I just finished reading a wonderful devotion on the Our Daily Bread Web site.
It was about "second-hand faith."
Actually, it was about how we really can't have second-hand faith. We need to have first-hand experiences with God. The devotion pointed to a generation of Israelites who grew up after Joshua and his generation had died.
This second generation didn't know about God's wonders or what he'd done for them. Consequently, they forsook the Lord.
My first question is "how did this happen?"
OK, these folks obviously didn't witness the Red Sea parting, but was there no one to tell them about it?
Or did they just not listen or believe? Did it seem like an old history lesson with no relevance to their times?
The whole thing makes me think about how vital it is that we teach our future generations of the goodness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and what he did for us. We need to model his love and forgiveness - even when it's hard. We need to tell about what he's done for us and how he's always with us.
Some of us may not have biological children, but I can tell you as an aunt and longtime Sunday school teacher that many children out there need the love and Godly encouragement of a mentor.
I believe God gives us spiritual children if we will have them. They may be little children or they may be young adults, who simply need some Godly examples and kind words.
Now, I know from experience how tired a person can get when he or she works all day and then finds a young one in need of attention.
It can be downright draining.
I also have discovered that God can give us pockets of time and periods of respite and that we really have to lean on him for guidance when dealing with mentees of any age. I've sought out Godly counsel and have worked to implement boundaries.
I'm still working on that.
My point is that we all can encourage the next generation in various ways. And I believe it's so important that we do so.
I know that in the end times, the love of many will grow cold. But I want to do everything I can to keep as many of this next generation from following the path of those wayward Israelites.
How about you?