I am somewhat of a news junkie. I like to think that I keep up with what’s going on in the world and culture. But the past several weeks have been overwhelming. It seems as if society is on the fast-track toward destruction and despair: renewed war in the Middle East, Ebola, growing support for legalized same-sex “marriage,”…and we could go on and on. When I think of all of this, I am so thankful that I have been given a great gift: the comfort and confidence of knowing and trusting in the absolute sovereignty of God. But that gift of theological truth didn’t simply pop into my mind and heart—God used men who faithfully taught and preached the whole counsel of God to me. He used men who didn’t flinch from going deep and hard after big, difficult doctrines. Doctrines like these provide the ballast that holds the ship steady through the fiercest storms in life.
It is with this background that I thought about the children in our churches and, in particular, my own grandchildren. Are we effectively teaching them in a way that will provide ballast to withstand the storms that they will increasingly experience in life? As churches, are we devoted and ready to…
- maximize our time on Sunday morning with serious, deep, age-appropriate study of the Word?
- spend a significant amount of time praying and preparing to teach and lead the children in our care, knowing that we are involved in an endeavor that will bear eternal consequences?
- implement a careful and intentional plan for presenting children the whole counsel of God by the time they reach adulthood?
- boldly yet gently teach the “hard” truths, even if it means some will object?
- swim against the popular tide of encouraging fun and entertainment over substance?
- set a God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated vision for the next generation that leads and guides all of our children’s and youth ministry structures, programs, and events?
- equip parents to faithfully and daily disciple their children?
- provide our children and students with the whole armor of God so that they will stand through the fiercest storms of life?
May God grant that these words from Ephesians 6:10-13 be true for the next generation:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
(Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)