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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Generation Next

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you,

persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven,

for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5:1-12 NIV

I am privileged to know many fine young adults who are deeply in love with Jesus Christ. Many are living a life of trust, obedience and self sacrifice as they serve Jesus Christ. I am blessed when I meet young people who love the Lord and make every effort to live godly lives. It gives me great joy when I see members of the next generation serving God and passing their torch of faith on to others, especially their children.

However, I am troubled when I meet people, especially young adults who seem to be totally uninterested in God. Some attempt to be neutral regarding spiritual matters. It seems that they are adopting the world’s views on spiritual matters and are becoming more and more tolerant of sin. This next generation is bombarded by so many distractions. There appears to be a selfish falling away from God because of a false set of beliefs. These beliefs come straight from the lies of Satan. This type of thinking is found in every generation; however it seems that with each new generation faith is becoming less and less important.

Some people don’t believe in God. Others believe in God but their need for God has been pushed back into a corner as they wait for a more suitable time. Some people profess to know God but are not interested in walking daily in a personal relationship with God.

Oh that everyone would understand the teachings of Jesus! Everyone needs to know that we are blessed when we know we have a need of God and when we choose to walk with him, because if we do, we will have a home in heaven.

When believers mourn the sin in this world God promises to comfort us and when we show compassion toward others, we are told that we will inherit the earth.

Jesus teaches that those who hunger and thirst after God and his ways will be filled.

We are blessed individuals when we show mercy to others because God will then show mercy to us.

The Bible says that blessed are those who continue to examine their hearts before God and allow him to create within them a clean heart and right spirit, for they will see God.

Happy are those people who are peacemakers, because they will be called the sons and daughters of God.

If you find that you are persecuted because you obey God and live in a way that honors God, know that the kingdom of heaven is yours.

If people insult you, say false things about you because you are a precious child of God, you have reason to be happy. This type of opposition is a sure sign that you must be doing something right. God promises that the kingdom of God will be your reward in heaven because you stand for him and his truth.

However, many people do not understand the teachings of Jesus. They do not understand that the formula for eternal happiness and joy is based on accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and then aligning their life with the teachings of Jesus found in Matthew 5:1-12.

I for one am saddened by lukewarm Christians. It seems that the faith of every generation gets weaker and weaker. I pray that “generation next” will wake up and realize they are being lulled to sleep by Satan. Good Christian families have taught their children the way they should go, but still these parents seem to be loosing the battle regarding their children embracing Jesus and faithfully following him. The lure of the world is far more appealing to “generation next” than pursuing an active and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Grandparents are realizing that their grandchildren are next to clueless about the things of God. Grandchildren are learning from their parents that the world and all it seemingly has to offer is becoming far more attractive to “generation next-next” than Jesus Christ.

Many individuals have plans to get their spiritual life together when everything else is in place. They are convinced that they do not have time for religion or a relationship with God. There is so much to do. If something has to go it is God. Because God is not in their face like their boss, their spouse, and their children, they stuff him to the bottom of their life. You see, God calls individuals to follow him, however, he does not demand obedience. At least not yet!

Many people in the next generation believe in God but do not live their life in obedience to God. Many have made a confession of faith but lack a relationship with Jesus Christ. Most feel an urgency to get ahead on earth instead of planning for eternity. Others boycott church attendance because they believe churches are filled with hypocrites instead of believing that that church is the perfect place for a hypocrite so they can receive help for their eternal soul.

Others worry about money instead of learning to trust God for their provision. Many have a selfish love for money. Their greed keeps them from giving to God or others. People also hunger for self gratification, success and power, instead of cultivating a desire to glorify God. Many have a huge quest for knowledge but no interest in God’s Word which is full of wisdom and knowledge.

Some people are all about fun and parties but have no need to fellowship with believers who, believe it or not, have been known to have fun and enjoy life. There also seems to be a loathing for government, but there is no acknowledgement regarding the fact that the corruption of government is a direct result of ignoring God’s laws and his commands.

Many disregard marriage and sanctity of life instead of embracing what God teaches as a pattern for godly living and that every life is to be valued as precious. Many believe that things will get better here on earth, when in fact the inhabitants of this planet are on a downward spiral and that decline is because most people do not have respect or love for their Creator and his creation.

Some believe that good people go to heaven rather than believing that it is only saved people that go to heaven. A great many people believe that there is a heaven but no hell, when actually hell is a very real place. Others believe that Jesus is coming again but do not believe that it may be in their lifetime, when in fact it may very well be in their lifetime.

Many believe that they have plenty of time to get their spiritual life together when they get older, finish having fun, finish their education, get married, get their nest egg established, get their children in elementary school, high school, and out of college! Yet, these same people are completely ignorant of the fact that we are living in the last dispensation of time before Jesus returns. Every day that passes places us one day closer to Jesus’ return. Time IS of the essence!

Some believers do not believe that they may be required to experience any type of tribulation. However, many believers may be asked to do some very unethical things in order to survive the demands of the government and those who do not comply with those demands will be persecuted. Most of “generation next” see no need to read and study God’s Word. Therefore, they will be found unequipped to face this type of temptation, pressure, and perhaps even persecution.

People continue to ignore the fact that now is the time to do their homework in the school of faith. Knowing what God’s Word says is so important. It is the Word of God that will equip all of us so that we may not be found lacking our time of need. We are told to hide God’s Word in our heart so we might not sin against him.

Some members of “generation next” have a false belief that the faith of their parents will sustain them in their times of need. The truth is that everyone needs his or her own grip on faith. After the death of their believing parents they will be left empty handed with nothing to pass on to their children because the flame of faith has been extinguished in their own hearts. Many children and grandchildren take for granted the prayers of their godly parents and grandparents, when in fact it is because of those prayers that God is merciful to them and continues to call them to come to him and be in a loving relationship with him. They lack understanding that a relationship with Jesus Christ is far better than anything that the world has to offer.

The next generation, as well as all people must believe that nothing is more important in this life than their relationship with Jesus Christ. All believers and non-believers must sit up and take note, this life matters! What we do here on this earth will affect the quality of life we have now as well as in eternity. Believers will not only have a home in heaven but in addition, they will be judged on how well they lived their life on earth and this will affect their eternal reward. Hearing Jesus Christ say, “Well done” will not have anything to do with your salvation but it has everything to do with how well you lived your life on this earth.

If you know the Lord, keep praying for those who don’t know him. Pray also for those who do know him, but are choosing to love their sin more than they love God. Pray expectantly for God to show up in the lives of those who need to choose him over this world. God’s Holy Spirit is able to convict. He is able to draw people to him in many ways. God is able to orchestrate the life of the one you are praying for. Ask him to put people in their path that will influence them for Jesus. Pray that God will create within them a curiosity for his Word. Pray that God would remove the scales from their eyes and that he will give them understanding of the Scriptures. Keep praying! Do not grow weary in doing the good work of prayer. Our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, our brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews, and our friend’s children are blessed because many people are praying for them. The people we pray for continue to be spared, protected and called because we pray! God is always faithful to us. It is important that we remain faithful to him all our days! Blessed are those whose God is the Lord. Blessed are those who pray! Praying is of eternal significance. God’s power is released when Christians pray. We may never see the answer to our prayers but that does not mean that those prayers were ineffective. Because we continue to pray God will continue to work long after we leave this world. Our prayers will out live us!

I am so thankful for those of “Generation Next” who are walking in a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you are one of those believers I want to encourage you to continually raise the bar in your own spiritual life as you learn from God’s Word. Remember, Jesus taught us that those who are poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who are merciful and pure in heart, those who are peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for his sake are promised much! Continue to take the risk to love God with all your heart. It is the path of happiness in this life and in the life to come. Also, pray for and share with others of your generation what God has done in your life and how you love walking with Jesus Christ. Share with them the peace and joy that you are experiencing now and your hope for eternity. God bless you for your faithfulness to the One who loves you lavishly!


How would you describe your current relationship with God?
Where do you think you need to be?
What keeps you from pursuing a deep relationship with God?
Do you think that ignoring God will be worth it in the end?
If you are a believer, are you praying for “generation next”?
How can you to prepare yourself, your family, and your friends for what might prove to be difficult days ahead?


Dear God,

My heart continues to be heavy for “generation next” and for all people who do not know you. I pray for those who are lukewarm in their faith. For those who are trying to live with one foot on earth and the other foot in heaven. Father, I pray for those who are seemingly not convicted of the sin in their life. I pray they will become convicted of the fact that they no longer hear the voice of your conviction. I especially pray for those who were raised in Christian homes yet have walked away from their faith. Call them back. Draw them near. Create a need for you in their life. Put believers in their path to influence them, speak to them as only you can Lord. I pray for all believers to raise the bar in their own life as a means of preparedness for difficult days that may lie ahead. I pray that we all would hide your Word in our hearts so we will not sin against you. God you are loving, merciful, and compassionate. Because of your loving character you continue to delay your return because it is not your will that any should perish. Father, I also know someday soon you will return and your mercy and compassion for those who are not walking with you will end and those who are not walking with you will be left without excuse. Father, prepare all of us for the days ahead. Thank you for your promies for those who walk with you in daily faithfulness.

In your Son’s name I pray. Amen.