Tuesday, January 31, 2012

passing the baton

inspiration: the final sermon of the Immeasurable series

Sunday, we concluded the "Immeasurable" series at Seacoast
((You can read my posts about Week 2 and Week 3))

we focused on the end of Ephesians 3:21:
...throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
as Christ-followers, we are called to pour into the lives of the next generations, so that the church may continue to grow and thrive. and in order to do that, we have to "catch the bug" (passion for Christ) ourselves, we have to live it, and we have to give it away.

as a young, single woman, it's sometimes easy for me to write off a sermon like this as "oh, this is a parenting sermon. what can i possibly take away from this?" but as i;ve matured as a Christ-follower, i'm learning more and more that even though i'm not a parent and don't plan on being one for a long time doesn't mean that i need to tune out to the advice and wisdom of those who are.

in fact, i strongly believe that i need to begin preparing myself in small ways for the days to come. in the same realm of taking time to pursue Christ first before even dating in order to ensure i'm healthy as a single woman prior to entering into a relationship with someone else, i know that taking time to gain wisdom now will better prepare me when i "officially" begin to raise a new generation.

but, even as a young, single woman, i've seen ways that i've been able to pour into the next generation already. serving in the nursery at Grace and for a short period at Seacoast has definitely opened my eyes to the fact that these cute, little, often-times smelly, grumpy little toddlers are like sponges. when we say and teach them, they retain it. they may have the attention span of a gnat, but i've seen firsthand how they can learn a bible verse (or a shortened version of it) and recite it and the joy they have singing songs for Jesus.

but i've also had vast opportunities to pour into my generation, who will also go forth and help pour into the generation after us. we're all in this together - our goal and purpose being to "pass the baton" to the generations that are coming after us. it's our goal to raise up and train those that follow in our footsteps.
Train a child in the way he should go, 
   and when he is old he will not turn from it. -Proverbs 22:6

one of my new favorite movies is Courageous.
it's powerful. it really calls men out to step up and to be the spiritual leaders of their families and to serve and protect those they love. it's amazing. (of course, i blogged about it here ;))
we may not start out on the right foot, but we can always end on it.
but in order to get to that point, there are a few things we have to be willing to do.

we have to be willing to "catch the bug" ourselves.
meaning, we must follow Christ wholeheartedly and to find our joy and passion in him. have you ever found a hobby or new obsession and you just couldn't wait to share it with others? there's apparently this thing called "Pinterest" which like 99% of my friends are obsessed with (i refuse to even begin participate because i know i will get sucked in like lint in a vacuum), but in just about every conversation i have with them, the P-word comes up. recipes. fashion. quotes. home decor ideas. just like the P-Word, we must overflow with our love and passion for Christ.

we have to be willing to live it ourselves.
it's one thing to talk the talk, but we must also walk it.

we have to be willing to give it away.
we have to not only find the passion and live out our passion for Christ, but we must also share it and give it away. this is the entire premise of passing it onto our children.

so whether you're a parent or like me and are a "future parent", we must being now to prepare ourselves for raising up a new generation in Christ. it's easy to look around us and wonder where the "good ol' days" have gone. but in order to make changes for the future generations, we must take a stand and begin passing the baton now. we must rise up and catch, live, and give in order to pass it to the next generation.

what do you need to begin doing today in order to pass the baton on to your children?

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