Quite often when the subject of the next generation comes up the topic leads to discussion on how to best share our values with them. This blog is one of the ways, I am able to pass along biblical values that will be retrievable for years to
come, regardless of my state of health, or even my presence here on earth. The pressures of our culture are immense and biblical values are not only discarded by the world, but Christianity is unique in our world as a faith that is attacked and expressly banned from the public square. Indeed, it is singled out for ridicule as intolerant, exclusive, unloving, judgmental, and yes, even hateful.
Today I read Peter’s second letter to the church. What a great letter! If you haven’t read it lately, I’d encourage you to listen to the Holy Spirit as only Peter can express it. In chapter 1 of this letter, Peter challenges us “to supplement our faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” A sermon could be preached expounding on each one of these supplements. I’m fascinated by they way that these aspects build on one another. Even that is another whole study!
But for today I’d like to focus on another point that Peter makes in his opening remarks. It seems that he sensed that his readers might be saying to themselves, “Yeah, yeah, yeah … what else is new?” So he then writes beginning in verse 12, “Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right as long as I am in this body to stir you up by way of reminder … And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.”
This is my intent with my family and friends and the purpose of these postings. That you may remember the good words that God has for you in the writings that reveal His character and His will for us. My desire is that my family would always be a beacon of the light of Jesus in the world around them. Two of our grandchildren are teachers who are being creative in ways to teach her elementary and middle school students biblical values and truths. Another is working towards the day when he’ll be able to shine the light of Jesus through the practice of physical therapy. Yet another is actively teaching junior high students from God’s word and is writing to help college students assimilate and apply what has been taught in the church college ministry. Still another is involved in the lighting ministry helping young worshipers focus on what’s important in the mid-week services. Each one using their gifts and talents to help point people to Jesus. I am a blessed man to have five amazing grandchildren who were raised by four pretty amazing and faith focused parents.
These are all great things, but in the middle of all these wonderful activities, let’s not forget why we are so engaged. The reason we are doing these things is to lift up Jesus Christ as Lord and give glory to God! I must confess that there are more times than I care to admit that my motives and objectives aren’t always what they should be. I love it when different people acknowledge and “like” my efforts. The Bible tells me that with motives like that, I have already received my reward and none will be waiting for me in heaven on that piece. We must engage in the process of daily dying to self and lifting up the name of Jesus.
Three times in Matthew chapter 6 (verses 2, 6, and 16) Christ teaches that those of us who put our “righteousness” on display for the admiration of others have already received our reward. So, let’s follow Colossians 3:5 and put to death that which is earthly in us; which includes that which is for the praise of men rather than of God.
God is big on remembering. On countless occasions through the history documented in the Old Testament, God had the people of Israel erect an altar or a monument so that their children would remember God’s faithfulness. As Christ was preparing for His death by crucifixion, He had one last meal with His disciples. He broke the bread and poured the wine as a remembrance of His sacrifice. He told them to do this in remembrance of Him.
Likewise, I write these things contained in this blog so that you will remember to return to the Scriptures, remember the Lord your God, remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. Remember the truths that are taught in the Scriptures. They are eternal, not just for the day in which they were written. Take them to heart. God’s word will bear fruit in your life. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit will help you understand God’s word. Remember the things you were taught as little children.
These things I write to remind you …