Sunday July 5, 2015 | Seth McCoy
1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3 things that we have heard and known,
that our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
5 He established a decree in Jacob,
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach to their children;
6 that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and rise up and tell them to their children,
7 so that they should set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
The Kingdom of God grows through witness and repentance, not by childbirth. The direction of people’s journeys through life hinges on whether or not someone is willing to tell them about what God has done. Are you telling others what God has done in your life?
As the Old Testament records, the Israelites had lots of stories that were passed down from generation to generation – but they weren’t just stories about Israel, they were stories about God. The New Testament has shown that the same is true even today – Jesus invited a few people to follow Him as He told them about God, and they in turn shared their stories with others, and the process has never skipped even a single generation. Sharing our stories about what God has done in our lives is a crucial part of Kingdom living.
The book “The Martyr’s Mirror” tells powerful stories that, from a human standpoint, don’t always seem to end well. For example, it tells of a Mennonite man who was being chased in an attempt to capture and kill him, but as they ran across a frozen lake, his pursuer fell through the ice. Many Christians today would probably say “Thank you God!” and run to safety, but this Mennonite man turned around and saved the life of his pursuer. The tough part of the story is that it didn’t have a fairy-tale ending – the Mennonite man wasn’t thanked for saving his pursuers life and lived happily ever after, but instead was captured and killed. It can be tempting to not share stories like this, but Psalm 78 reminds us that our stories need to be shared. Remember, this is a story about a martyr, which means the story doesn’t end there…
One of the challenges of the Church has always been, “Who’s going to sit in this chair next?” Pastor Seth’s life changed after he ran away from home in high school because a youth pastor named Joel reached out and witnessed God’s love to him. Joel decided to care about others, even a young runaway, and not just himself. What do you think about the next generation? Are you sharing your stories of faith with them like Joel did with Seth?
The Church grows through witness and repentance – that’s how new Christians are born. But who is being a witness to people today? God has always cared deeply not only for what’s here, but also for what’s next. And God has given you a testimony, which is simply your story to share about how He has changed (and is changing) your life. Part of your role – your responsibility – is to share your story with others so they, too, can know what God has done.