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Praying big and bold prayers for the next generations

How are you praying for the next generation?

Over the past several months we are concentrating our prayers on the larger purposes of God for our children, our grandchildren, the children in our church, and the children we have the opportunity to teach–the kind of prayers that we are confident align with the will of God and can be assured of His answers. For example, right now, the church where I serve needs about 90 more workers to volunteer in the next two weeks. Certainly we should not hesitate to ask God for those 90 workers, but we want to concentrate our prayers on larger purposes for which those workers are needed. The challenge for us has been to “seek first” these larger purposes for our children and trust God that all the other things (like the 90 workers) will be provided.

In my prayer at the Truth78 inauguration event this past April, I attempted to pray a “big and bold” prayer for the next generation. We are passing that prayer on to you in the hope that it will encourage you in your prayer for the children the Lord has brought into your life as well as children in your community and in communities around the world.

Lord, I pray that the truth that has been entrusted to us and the lessons we have learned will not be hidden from the next generation. Would you grant us every grace we need to make known to our children, even the children yet unborn, the path that leads to life?

Make us a generation of parents and educators and pastors and resource developers and publishers and writers and translators and supporters and partners who will teach them your ways and how to walk according to the truth, so that they might set their hope and confidence in you and not forget your works.

Give to our children, and to their children, souls that are anchored in heaven. Sustain in them a deep and substantial assurance of things hoped for like Abel and Enoch and Noah and Abraham and Isaac and Moses and Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah and David and Samuel and the prophets and all the saints who, through faith, obtained the promise.

Turn the hearts of the next generations away from the deceptive promises of sin toward the all-satisfying promises of God, who swears by himself, that they might be strong and confident and secure and ready and bold to lay down their lives for the sake of the ministry and the glory of God.

May our children live as sojourners who desire you, and all that you have promised, more than they desire money, more than sex, more than power, more than popularity, more than anything else. Give them faith to be strong and faith to be weak. Faith to be married and faith to be single. Faith to have children and faith to be childless. Faith to be wealthy and faith to be poor. Give them faith—that can stand even when crisis comes and when tragedy strikes.

May they never lose sight of the reality that You are better than what life can give them now, and better than what death can take from them later. Give them faith to suffer willingly as they await something better than what this earth can offer. May their hunger for the superior worth of our glorious God be so great that bridges are burned to a hundred sins and a hundred fears.

May they yield to you as a father who disciplines those He loves and who comes to us painfully and mysteriously through the hostility of sinful adversaries and the natural disasters of a fallen world. Make them submissive to your sovereign, fatherly care and may they not grow weary or lose heart.

Help them lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles so that they can run the race that you have set before them, holding fast to hope—and holding firm their confidence until that day when your Kingdom comes in all its glory, and truth once and for all triumphs over sin and death and mourning and tears and all that hinders the everlasting joy that is ours through Jesus Christ.

Photo by ajay bhargav GUDURU from Pexels

For the Indestructible Joy of the Next Generation

As a conclusion to his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told a story that, for generations, has been famous among Sunday school children and, for decades, has captured the desire of our hearts for the next generations:

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it (Matthew 7:24-27).

We don’t want to raise a generation of fools who grow up hearing, yet neglecting, the words of Jesus. We want our children to be among the wise in their generation. We want them to be equipped for living by faith in the Son of God, walking in His ways, trusting Him in every circumstance, standing firm against the schemes of the devil, forsaking the things of this world and the desires of the flesh, laying up treasures in heaven, holding fast with confidence in His goodness, resting in His sovereignty, running with endurance the race that is set before them, persevering in the full assurance of hope, pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, standing on the promises of God, and enduring in an unshakable faith when the inevitable storms of life blow and beat against them. The fruit of this unshakable faith is an indestructible joy.

As Jesus’ final hour was approaching he warned his disciples that the storms were coming. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9). On the night before He endured the cross, Jesus said, “Truly, truly…you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful…” But on the heels of that warning, Jesus quickly assured them that their “sorrow will turn into joy….and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:20-22). In other words, the fruit of their unshakable faith was an indestructible joy.

For more than 20 years, the pursuit of this indestructible joy for the next generations has been the heartbeat of Children Desiring God (now Truth78). On several occasions during this span, God used many voices to inspire, encourage, and support thousands in this pursuit as men and women from across this country and around the world gathered in Minnesota, and once in Indiana, for our national conferences. The book Indestructible Joy for the Next Generations is an effort to gather a taste of these timeless messages into one place with the prayer that they will continue to inspire, encourage, and support thousands more. As you read the words of these servants, and perhaps listen to their original messages below let them serve as a reminder of this pursuit that has defined our ministry.


Order a copy of Indestructible Joy for the Next Generations or get a free digital download of the book when you subscribe to the Truth78 e-newsletter.

Listen to the full conference messages related to each book chapter:

David Michael
No Greater Joy

Mark Vroegop
Declaring the Whole Counsel of God

John Piper
Why Theology and Doctrine Matter in Children’s Ministry

Bruce A. Ware
Exploring the Fullness of the Whole Counsel of God

Sally Michael
Teaching the Difficult Doctrines of God

Timothy Paul Jones
Equipping the Family to Do Discipleship

Jill Nelson
Teaching the Whole Counsel of God
Presenting the Gospel to Children

C.J. Mahaney
Sovereign Grace and the Salvation of Children

Russell Moore
No Longer Tossed To and Fro

Albert Mohler, Jr.
Holding Fast to the Whole Counsel of God Under Pressure to Conform

Wayne Grudem (messages referenced in Afterward)
Teaching the Richness of the Entire Gospel, Part 1
Teaching the Richness of the Entire Gospel, Part 2

Like Arrows Movie Inspires Parents in Discipleship

Truth78 // Like Arrows Movie

On May 1st and 3rd, FamilyLife is releasing the feature film, Like Arrows, produced by Dennis and Barbara Rainey and Bob Lepine, as well as Alex and Stephen Kendrick, the producers of Courageous, Fireproof, War Room, and Facing the Giants.

Bob Lepine summarizes the film this way:

Like Arrows is an honest portrayal of an ordinary couple journeying through every phase of parenting, from pregnancy to their golden anniversary. Like any other family, Charlie and Alice Morris face typical parenting struggles. Through these difficulties, they become aware of their need to be more intentional in their parenting and are introduced to God’s blueprints for marriage and family. The parenting journey is both incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding at the same time. We wanted to take viewers on what we hope will be a very relatable journey. And in the process, we hope they’ll be inspired to make their faith more core to how they function as a family.”

As someone who has invested more than 25 years supporting and equipping parents for this incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding” responsibility, I was very pleased, when I previewed the film, with the biblical way in which important parenting issues are addressed. It reminds parents of the influence they have over the course of their children’s lives and inspires them to faithfully pursue their calling to disciple their children in the Christian faith with God’s Word.

The film can stand alone as a resource for equipping parents but also integrates with FamilyLife’s Art of Parenting™ series which unpacks the issues that the movie addresses into practical guidance for parents. Find out more about the movie at familylifeministries.org/likearrows.

 

Children Desiring God to Become Truth78 on April 10

Children Desiring God to Become Truth78

After months of planning and preparation, we are excited to announce that on April 10 Children Desiring God will officially become Truth78, an independent 501(c)3 organization structured to more strategically fulfill our mission to equip the next generations to know, honor, and treasure God. We will mark this launch on April 10 with a new website, new resources, and a special launch event.

The name Truth78 connects us to Psalm 78, which has been a signature text defining our ministry over the past 20 years. Psalm 78 charges us to take this testimony we’ve received from our fathers and faithfully pass it on to the next generation so that they would set their hope in God.

Ever since Children Desiring God was established as a ministry of Desiring God in 1998, these two ministries have shared a similar name, typeface, and color palette. Over the past 20 years, however, as Children Desiring God grew more broadly as a developer of curriculum, the Fighter Verses™ Scripture memory tools, family discipleship resources, and vision-casting and training, Desiring God has increasingly focused its emphasis on spreading a passion for the supremacy of God through resources on DesiringGod.org. (more…)

The Lord’s Supper and Children

Children Desiring God Blog // The Lord's Supper and Children

Sooner or later, a child who is regularly sitting through a Sunday morning worship service is bound to ask something like, “Why can’t I have a ‘snack’ like everyone else?” So it is not surprising that the second most-frequent question I am asked in children’s ministry is, “When should my child take the Lord’s Supper?”

A General Response 

When people inquire about children taking the Lord’s Supper, I have two perspectives to share with them. The first is that our communion services are open to all present, including children, who are trusting in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and the fulfillment of all His promises to us (including eternal life); and therefore, children are welcome to participate in the Lord’s Supper: (more…)

Take Heart, Trouble’s Coming

Let not Your Heart be Troubled

The title of this post is my effort to offer a word of encouragement and hope for those who are getting ready to launch another season of ministry with children and youth. The rest of this post is for those who having difficulty finding encouragement and hope in the title.

I am taking my cues from the Lord Jesus, whose final words for his disciples span chapters 14-16 in gospel of John. One clear message of this discourse is that trouble is coming.

I am going away,” (14:28)
“I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming.” (14:30)
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (15:13)
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” (15:18)
“I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (15:19)
“If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (15:20)
They will put you out of the synagogues…” (16:2)
“…the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.” (16:2)
“A little while, and you will see me no longer…” (16:16)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament,…You will be sorrowful,…” (16:20)
“….you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone.” (16:32)

(more…)

Thanking God for John Piper

Teachers change the way you see the world, and they often change the way we understand ourselves (The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters, 2012, page 67).

If this was the only sentence in Albert Mohler’s excellent book, it would have been well worth the price of the book. Even though this may not seem to you like an earth-shaking insight, it gripped me when I read it. Let me explain.

I am reading Mohler’s book during a very significant and heart-wrenching year of “lasts.” I just attended my last staff meeting with John Piper as my 27-year pastoral colleague. I just heard my last sermon from him as my 33-year pastor. He has been a true comrade in ministry. The sound of his absence is deafening. (more…)