When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. (Judges 2:10)
What? How is it possible to be brought up in the shadow of the mighty works of God, to have lived around men like godly men such as Joshua and Caleb, and then for it to be said, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel? How is that possible?
How is it possible that we have a young generation (Gen Z: Born 1999-2015) right now in our churches, including BCBC, that have grown up under the teaching of the Word of God on Sundays, perhaps educated in a Christian school or home-schooled, attended weekly children’s ministries and they do not have a heart for God nor for the things of God? How is that possible?
How is it possible that this generation has never seen a lost sinner genuinely transformed by the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit in salvation (Titus 3:4-7; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10)? Perhaps all they have heard are the old stories of salvation and transformation but nothing recent, fresh and grace-born!
Today, I want to call us to pray for GOD’S INCREASE in the hearts of our Gen Z young people!! In this time of prayer, let’s go boldly to the Throne of Grace on behalf of our young folks from ages 4-21.
Pray that our young people will truly be transformed, regenerated believers.
Pray that our young people will come to know the heart of God (Psalm 42:1) and have a passion for Christ over happiness in worldly, temporal things/goals.
Pray that our young people’s eyes will be “opened to the fact that sin isn’t a Christianese catch phrase; it’s a reality that shows up in our daily lives” and that they will know through the Word how to conqueror sin (Psalm 119:9-11; Ephesians 6:10-18).
Pray that our young people will have first person accounts in their lives of the work of God.
Pray that our young people will be like the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times but desired also to know what Israel ought to do (1 Chronicles 12:32). Point being, that our young folks would desire more to know what God would have them do than what is happening on social media or the culture is offering.
Pray that the parents of our young people will be more about knowing, loving, and obeying God (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 1:18) than chasing and fulfilling worldly desires.
Pray that the Word of God will have the most preeminent and prominent place in the discussion and discipleship of our homes; even as parents confront the difficult subjects of our culture and world (Psalm 119)
Pray that our young people will see and experience a real walk with Christ on a daily basis as opposed to seeing Christianity as “Sunday only.” Pray that they will see radical transformed, obedient adults!
May For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21) be said by our young people rather than the words of Judges 2:10.
If you read the Bible with a sensitive heart, you will often be overwhelmed with the great difficulty of many of its commands: “You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28). “So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions” (Luke 14:33). “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). The list could go on and on. How can we possibly obey these seemingly impossible commands of Scripture? The disciples felt overwhelmed by Jesus’ teaching in Luke 17:1-4. He told them to be on guard so that they would not cause any young believers in Him to stumble. And He said that if their brother sinned, they were to rebuke him and if he repented they were to forgive him, no matter how often the cycle was repeated. The disciples instantly realized that these were tough demands. To walk uprightly so as not to cause a new believer to stumble and to forgive someone who has wronged us are not automatic behaviors! Forgiveness especially is tough because our feelings are involved. So the disciples respond by asking the Lord to increase their faith (17:5). It was an honest request stemming from the right motives. They saw that if they wanted to fulfill these demands, they would have to have God’s strength and enabling to do it. But Jesus’ answer (17:6) indicates that more faith is not really the issue. Faith is not measured by its quantity, but simply by its presence. A mustard seed sized faith will accomplish impossible things. The real need, Jesus says (17:7-10), is for more obedience and humility. We should view ourselves as God’s slaves who owe Him simple and unquestioning obedience. And, when we have done what He requires, we should not get puffed up with pride in our great obedience, but should simply say, “We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.” Thus … When we encounter the difficult commands of Scripture, we should not focus on more faith, but on more obedience and humility. (Steven Cole)
In prayer today, let us focus on “Lord, increase my obedience as I humbly submit to You, Your authority and Your great love for me.”
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the commands of Scripture you are not obeying?
In addition, read again through the commands given in the first paragraph of this devotional.
Confess your disobedience (1 John 1:9).
Cast all your fears, excuses, doubts, laziness, whatever you are choosing as stumbling blocks of disobedience at the feet of Jesus (1 Peter 5:5-7).
Submit to the Word and “step into the water” (Joshua 3:8).
Bottom line,If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15). Make the connection here with abiding love from our 1 John 4:7-21 study.
Yesterday, you spent time in awe of God’s greatness as you meditated on Psalm 145. Oh, how I trust your time in His loving, holy presence was rich and full of grace and glory!!
Psalm 100:4 exhorts us to enter His gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! As you launch into prayer each day on this journey, be sure to spend time praising God for His holiness, goodness, patience, and other attributes. Then, thank God for His blessings and be specific . This morning, use Psalms 100 and 103 to begin your week with praise and thanksgiving.
Here’s an example using Psalm 100
Sing a hymn of praise to the Lord (100:1-2).
Praise the LORD for His attributes, naming them and sharing why from your heart they are meaningful to you right now (100:3).
Praise the LORD for how He will shepherd you this week (100:3).
Thank Him for at least ten specific things He has done in the past 24 hours (100:4)
Talk to the LORD out of your love relationship with Him as you rejoice in His goodness, His steadfast love, and His faithfulness (100:5).
Now share your requests with the Lord, and before you do, let me ask, “How will your fresh encounter of praise and thanksgiving effect your time of supplication?”
May your prayer life be one of INCREASE today because you have chosen the best part (Luke 10:42).
Psalm 145 is glorious psalm of praise acknowledging Who God is and what He has and is doing, James Montgomery Boice said it this way, “Psalm 145 is indeed a monumental praise psalm, a fit summary of all David had learned about God during a long lifetime of following hard after the Almighty.”
Today, as we begin this journey of 21 Days of Prayer to Resurrection Sunday, may I encourage you to give these days to following hard after the Almighty, the God of Majesty, Love, Holiness, Righteousness and Compassion?
Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He (Jesus) went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed (Mark 1:35). Jesus said that He came to do the will of His Father (John 6:38). He followed hard after the Almighty.
Today, find a solitary place where you can get alone with your Heavenly Father to pray.
Bring your Bible, a journal (book or tablet), and a hymnbook.
Read Psalm 145 out loud with heart and devotion to your Heavenly Father.
Go back and pray through the psalm, taking your time to meditate on a line or a verse; stop and listen to the Holy Spirit speak to you. Don’t be in a hurry. You can’t know the heart of God on the run.
As you pray and are silent at various intervals, write in your journal what the Spirit is saying to you.
When a verse speaks of blessing the Lord, choose a song and sing it Him!
When a verse speaks of praise, tell the Lord how great He is and thank Him for what He has done.
Perhaps record in your journal five things about Who God is and five things He done.
When you return to your family, share with them what God has revealed to you about Himself and about you. Have them share with you about their experience in the solitary place with the Lord.
Make this time in His presence all about praise and thanksgiving . . . no requests! Just enjoy following hard after the Almighty, being in the presence of the One Who loves you unconditionally, eternally, and immensely!
Psalm 145:18 says, The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. May you be greatly encouraged as you spend time with the One Who sought you out and adopted you for a love relationship that is real and personal. Follow hard after the Almighty!