January 31/February 1
MAIN TEXT: PSALM 145:1-4
I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable 4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
We have five core values as a congregation. These values are not merely aspirational. These are things that Via Church values more than normal. These have formed over many years of decisions and practice. You will find these values expressed in very tangible and noticeable ways when attending our services and being a part of our faith community. We aren’t perfect at these things, but we work to nurture these valuable qualities. They often guide us as we make decisions on new ministries and direction.
One of those values is Intergenerational. We have stated that we are passionately committed to serve generations other than our own because my preference is secondary when it comes to the needs of others. You will see all ages at Via Church. This is Biblical and healthy.
It is the Biblical duty of every generation of Christians to see to it that the next generation hears about the mighty acts of God. God does not drop a new Bible from heaven on every generation. He intends that the older generation teach the newer generation to: read, think, trust, obey, and rejoice.
It is true that God personally draws near to every new generation of Christ followers, but He does so through the biblical truth that they learn from the preceding generations. The Spirit comes down vertically, but the truth of God is imparted horizontally.
Our text, however, does not simply speak of the impartation of truth from one generation to another; it speaks of imparting it through praise. Teachers who do not praise God in their teaching will not bring about students who praise God. There must be an exultation of God!
Dry, unemotional, indifferent, and heartless teaching about God – whether at home or at church - is a half-truth, at best. It says one thing about God but portrays another. It is inconsistent. It says God is great, but teaches and lives as if He is not.
Psalm 145:4 shows us another way. It tells us to let praises carry the truth to the next generation because the aim of truth is praise! God put this in my heart for the kids and teenagers of our church:
As parents and as a church, our goal must be to rear kids that are infatuated with the Kingdom of God. As a church, our aim in the coming decades will be to influence children, teenagers, and young people here at Via Church, who are wholly surrendered to Jesus and wholly committed to his cause of world evangelism. By “wholly committed,” I mean so deeply committed that no price is too high to follow Jesus wherever He leads, no matter how distant or how dangerous.
But where will they come from? This kind of generation will not grow on trees. God makes them! He breeds hearts like that in God-exalting families and in churches where “One generation shall commend (praise) your works to another” (Psalm 145:4). What we want from the next generation is not just heads full of the right facts about the works of God; we want heads full of the right facts and hearts that burn with a fire of love for the God of those facts.
Mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, how do we do this? Let’s look at three principles that will guide the way we aim to shape children, students, and young people.
Parents must educate their children
These three scriptures support this principle: Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Psalm 78:5-7; and Ephesians 6:1-4. The biblical pattern is for parents not to relinquish their role as primary teachers and shapers of their children’s minds and hearts – not even to the church. Parents are to impart to their children a God-centered, Bible-saturated, and Christ-centered vision for all of life. Our goal as a church is to restore parents to their God-ordained role.
- Your children are on loan to you.
- You are their primary influence.
- Use every opportunity.
The church is a partner with parents
There are a lot of reasons why this is important. Here are a few practical ones:
- Some children do not have Christ following parents.
- Some single-parent homes are so stressed and overworked that they need all the help that they can get.
- There is a whole range of competencies in moms and dads that may need supplementing.
- Even the best home teaching will benefit from reinforcement in a corporate setting.
Some aspects of God’s character may be caught better in a larger setting than at home (Deuteronomy 31:10-13).
Parents, allow Via Church to come alongside you in the spiritual formation of your children. You do not have to do it alone!
The church helps equip parents
When children become adults, they do not cease to learn and grow – at least they shouldn’t (2 Peter 3:18; 1 Corinthians 14:20). Parents are no exception. As a church, we are committed to helping parents grow and be shaped biblically (Deuteronomy 4:9). According to Ephesians 4:11-12, pastors and teachers are to equip the saints to do the ministry. This would include the ministry of parenting.
Your faithfulness to church will improve your relationship with Jesus. As you grow in your relationship with Jesus, you will grow to be a better parent, grandparent, and spiritual model. Spiritually mature parents understand just how vital church is to their parenting abilities. To get the most out of it,
- Stay faithful,
- be committed,
- lead by example, and
- do it with heart.
Are you commending and praising God’s works to another generation? If you are a parent, are you fulfilling your God-given role as primary shaper of your children’s hearts and minds? As a church, let’s work together to raise up a new generation that is wholly committed to Jesus!
One generation shall commend your works to another!
APPLY TO LIFE
This week, as you reflect on the message, utilize this section to help you apply what has been taught to your life. Think of friends, co-workers, neighbors, family etc., that you could meet with to have a time of mutual sharing as you open God’s Word together.
This simple acronym (BLESS, B - Bless, L - Listen, E - Eat, S - Speak, S - Sabbath) should help you to frame your life according to the great commandment “love God” (Matthew 22:37) and the new commandment “love your neighbor” (John 13:34). Each time you meet, start by discussing the rhythms of your life according to B.L.E.S.S.
Intentionally bless: Christ-followers, non-believers and those different than you.
Listen to what God is saying to you, through His Word and others.
Share a meal with a Christ-follower and also a non-believer.
Talk to God through prayer and to others about Jesus through witness.
Be intentional about taking time to both rest and recreate.
DISCUSS THE MESSAGE
Read: Psalm 145:1-4
In what ways do you talk about God to other generations?
Share a story of a time when you shared of the greatness, goodness and faithfulness of God to someone else. How could you do this more often?
How can you be more intentional in how you “declare the mighty acts” of God to others?
What are ways you can “commend His works” to another generation?
Pray that God would change your heart as He works in your life, so that you can share those moments with those around you.