjoyed many moments of success in my life. It is true that all of my achievements have brought me considerable personal happiness. However, my greatest fulfillment in life has come from investing my life into others, and watching them grow into all that God has created them to be. Apostle John said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4). Whether it’s watching my sons pray over an evening meal, marrying those I have mentored, or watching my staff preach on Sunday morning, nothing compares to observing those influenced by my leadership walk in the truth.

Last month I had the opportunity to worship in another church for the first time in three years. It was quite refreshing to worship and not have to worry about facilitating anything during the service. Being the ecumenical guy that I am, I really enjoyed my time at this church.

The first observation I had of the church was the fact that the majority of the people had grey hair. I’m not talking about a few strands of grey, but a whole head full of grey hair. There is nothing wrong with people who have grey hair. In fact, I tremendously value people of age and experience. It encourages me to witness people worshipping God in their latter years.

The second observation I had of the church was the fact that they had not adjusted their service in at least thirty years. The only upgrade or change they made, from what I could see, was exchanging hymn books for an overhead projector and screen. Even though they had made the switch from hymn books to projection technology, they still sang the same old songs.

About ten minutes into the service, I felt like I had been abducted, put in Marty’s DeLorean with an operational flux capacitor, forced to push the gas pedal until the magic number of “88” appeared on the speedometer, and sent back in history like the movie “Back to the Future”.

It is my opinion that the reason I did not see many college students and young people is because the leaders of the church were not willing to contextualize the gospel for the 21st century. Because of this unwillingness to embrace change, the younger generation did not own, and therefore, were not engaged very much in the service.

Why is it so important that we build generationally? The simple answer is that we can not accomplish everything God wants us to do in our lifetime. For us to reach perfection, we must realize our completeness and destiny is linked to the generations that follow us. Successful people of faith have understood this truth throughout history. Hebrews 11:39-40 says, “39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

In order for us to build generationally, we must understand three scriptural truths in regards to this topic.

First, we must understand that God is the God of the generations. When God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery and bondage in Egypt, He quickly revealed to Moses that He is the God of the generations. Exodus 3:15 says, “15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, [a] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.”

God wants us to think way beyond our lifetime. He wants us to realize that our lives are supposed to be lived in such a way that we will leave a legacy of faith to our children. Once again, we see this modeled in antiquity by the great heroes of faith in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 11:17-22 says, “17By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring[a] will be reckoned.”[b] 19Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. 20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. 21By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. 22By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

Wow! That is a powerful example of faith transferring from one generation to the next.

Ron Miller, Jr. is a gym rat who blogs regularly at Gym Chats. He is a husband, father, artist and musician stuck in an athletic body, and the senior pastor of Every Nation, Tallahassee.

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