A HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW: CHASE THE LION

Message Title: A hundred years from now:

Will the career, the earthly riches you give your life matter after your life, a hundred years from now? What do you want to be remembered? A hundred years from now! 

Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. V.T. Studd

God knows the frailty of every man, “He is mindful that we are but dust” (Ps. 103:14).  David courageously asked the Lord, “make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am. Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; surely every man at his best is a mere breath” (Ps. 39:4-5).  Job perceived the brevity of his life and declared, “I will not live forever…for my days are but a breath” (Job 7:16), and James wrote, “you are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (Jam. 4:14b). 

We got to know some of David’s mighty men. Beniah the lion chaser, Josheb-Bessbeth killed 800 men at one encounter, Eleazar the one who stood with David until the last enemy is standing, Shammah. 2 Samuel 23:39 (ESV) … thirty-seven in all.

Fast forward 40 years. All of them are old and many some already passed away. What do think would be their regrets or joy as they review their life in the service of their king David? Imagine each of David’s mighty men as old men. Their many battles had left their bodies bruised and battered, shells of their former selves. Josheb suffered from bursitis in his shoulders. Eleazar had arthritis in his wrists. And Benaiah could barely bend over because of slipped disc or two. Their fighting days had taken toll, but they would pay the price again. Not one of them would trade a single day! And no one could take away the dream that became reality during their life-time they crowned David king, their legacy for all eternity.

This entire section of scripture (2 Sam. 23:8-39) points to the commitment that David and his men held for the nation—even long after they were gone. “David and his mighty men were fighting for the next generation of Jews. A kingdom hung in the balance”.

The last topic of the series is about Legacy - leaving a legacy that will continue until the Lord Jesus’ return.

 Big Idea of the Message: “The key to dreaming big is thinking long. And the bigger the dream, the longer the timeline. If you’re thinking in terms of eternity, you should have some dreams that can’t be accomplished in your lifetime”.

Not all dreams will be accomplished in ones lifetime. The writer of the book of Hebrews end chapter 11 with these words: Hebrews 11:39 (ESV)And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised. Not everyone will be given a big dream to pursue. Many will dream within a dream - meaning they will find their life’s pursuit in supporting someone else dream. What legacy you want to live behind? Those who will be left behind are the next generation and they to will have to decide what legacy they will leave behind to the coming generation.

The writer of this Psalm 78 sounded an urgent call to the older generation (our generation) to LISTEN and TEACH to the next generation. Out of these call comes a clear VISION FOR THE NEXT GENERATION.

Text: Psalm 78:1-8

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God. ESV

A. A call to listen:

v. 1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!

v. 2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,

v. 3 things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.

The Psalmist is calling on his people to pay attention, to give importance, to give priority in what he is about to say.

 

Psalm 78:2–3 (NLT) for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us.

The lessons of the stories and teachings handed by their ancestors is applicable today as much as it was in the past. These teachings are meant to unite them as people. God’s word is meant to unite us. The primary goal of call to LISTEN is not to gain information but understanding and life transformation. We learn the Word of God through our Ear gate (listen), Eye gate (reading), Mouth gate (reciting), Hand gate (writing), mind gate (meditating/studying). As you sit here today, does God have your full attention? Are you expecting the Word through Holy Spirit to transform your life? Are you listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We cannot afford not to listen to what God has to say. We cannot afford wasting our life from listening to the wrong and fake messages around.

 

B. A call to teach:

v. 4 We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

Psalm 78:4 (NLT) 4 We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.

v. 5 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children,

Psalm 147:19 (ESV) He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel.

The psalmist sounded the call to teach the laws and commandments established by God specifically for the next generation, to the coming generation. It is of high priority that this be done intentionally. Not to hide means to make an intentional effort to make it known to the coming generation. To let them figure it out is irresponsible and disobedience.

Parents, are you growing in your understanding and application of truth in your life? If yes then your children are truly blessed. But if not, the truth will remain hidden from your children. You are the primary educator of your children. Leaders, if you are growing in your understanding and application of God’s word in your life, then the next generation is truly blessed.

Where do we start? The Lord God gave this command to Moses to teach his people:

Deuteronomy 6:4–9 (ESV) Great commandment:

4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Talk about being intentional to the coming generation:

It start with you - it shall be on your heart

Your attitude - teach then diligently, you must commit yourself wholeheartedly

Your strategy - repeat them again and again - repetition is critical

As we faithfully do our part, there is no assurance that we will see it realized in our time. To obey is our part. Leave the result to God.

We need to take this seriously and give ourselves in making this happen in our personal and corporate life. As we LISTEN and TEACH, we are trusting God to help us realize His vision for the next generation.

God’s Vision for the next generation is that they:

1. They Pass on what they been taught

v.6 that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,

Every generation is one generation away from extinction. The survival of the next generation depends on the current generation. 

Illustration: Before the battle of the Long Island, General George Washington reminded his troops whom they were fighting for. It wasn’t just for their freedom a first-generation American. “The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army.”

David’s mighty men mutually pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to their cause, their calling. Their heroic deeds are long remembered, long considered.

As we, the older generation do our part in teaching the younger generation with the Word of God, we envision that they will do the same when it comes to their turn in teaching the younger generation.

Our personal and corporate investment is not only for the generation we see but to the third and fourth generation. For the unborn generation. No one of us here can tell what will become of Living Hope after a hundred years. If we fail on our watch, imagine what will the coming generation looks like?

Joshua and his generation died:

Judges 2:10–11 (ESV) And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals.

Apostle Paul admonition to Timothy: Spiritual Multiplication

2 Timothy 2:2 (ESV) and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.

Every generation must steward what has been entrusted to them. It starts with honoring the generation that has gone before us by learning everything we can from the,. But that’s only half the equation when it comes to passing along a generational blessings. it continues by empowering the generation that comes after us. That’s how the baton of blessing is passed to the third and fourth generation.

The second vision is that they:

2. Keep and obey what they been taught

v. 7 so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;

set their hope - set the confidence in God based on who he is and what he has done.

Psalm 20:7 (ESV) Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

not forget - commit to memory, do all you can to keep remembering

Deuteronomy 4:9 (ESV) “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—

Deuteronomy 6:12 (ESV) then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

What makes us forget the works of God? When we set our hope other than to God. When we stop obeying or keeping his commandments.

Be doer of the word and not hearer only:

James 1:25 (ESV) But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Many young people/adult leave the church for a number of reasons. One of them is that they never had a personal faith. They came or their parents brought or drag them to church because that’s the only option they have. They leave the church once they reached an age that they can refuse their parents or can think/live independently.

This vision is about keeping, having the truth form and sustain their worldview. This means that their faith in Christ becomes the foundation of their life.

The last visions for the next generation that the psalmist gives is they to:

3. They Become better than us

v. 8 and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation,

a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Who is the psalmist talking about here? “not be like their fathers

They are their ancestors who came out of Egypt and wondered in the desert for 40 years.

2 Kings 17:14 (ESV) But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God.

2 Chronicles 30:7 (ESV) Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were faithless to the Lord God of their fathers, so that he made them a desolation, as you see.

Ezekiel 20:18 (ESV)“And I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols.

Jesus promise this to those who will believe in Him:

John 14:12 (ESV) “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

We (older generation) has a God given responsibility to setup the next generation for success. For them to be better than us. For them to grow wiser and faithful in the Lord. Not to be a stubborn generation but one whose heart is steadfast in God and whose heart is set apart for God.

Parents, what are you praying for your children to become like this one day? Leaders, what is your vision for our next generation? As we work through or plans and budget, will it lead to the success of the coming generation?



Find us faithful CHORUS:

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

May the fire of our devotion light their way

May the footprints that we leave

Lead them to believe

And the lives we live inspire them to obey

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

A hundred years from now
It will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, of the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.

Vision “To release them to their full potentials as kingdom builders

To see the body of Christ released to her full potentials as kingdom builders

“Old man speech”
“You’re going to meet an old man someday down the road—ten, thirty, fifty years from now—waiting there for you…That old man will be you. He’ll be the composite of everything you do, say, and think—today and tomorrow…His heart will be turning out what you’ve been putting into it. Every little thought, every deed goes into this old man.

“Every day in every way you are becoming more and more like yourself. Amazing but true. You’re beginning to look more like yourself, think more like yourself, and talk more like yourself. You’re becoming yourself more and more.” – Dr. Richard Halverson.

“Jesus didn’t die just to keep you safe. He died to make you dangerous!


Discussion Questions:

1.           Why is it important to think about a hundred years from now?

2.          Do you have a story from your family tree that changed your entire life, positively, for the better?

3.          What do you think the phrase, “Jesus didn’t die just to keep you safe” means?

4.          What’s one thing that most impacted you from this series?

5.          How can I pray for you?