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Empowering the Next Generation

 Shoulder To Shoulder

 

pastor michael

 

 

 

 

 

By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London 

 

 

 

Foundation Scripture: Genesis 2:24; Ecclesiastes 4:9; Psalm 78:1-6

Sunday 19th May 2013

 

Last week we discussed the topic ‘From Acquaintance to Friendship - Experiencing God’s Best for your Marriage’. We took a closer look at Genesis 2: 24 agreeing that becoming one flesh is the highest form of a relationship resulting in marriage, which is God’s ultimate intention. To experience this, both the man and the woman would need to leave and then cleave to become one flesh. To cleave, there has to be an agreement between a couple – a man and his wife; facilitated by common interests.  

 

Today, I would like to address parents and anyone involved in mentoring or influencing the next generation in one capacity or the other. Your life is not just about you and does not end with you. You are here to affect the next generation .

We can extrapolate from Genesis 2:18 that it is not good for one generation to be isolated from the next one. The ultimate purpose of parenting is to prepare, nurture and position the next generation to maximally accomplish God’s purpose for their lifetime.

We have the responsibility to pass on the baton successfully to the young ones; The resources the next generation needs to fulfil their destiny and purpose is within us but we must release it or will deprive them of it. God is telling us to make a different to the next generation by telling them about God’s wonderful works. Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done”.

True success is only achieved when one generation has been developed by the previous generation.

 

Whether we like it or not, we are making a difference to our children’s lives and that of the next generation. However, the question is “what difference are we making?”.  Each generation should go further than the previous one. Our children should go further than us; they should not go through what we went through. 

They are meant to stand on our shoulders and continue from where we stopped, provided we do our part. Your life is a platform upon which the next generation will stand. Will you offer them that platform?

 

There is contention for the destinies of our young ones. They are confronted with all sorts of distractions in today’s society, such as crime, drugs, gangster culture, pornography, unwholesome music, erosion of values, obsession with games, demonic oppression and so much more. Unfortunately, parents today seem to be too busy working and acquiring wealth and not being intentional on taking the time to invest in the lives of their children to make a difference. Consequently children are becoming ignorant of their spiritual heritage. Parents have now become increasingly self-centred occupying their time with work, social entertainment, bodily exercise and focused on material gain, investments and materialism. 

 

God’s plan for our generation is to empower the next. (Psalm 145:4)  And so the question beckons “what will become of the next generation when we eventually make our exit from this earth?”

  

Here is Deuteronomy 6: 4-7 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

   

As parents our responsibility is to pass to our children what God has entrusted to us to be passed down to them. Your children must never fight the battle that you fought. Remember that the measure of your success is equivalent to how well your children are prepared to live their lives successfully. A family not investing in their young ones is a poor family indeed, regardless of how many possessions they own. Putting it bluntly, child abuse is God abuse. An organisation or church not thinking about the next generation is soon going to be irrelevant.

 

In scripture, children are likened to arrows; in other words God has prepared a specific goal or target for them to attain (Psalm 127:3). So our role as parents and guardians is to prepare and equip them for the future ahead. And soon they need to be released in the power of the Holy Spirit, to fulfil their destiny.

 

Let’s talk briefly about legacy. Proverbs 13:22 says a ‘A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children’. What qualifies you to be good is the standard and example you are setting. Unless we become intentional and deliberate, we would rob the next generation of what belongs to them. Ours is now a fast paced life with little interaction with the children and the family – a devilish strategy to rob us of our God-given responsibilities towards them.

A dictionary definition of legacy can be defined thus: Something handed down from one ancestor or predecessor from the past. Every one of us has a legacy. God’s word is also a legacy. The word ‘good’ comes from the root word goodness or godly. In other words, godly men and women leave a good inheritance for their children, and so much more in abundance for the grandchildren; an influencer. Their lives do not end with them; long after they are gone they are still living. Invariably, each generation carries a legacy that needs to be handed over to the next. Putting it another way, the day you stop living for yourself is the day you start living, setting the stage for the coming genealogy.

Now here is the scary bit; inadvertently, you will be leaving a legacy behind – what it would be is now up to you.

 

If I say, ‘May your children live the life you modelled for them; would this be a blessing or a curse?’ Would you be satisfied and confident about the impact you’ve had on your children if the Lord calls you home today? So much so that they would be successful and live a great life without you.

 

Whatever generational troubles you’ve gone through should not affect your offspring. If a generation refuses to fight their battles, it is carried over to the next. Remembering the life of Hezekiah, because of his wrong doing, God was going to punish him, but he deferred the punishment to the next generation.  Hezekiah was happy about this because in his time he would not experience the punishment of God (2 Kings 20).  This is a terrible attitude, but unfortunately most of us have this insular disposition. As long as it does not affect us, then everything is okay.  It shows us to be self-centred, workaholics, socially centred and consumed by materialism, and in so doing, we are losing the next generation. 

In 2 Kings 4, the widow of one of the prophets cried to Elisha regarding her husband’s debt – another example of a carried over ‘battle’. Issues hardly die until they are settled.

I believe God has called this generation to fight the battles confronting us so that the next generation can build after us. Failure to fight like David did, will compromise the building plans for the coming generation, graced with the qualities of Solomon.

 

As mentioned earlier, we would all leave a legacy behind after our time here is over; the question is ‘What will it be?’

 

Every generation is meant to accomplish a measure of God’s purpose, whatever is not accomplished is passed on. Every Moses must empower Joshua, and Elijah an Elisha, and a David a Solomon.

  

Looking at the life of David, let’s learn some key lessons on how he passed on a great legacy to and influenced  his son Solomon, from the story in 1 Chronicles 28: 6-20.

 

(1) David received the mandate for the next generation from God (V6)

(2) David encouraged the next generation to seek after God (v8)

(3) David empowered the next generation by giving a detailed blueprint for the future (V11) a plan to move on in life.

(4) David provided the resources for the next generation (V14), and lastly

(5) David encouraged the next generation to do the work and finish it (V 20).  

 

There are three types of legacy we should aim to leave for our children and the next generation. They are:

 

 

  Knowledge: There are three types of knowledge we must impact our children with:

 

(a) Spiritual knowledge: This is to teach them the word of God, and His position on the issues of life. Teach them how to fellowship with God.

(b) Moral Knowledge: This is to build character in them teaching them about integrity, honesty, respect and obedience.

(c) Intellectual Knowledge: This is to educate them the best way we can, exposing them to environmnet that will challenge and stimulate them intellectually. Develop in them a reading culture.

(d) Social Knowledge: This is to teach them social gracees and politeness - 'Thank you', 'Please', 'You're Welcome'.

(e) Basic Hygiene and Orderliness: This is to teach them how to be neat, and be in order; and lastly,

(f) Economic Knowledge: This is to teach them how to manage and save their pocket money.

 

Vision: In 2 Chronicles 28:11, David gave Solomon the plans for the house of God. Just like David we must equip our children with the plans for their future, ensuring that they do not start from where we started from. David was equipped to fight and prepare the way for the coming generation.

 

Provision: Just like David, we must invest money and wisdom into our children. Provide savings, investments, bonds, and life insurances to take care of the next generation.

 

This is the essence in inspiring the next generation. We must not let our children fight our battles. We are called to fight and they are called to build. We must do our part so that they can build freely on God's plan and purpose for their lives.

 

 

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