Tuesday, June 20th
Devotional written by Melanie Pulis, Small Groups Area Leader
TEACHING THE HEARTS OF THE NEXT GENERATION
Growing up in North Carolina, I was familiar with the phrase, “Bless your heart.” These three simple words had numerous meanings, which ranged from genuine affection and empathy for someone, to being used to soften the blow before delivering gossip or a backhanded compliment. The connotation depended upon the heart of the user. Like that phrase, actions, too, are determined by the heart of the user. As parents and Christians, God tasks us with teaching God’s Word, love, and obedience to the hearts of our children and the next generation.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Throughout the scriptures, we see confirmation that God’s people are expected to honor God’s laws, pass down His Word, share His truths to the next generation, and implore them to be obedient. In Deuteronomy 4:5, 9, Moses says, “See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.”
In Proverbs 3:3-4, Solomon says, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” The psalmist devotes 178 verses in Psalm 119 to eloquently and passionately declare the importance and value of keeping God’s laws and begs God to “keep him from deceitful ways” (Psalm 119:29a).
Our children’s world today is rife with dangers, distractions, injustices, and lies that contradict the Word of God and can lead them down the wrong path. Therefore, our divine responsibility is to “tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done…That they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God but keep His commandments” (Psalm 78:4, 7). One does not need to be a Bible scholar to do so; simply share your story of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord, help us to embrace the Great Commission to pass down your Word to the next generation and to make disciples (Matt. 28:16-20). Thank you for loving us, saving us, and equipping us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.