As a parent, I often think about the things I want to pass down to my children and my children’s children and their children’s children and so on and so on. Everyone wants to leave a lasting legacy but we’re not always intentional with what we’re leaving. So God willing, I have a plan. I have a flexible scope and sequence and schedule with certain important items I want them to be discipled in and I’m praying, hoping and will be encouraging them to pass it down to their future children. Subjects such as the centrality of the Gospel, Biblical manhood and womanhood, spiritual disciplines concerning prayer and studying the Bible, importance of Gospel community, a deep burden and compassion for those who don’t know Christ, how every Christian is a missionary sent to lost people in their lives and why they should root for the Buckeyes, Cleveland Indians, Cavs & Browns (Browns may be a tough one to pass down to each generation 😉). I also have a list of certain theological, cultural and social topics that I made sure every teenager would hear when passing through middle school and high school when in student ministry and I plan on applying that to my kids lives. Again, I pray and hope they will pass it down to future generations because that’s what the Bible tells us to do (Psalm 145:4, Psalm 78:4, Daniel 4:3).
This idea of passing down these important, eternal truths is also mentioned in the first 3 verses of Joel. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since it’s all through out Scripture BUT what does come as a bit of a surprise in this chapter is WHAT God tells them to pass down to each generation. A plague of locusts that punished God’s people for being disobedient and the other consequences God will give for their ignorance of sin. Like one may ask “why would any parent raise a child up as a Cleveland Browns fan?” one may be confused and wonder why this needs to be communicated and remembered in each passing generation? I, myself found verses 4-20 hard to read after reading the command in the first three verses but I also know how easy it is for us to forget the importance of repentance. As you’ll see, there’s more to this in the next 2 chapters then the warnings and judgment God lays out in the chapter but God doesn’t reveal sin to his people to simply stay in it or confess it. He wants us to turn from it. And I know there’s not not a greater thing that we can pass on to future generations then the Gospel message which includes a repentant heart and forgiveness for such sins. I once knew a dad who was afraid to say he was wrong or that he was sorry to his children for fear of his children questioning his authority and example as a parent. I graciously and lovingly pointed out how important it was for them to not only see and hear that repentance but why those kids will still see that sin anyways and grow up thinking Christianity is hypocritical. We’re still sinners in desperate need for Jesus and those warnings of sin and repentance is a necessity for generations of Christians to come because Christianity is not Christianity without it.
How do you pass on these important truths to your children or the next generation? Comment below.
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor