Weekday Devotionals

Devotional written by Eric Nidiffer

Judges 2:10-11 (NLT)
After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel. The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal.

I have always wanted to do one of those Ancestry tests the commercials make look so interestingly good. Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com, 23andMe.com and so many more line the internet and media prompting us to learn about our past and the family heritage and history we are linked to. Despite the fact I usually skim through some of the Old Testament writings of lineage in the Bible, I do love the thought of knowing the family members who helped shape and mold generations eventually leading to my family.

I sometimes think, had I asked, my Grandparents probably would have had many great stories about their grandparents. I am sure they would have shared with joy and admiration about those moments and memories they treasure and hold on to, but yet I know nothing about any of those. In fact, if I heard the memories today, they would probably feel more like stories of strangers who I wouldn’t recognize if they were standing right next to me. Moments from my grandparents past which moved their hearts, would do very little for me. I have nothing in my memory tying me to my great great grandparents lives, save only the fact I exist today.

In Judges, the Bible tells us a single generation after the children of Israel witnessed God do the impossible, the people had forgotten God. Stories which shaped their parents lives, fell silent within theirs. Memories of faithfulness from the God who brought them through trials and fires into promise lands and victories, now were merely muted whispers from past generations. Instead, they turned to false gods and idols to lead them, more specifically the Bible tells us Baal. Baal in Hebrew is translated “Owner”. Their lives in one generation had gone from belonging to the God who created them to a man-made mythological fertility god. Could it really be the people had found worshipping Baal easier than believing and trusting in the God of their ancestors? I find this very hard to believe.

Just as I have never been told stories and hold no memories of my great great grandparents, I believe the people in the generation before had ceased talking and pursuing the Living God as He had instructed them to do. Possibly, their love grew cold after seasons and lifetimes of what felt like repetitions and perceived legalistic lifestyles. Instead of a passionate pursuit in a relationship with the Sovereign God, they had traded it for casual conversations of past faithfulness of Jehovah over coffee and donuts on a Sunday morning while the kids were playing outside.

One of the most inspiring verses to me is in Romans 10:14 (NLT):  But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

I contend a generation could not have fully forgotten God if the previous generation was on fire with a hunger and a zeal to spread the knowledge and love of God to their kids and their grandkids. If they had lived it day in and day out, modeling a lifestyle fixed upon God then their kids and grandkids would have followed suit. See I believe the generation before the generation who forgot God, had not necessarily forgotten God but had stopped living for Him. I believe the proof is right there in Romans with the liberty taken of adding a few words: “How can a new generation call on God to save them, unless they believe in Him? And how can a new generation believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” Had the generation before been boldly living out their faith in God, telling their kids, praying with their grandkids, reading aloud the Scriptures, encouraging growth within the walls of their own homes rather than relying on someone else to one day tell them, then the outcome of the generation that followed would have looked drastically different.

This is the challenge facing America today. Many who profess the name of Christ in our world today have grown comfortable in their passive Christianity despite the fact we have Churches on every corner and school, Cliché Christian t-shirts being sold everywhere, Billboards and signs with Christianized sayings written upon them and the list goes on and on. Our culture has found ways to normalize and profiteer off the Gospel often in place of the Church standing and boldly proclaiming the truth even when it isn't convenient or popular. Don’t hear me say there is anything wrong with billboards and Christian t-shirts, there isn’t, but it must be accompanied by a lifestyle proclaiming Jesus Christ and being lived in pursuit of the God who desires for ALL people to be saved.

Many settle for a Sunday morning Christianity and in doing so attempt to strip the Gospel of the power and impact it contains by turning it into a lackadaisical approach to sharing the faith they hold. This cannot continue. We all must be telling the next generation about Jesus boldly, unapologetically and regardless of the outcomes. Just putting on a Christian t-shirt will not win them over if our lifestyles don’t match the printing on the shirt we are wearing. We must tell them, we must live the Authentic life of a Jesus follower or else our children, grandchildren or great grandchildren might fall prey to the horrific words in Judges 2: “another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done…”.

You are God’s chosen messenger. The moment Christ came to live inside of your heart you were commissioned to live, breathe and speak the name of Jesus and tell His story. Yes, there are tools that can help accomplish this, but your life, your words and your actions are what makes it all stick. Live Christ. Speak Christ. Model Christ for those who come after you. If we all do this the next generation will have an awakening for Christ like no other generation has seen. This is your time to share the gift you have received with the next generation as they are waiting for someone to tell them and God chose you to be His messenger.

Pastor Eric




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