Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"Oh...did I forget to tell you that? My bad..."

Judges 2:10
"All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel."
You're helping your parents do some chores on a Saturday, and they send you to the attic to look for some kind of storage box. You're rumaging around and peer inside a chest. There's a statue inside...no, wait a second. It's some kind of award. You dust it off to reveal the words, 1978 Grammy Awards - Female Artist of the Year and your mom's name. WHAT? How could she not have told you that?! You keep digging and discover a bunch of red, white, and blue campaign buttons. As you dig through newspapers, magazines, and photos, you also discover that your grandfather was President of the United States for 8 years! Confused, angry, and hurt, you barge downstairs to confront your red-carpet-walking mom and your dad, who flipping grew up in the White House, to demand why they have kept such amazing things from you...
Well, something similar to that actually happened in the Old Testament. Let me give you a Top 5 rundown of what happened to one generation that they failed to share with their kids...
1. God sent 10 plagues to warn Pharaoh to release the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt...and Pharaoh let them go...
2. ...Then when Pharaoh changed his mind and decided to send his army out to recapture the Israelites, Moses lifted his rod to part the Red Sea so they could escape...and not to mention, once God's people were safely across, he made the sea come back together to drown Pharaoh's men, chariots and all.
3. God gave them the 10 Commandments.
4. The Israelistes conquered the land of Canaan. The first major battle was in Jericho, which Joshua took by ordering his host to march around the city for seven days. On the seventh day, when they added shouting and blaring trumpets to their marching, the walls fell, and the Israelites then slaughtered "every living thing" inside Jericho.
5. Joshua made the sun stand still and the moon to stop - one of the most amazing miracles of the Old Testament. (Check it out in Joshua 10:12-13.)
WOW! I don't know about you, but those could have sure made some amazing bedtime stories! But in this verse in Judges, we see that these grandparents and parents DIDN'T share all of their amazing stories with their children. The kids grew up completely oblivious to the amazing things the Lord had done for their family. Do you realize how important it is for you to share your faith with your kids? Ummm, Michelle...I'm in HIGH SCHOOL. Having kids is pretty far from my mind. Well, first of all...good! But believe it or not, you are making decisions right now that will impact that decision. For example...
Have you decided that you will only date godly guys so if you marry him, you can raise children in a Christian home?
Are you getting practice sharing your faith right now so when your children ask you a spiritual question, you know the answer?
If your parents haven't shared anything about Christ with you, have you asked them about their relationship with God?
So, how can we make sure that we are leaving a God-filled legacy to our children? Luckily, generations following the Israelites got back on track, and Asaph gave us some advice in Psalms.
Psalm 78:4-8
We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God."
1. Put your confidence in God. Trust Him no matter what. Remember that He knows best and that He has a good view from where He is. He can see the end of the race, and He knows how it will end. His way is better than yours.
2. Don't forget what God has done for you.
Have you ever taught anyone else how to do something? It's amazing. Whenever you teach someone else, you improve your own understanding. Don't just think about what God has done for you - continually remind yourself of His goodness by sharing what He does with others!
3. Keep His commandments. Rules keep you out of trouble. You don't want to be in trouble, especially not with God. Plus, as His child, you have a standard to live up to. Don't cause others to stumble because you're not willing to do the right thing.
4. Prepare your heart. It's not always easy to do the right thing or to put your trust completely in someone else. But if you prepare your heart for hardship and decide how who you will turn to in hard times, you've already conquered most of the situation.
5. Be faithful. Don't give up. Remember - we know who wins! Don't leave the winning team, even if it appears that you're down. The scoreboard AND how you play the game matters.

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Esther 4:14b

"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"