Week 34 “The next generation” Day 2
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
2 Tim. 2:1-7 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
The first thing to be passed on to the next generation is the primacy of grace. Youth is strength. Strong bodies. Strong wills. Strong desires. Strong opinions. Age teaches weakness. Bodies begin to fail. Experience has demonstrated time and again that strong opinions and desires do not guarantee outcomes. The lessons of youth can lead to foolish and unwarranted self-trust. The lessons of age can lead to cynicism or to grace. The Word of God is leading us to Jesus. Away from both self-trust and cynicism. “Be strong my son, my daughter…in the grace of Christ.” Be strong, but in his unmerited favor in your life and not in all you can do and earn and become and obtain. Be strong in his power in your life. Do not think that you can shape your life by the force of your will alone. Be strong in his grace. This is the opposite of passivism and cynicism. To be strong in the grace of Jesus Christ is to endure anything and everything that comes our way with confidence, with faith. It is to remain an ultimate optimist. All things will, in the end, work together for my good since I love him. This is what must be experienced by every generation and then passed down to each “next” generation. The “normal” way of understanding strength is wrong; this is the right way to understand what it means to be strong. There is strength to survive and to thrive. It is the strength that flows from the grace of Christ. Nothing lasts, except the grace of God by which you are saved in Christ Jesus. All that is weak and passing will fail you, but he will never fail. You are weak and passing, so do not put your final confidence in yourself. Do not pass the folly of full confidence in yourself to the next generation. If you are old, you ought to know better by now. You know you do not have what it takes, so don’t pretend that you do. If you are young, you can skip some of the lessons taught by experience and learn directly from God himself. He is telling you now that your strength, your confidence, your arrogance will fail you. Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. By all means venture boldly into the life God has for you, but do so putting your final confidence in Christ and not in self.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.