The Next Generation
Barnabas, “son of consolation” (Acts 4:36)., a person Luke described as “a good man” (11:24), was chosen and sent by the Jerusalem church to investigate the mixed congregation of Jews and Gentiles in Syrian Antioch.
Jesus once asked his disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am” (Matt 16:13)? Who was Jesus anyway? Most people of His day viewed Him as some sort of prophet (John
Most of us live hurried lives. We are hard pressed at work, at home, and at church to accomplish more than a twenty-four hour day seems to allow. The demands are overwhelming. In fact, full
In the death of King David and the transferring of power to his son Solomon, one sees a principle that comes true with regularity. Each new generation must take up the work of missions for itself. There comes a time when those who were heavily involved in serving Christ die. If the work is to go on, it must be done by new people.
Another item worth noting for its significance for missions is the need for one generation to prepare and encourage the next to follow in its train. In today’s parlance, it is called discipleship. David charged his son regarding his responsibility before the Lord and his relationship to God. This is a fair reminder that that is precisely what the older generation needs to be doing to those who are younger. There are several pertinent observations from Solomon’s life that all believers – especially those who go out to serve on mission fields – need to apply. The first is the need for diligence when it comes to keeping one’s self free from sin. It is difficult to maintain consistently godly walk, but the difficulty is overshadowed by its importance. A second observation is the fact that Solomon thought of himself as a servant of the Lord. He used that terminology several times in communicating with God. Such a mind-set is essential when it comes to the Lord’s work. It is found in those who recognize that the Lord is over all things and that they need His guidance and direction as well as power and ability to do what is required. Servant-hood and missions go hand in hand. A third observation from Solomon’s life that lends itself to evangelizing and discipleship is the need for godly wisdom. No one is more famous for his wisdom than Solomon, and his wonderful prayer is a gem of humility in seeking God’s help.
Surely as difficult as running a nation is Solomon also took on the spiritual struggle for the souls of men. It is a work that requires the pre-evangelization of the Holy Spirit. Man’s best efforts will be for naught unless the Lord has been working in the hearts of men; therefore, prayer is vital. It is indispensable. The need for the wisdom of an omniscient God is mandatory, for He alone knows who He has been working on and where the servant with the gospel message should go.
May those of the current, older generation make every effort to encourage and prepare the younger set for service in Christ’s name. May the younger generation be willing to listen to and learn from those who have been there and have much godly wisdom to hand down. The Lord’s work is too important for us to think we can do it in our own wisdom and strength.