I am so grateful to Jonathan Fletcher. When I first encountered Jesus in 1974, Jonathan met with me for three hours every week for a year, and regularly thereafter until I left university. He became a great friend. He taught me the Christian faith. He explained to me how to read the Bible and how to pray. He recommended Christian books and answered my questions. Even though I had only just encountered Jesus myself, he encouraged me to lead others to faith in Jesus and to straight away pass on what I was learning.
After I left university, Sandy Millar did the same as Jonathan had done, in a different way. He showed me a model of how to live the Christian life, to which I still aspire. Ever since, there have always been people in my life from whom I am learning and others to whom I am trying to pass it on. As in a relay race, we have a responsibility to pass on the baton.
Psalm 78:1-8 1. Tell
You have a story to tell. Every family has stories. Every church has its own stories of what God has done. Every Christian has a story – a testimony. All of us have access to the great story of what God has done in Christ. We have to ‘tell the stories’ (v.6, MSG).
This psalm gives us a sketch of Hebrew history leading up to King David, and stresses the importance of passing it on to the next generation. We see a contrast between the sins of Israel and the goodness of God. Jesus himself quoted this psalm (Matthew 13:35). The psalmist says, ‘We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done… to teach their children, so that the next generation would know them… and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God’ (Psalm 78:4–7).
Juan Carlos Ortiz tells the story of meeting an old lady in his native Argentina who introduced him to a young girl, who was one of her great grandchildren. She went on to tell that she had six children and thirty-six grandchildren. Her family was impressive in number and among her grandchildren were many well-educated and professional people.
Carlos asked her, ‘How did you manage to produce such a large, well fed, well dressed, well educated, extended family?’ She replied, ‘I didn’t. I just took care of the six. And each of them took care of their six.’
Each generation has a responsibility to tell the next one about the goodness of God and to warn them of the mess that we make of our lives when we turn away from God’s goodness. Lord, thank you for those who told us about ‘the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done’ (v.4). Help us to pass it on to the next generation so that they would put their trust in you.
…to be continued.
culled from Day 175 from my Bible In a Year App 2017.