Where will you be in 5, 10, 20 or even 50 years? What will you be doing? Who will be with you? These sorts of questions cause us to consider not only our future but also the certainty of our life.
It seems currently our nation makes decisions in light of the now rather than for the next generations.
– Economically, we spend as if affluence trumps accountability.
– Morally, we behave as if vulgarity trumps virtue.
– Mentally, we think tolerance trumps truth and reason.
– Socially, we live as if freedom trumps faithfulness.
– Spiritually, we act as if passion trumps purity.
Our society lacks accountability and foresight, failing to realize that there is coming payday someday.
How can we reverse this trend?
We need to aim big but start small. To be more specific, I believe we need a vision that goes beyond any one person or people and then we begin implementing that vision one step at a time.
That is what SPBC tries to do when we say we exist to grow godly generations by equipping people to love God, love others and lead generations. Growing godly generations is a vision that will outlast the pastor, as well as every person in the pew. And the way we can fulfill this vision is one person and one home at a time, and then stretching from neighborhoods to nations.
We grow godly generations by magnifying God’s greatness (145:1-3)
In this Psalm, David reflects upon God and cannot help but praise Him. The psalmist praises God [elohim] as King and the great one. Even though David is a king, he recognizes there is One who is a greater King. This King does mighty acts (v.4) and is glorious in splendor (v.5), performing awesome deeds (v.6; [shows reverential fear]) and is filled with abundant goodness, grace and mercy (v.7-9).
Further, David’s awareness of God’s infiniteness does not preclude his relationship with God’s intimacy. David personally knows the One he praises saying “my God”. The great and majestic God is in relationship with David; which is why David was called “a man after God’s heart” (1Samuel 13:14, 22).
David uses a full vocabulary to describe the activity of praising God: “extol” (v.1); “bless” (vv.1, 2, 10, 21); “praise” (vv.2, 3, 21); “commend” (v.4); “declare” (vv. 4, 6); “meditate” (v.5); “”speak” (v.6); “pour forth” (v.7); “sing aloud” (v.7) and “give thanks” (v.10).
Illustration: It’s like the weatherman in the winter time who can say more than the fact that we are experiencing “cold” or a “child” or “freezing”, but reaches into the vocabulary to say: “polar vortex”!
Likewise, we are called to praise and magnify God because He is deserving in character and because of His continuous deeds in our life.
2 Kinds of Magnification (Piper):
We are not to magnify God like a microscope. In this way you take something small and make it appear bigger than it actually is. This is not true of God. He is far greater than our thoughts or words (Isaiah 55:8-9).
We are to magnify God like a telescope. In this way you take something substantial, with unimaginable vastness in effort to grasp just a glimpse of its reality. As a telescope looks up into the sky to see a star, or even a planet, we know they are not just specks but are spectacular masses that far supersede our intelligence and imagination. This is true of God – He is far more great and glorious. And this is how we are to view and magnify Him.
We magnify God’s greatness with sincerity of faith.
145:2 “Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever”
Believers are to treasure God with our blessings and trust God with our burdens. Faith is a consistent, every day treasure & trust in God. It does not waver when God does not turn out to be our genie in a bottle; He is greater than that so that our desires are surrendered to and shaped by God’s character, purposes and commands.
145:14, 17 “The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down… The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.”
We magnify God’s greatness by singing more loudly.
145:7 “They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.”
When we come to a church worship service less prepared and less passioned than we do sporting events then we have misunderstood God and we have misapplied genuine faith. Our worship is in direct relationship to our worldview of viewing and valuing
An atheist was asked why he was going to hear a preacher, telling him “You don’t even believe what he says. To which the atheist replied, “I know. But he does.”
You see, if our faith is dry & dim then the gospel will be dull news rather than good news.
We magnify God’s greatness by speaking more boldly.
145:21 “My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.”
When we see people as God views them then our relationships and friendships will change greatly for eternity. Speaking boldly in witness to Jesus does not equate to arrogance or annoyance but loving; the most loving action for someone is to tell them about God’s love in Jesus Christ.
We grow godly generations by mentoring God’s people (145:4-7)
The Psalmist not only magnifies God’s greatness but also seeks to mentor God’s people. David’s thought is to duplicate the devotion of God’s praise among God’s people. He repeats terms to indicate the enduring nature of such praise: “bless & praise forever and ever” (vv.1, 2, 21); “generations” (vv.4, 13);
“God’s kingdom is everlasting” (v.13), “all flesh is to bless God” (v.21).
The content of this praise from generation to generation is the mighty acts, the wondrous works, the awesome deeds of God. The Psalmist had in mind the stories of God’s power to rescue and pardon to redeem. Today this would include reading, studying, and reflecting upon the Scriptures together. It would include sharing your salvation testimony and personal relationship of God’s faithful work in your life.
We mentor God’s people when we move from me to we, because we is us. David starts the psalm with his own desires and then moves to the community of believers in verse 4 “One generation shall commend your works to another.” Every believer and every body must do the same; realizing that if we fail to pass on the faith we likely fail to possess faith. The value of tradition is that it teaches; the value of history is that it helps you to move into the future. When tradition stops teaching and history stops helping then close the book.
Psalm 71:15-19 “My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone. Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come. Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you?”
We mentor God’s people by every believer having a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy. What this means is that we should have someone who is our equipper (Paul), another who is our encourager (Barnabas) and then another whom we are educating (Timothy).
Psalm 78:4, 6-7 “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 he has done… 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.”
What does the future look like for SPBC in 5, 10, 20 and even 50 years?
Growing Godly Generations is not about building a sand castle but a skyscraper.
Sand castles are nice to look at but they fade quickly. To build a skyscraper you need four essential items:
1) Blueprint. Blueprints are the vision for what you will build and how you will build. They guide the process.
The Bible is our blueprint.
2) Supplies. Building a skyscraper without tools or materials is the difference between a dream and reality.
The Holy Spirit with spiritual gifts are our supplies.
3) Crew. One person can build a lot of things but likely not a skyscraper; it takes a team.
The body of Christ united in purpose and urgent with passion is our team and crew.
4) Foundation. Without a foundation a building wont go very far into the sky or much more be safe for people to enter and exist inside of it for durations of time.
Jesus Christ and His gospel is our foundation.
SPBC, we have all that we need. Let’s get to work…