Sunday, March 23, 2014

Next Generation

Last Sunday we had a parent child dedication service and it was wonderful. Our sermon discussed John 17:20-26 where Jesus prays for all believers and gave us a picture of the legacy we are to pass on to the next generation.

We were created for relationship and as believers we are to be unified. 

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as We are one: I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved me."
~John 17:20-23

God is unified with Himself. We were created in His image to have a relationship with the Christ. Our unity with Christ leads us to unity with each other. 

Unity is not uniformity or unanimity. God intends for us to have unity in diversity, celebrating our uniqueness and not letting our preferences become priority. Jesus is our priority! Everything else is secondary. We pass this on to the next generation by accepting our kids for who God made them to be, not attempting to make them into our clone or making them what we think they should be. God knows them best and created them for a specific purpose. 

Diversity is beautiful. Beauty is unity and diversity in harmony. Are you seeing the beauty in the diversity of the Body or are you looking for people who are just like you?

We were created for more, for glory.

"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world."
~John 17:24

We were created for the glory of Heaven. Knowing God and living with Him for eternity is the greatest glory. The only way we can know God is through His Son, Jesus Christ. The glory of this world is but a foreshadowing of the glory that is to come when we are with God in Heaven for all eternity. 

The more we are created for comes from Jesus death. He is calling us to teach this to our kids by out storying and romancing the story and romance of this world. The story and romance of what Jesus has done is the greatest story and romance of all time. Teach this to your kids! Teach them Scripture. Then help them to integrate the Truths of Scripture into their lives. 

We were created to love.

"Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know You, and they know that You have sent Me. I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
~John 17:25-26

We are to love our children in the love of Christ. This is a scandalous love that is unlike anything the world knows. Because we are fallen human beings, we are sometimes motivated by other things to love our children, so we must always be on the look out for inappropriate love such as treating them as possessions or living vicariously through them. Appropriate love is rooted in the love of Christ that He has given to us, and unconditional love that meets them where they are.

We need to talk to other parents about our parenting and seek help from others in the faith. 
We need to lead by example. Our goal for our kids to to see them love God, love the church and love their family. We must show them this by the way we live.

Remember that ultimately we are humble stewards of the children God has given to us. They belong to Him and they are on loan to us. Teach them well.

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