Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

06/04/2017 A.M.

 

Sharing Jesus With The Next Generation

Psalm 145.4   Matthew 28.18-20   Deuteronomy 6.1-9   Ephesians 6.1-4

 

Today...Our focus is on sharing Jesus with others...

We’ll note that we do this in different ways…

• Through proper parenting...

• In our worship services… In our Bible Classes...

• And by mentoring...Being an everyday example.

 

Here it is church... Each of us has a responsibility to... educate... Exalt... Share and declare...God to the next generation... Can I say that again... Each of us has the responsibility to... Educate... Exalt... Share and declare... God to the next generation.

 

That’s what Psalm 145.4 says... One generation…This generation… Shall praise Your works to another... And shall declare Your mighty acts.

 

Jesus put it in these words... Into all the world... Preach and teach every creature... Make disciples... Baptizing them in the name of the Father...Son... And Holy Spirit... Teaching...Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you... And I will be with you always.

 

Can I ask a question... and you not become upset with me?

• How are we doing here?

• How well is this going in my life and yours?

• Do we have a name we are praying for daily?... Do we?... Really?

• Are we working with somebody?... Sharing Jesus with them?... Teaching His commands?

I know several in this congregation who are... But how about me and you?

 

The Question Becomes...

How do we respond to Jesus’ Commission?

 

The first place we’re to... Educate...  Praise... Exalt... Share and Declare... God is in the Home!

 

Parents...Grandparents... We have the primary responsibility for teaching our children… About God... And His will… In our lives.

 

Listen again to familiar Scripture... A family scripture… Pointed toward proper parenting

Deuteronomy6.1-9... These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, promised you. Hear,O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.

 

Paul affirms this Old Testament command in Ephesians chapter six... There he brings it into the church… Into my life and yours... Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother--which is the first commandment with a promise--that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Fathers... Parents... Listen now... Fathers... Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up... In the training and instruction... In the nurture and admonition... Of the Lord.

 

Teaching our children about God... Leading them into a relationship with Jesus can be intimidating... However... We as Parents... Have a God-given Biblical responsibility to teach our children about God and His will for them.

 

You see… The home is to become the epicenter of spiritual learning and  development... There’s no other place like it!

 

It’s estimated that most parents spend 5,824 hours a year with their children... How much of that five thousand hours IS dedicated to learning about God?

 

Secondly... thechurch... This church... Has a responsibility to... Educate...  Exalt... Share and declare Jesus... Teach each member to obey His commands.

 

We do that in two ways... One is preaching the Word from the pulpit.

 

Worship should be built around... Exalting... praising... Sharing and declaring... God... Sharing what we know about Him and His Son from the Word.

 

Think about it... We do this in our...

• Preaching...

• Singing...

• In our prayers...

• In the Lord’s Supper...

• In our giving...

• Within our fellowship with one another.

 

We declare and share God and His Son though our personal testimony.

I’m gonna say something here that some will think out-of-place...

• But we share Jesus...

• Teach Jesus...

• Exalt and praise God...

By our Personal testimony.

 

For some reason we run from this word in the churches of Christ... But God has worked in our life... He’s worked In the corporate life of this church...

• He has called us…

• Redeemed us...

• Healed our bodies...

• Helped with our finances...

• Saved our children and grandchildren...

• Made possible bread for the table... Water to drink... A Job...Transportation...

• Companions when we are lonely... Friends when we are in need.

 

Listen...Scripture tells us we are to praise God for the great things He has done.

We sing about it!!... But we can’t seem to share our testimony... We can’t become His witness... His Ambassador... As if God is making His appeal through us... For He is... For He is.

 

Let me encourage you to rethink this issue... I encourage you to... Educate...exalt...praise... share... and declare... God... By telling others about what He has done in your life... In the life of this church... And what He will do in theirs... If they will obey His word... Amen?

 

OK... Not only are we sharing Jesus... Exalting and praising God... In our worship services... But also in our Bible Classes.

 

It’s interesting to note that today’s... Bible School... Sunday School... Had its beginning in 1780 in Britain... And spread to America in the early 1800s.

 

Bible school had its beginning... Not so much to Teach Bible...

• But to teach working children...

• Children who could not attend regular schools because they were working up to twelve hours a day on farms and in factories and stores. The only difference between... Regular School and Bible School...

• Was that Bible School... Was held in a church building...

• And The Bible was the only or the primary text book.

• Students learned to read using the Bible.

• They learned to write by copying verses of Scripture.

• Morals and social behavior... Love... Benevolence... Forgiveness... Etc... Were taught using the Ten Commandments... And New Testament passages from the Lips of Jesus... Along with the writings of... John... Peter... And Paul.

 

Now...As Child Labor Laws become more restrictive... And attendance in public schools was governmentally mandated... Bible Schools... Sunday Schools... Became more religious.

 

Bible School became the church’s way of teaching... Biblical principles... Morals...Church doctrine... Etc.

 

Reading...Writing... Arithmetic... Was left to the public school system.

 

Let me ask you this... What difference has Sunday Bible Classes made in your life and mine? Would any of us be in favor of taking away everything we learned in Bible School... Both regular and in our VBS? Then why are we so lax in making sure our own children have the same advantages?

 

Listen to these numbers... Children who attend Bible Class usually spend 52 or 104 hours a year learning about God from a Sunday School Teacher... or small group leader.

 

I can give you the names of my Bible School teachers from the time I was four years old...

• Have they made an impact on my life?... Absolutely!!

• Have they made an impact on your life?... I bet they have!!

• And most... If not all who did not have the opportunity to attend Bible School... Wish they had... Amen?

 

Church…Can I pose a question?... Why aren’t we coming to... Bible Study... Sunday School... anymore... I believe the answer lies in two areas...

 

First... Because the classes do not provide the spiritual food we need.

 

Our Eldership took a recent survey asking what we could do to improve our Bible Classes and Sunday Evening Services...

 

Here are some of the responses....

• We need teachers who are better prepared

• We need subjects that are more Biblically relevant to life in the 21st Century

• More challenges and encouragement to live like Jesus

More small group activities.

• Encourage parents to feel a burden to bring their children to classes.

 

We teachers need to take note here... We need to be prepared for our classes.We need to spend at least 2 or 3 hours in preparation and prayer for every hour in class. Preachers need to spend 4 to 8 hours preparation for every thirty minutes in the pulpit.

 

Teaching and preaching God’s Word is a serious undertaking... that is both commanded and expected by God... Let me challenge you to teach... And be prepared to teach.

 

Secondly... A sad reason we’re not coming to Bible School... It’s called indifference!

 

G.A. Studdert Kennedy a WWI Chaplin... Wrote about our indifference...

 

When Jesus came to Golgotha,

They hanged Him on a tree.

They drove great nails through hand and feet,

And made a Calvary.

 

They crowned Him with a crown of thorns,

Red were his wounds and deep.

For those were crude and cruel days,

And human flesh was cheap.

 

When Jesus came to Bella Vista...

We simply passed Him by.

We never hurt a hair of Him,

We only let Him die.

 

For men and women had grown more tender,

And we would not give Him pain.

We only just passed down the street

And left Him in the rain.

 

Still Jesus cried, forgive them,

They know not what they do.

And still it rained the spring rains

And drenched Him through and through.

 

The crowds went home from Bella Vista...

And left the church without a soul to see,

And Jesus crouched against the church house wall

And cried... GIVE ME CALVARY.

 

Indeed... We need a revival from our care less indifference... Amen?

 

Well... How do we do it?

How do we... Praise... Exalt... Educate... Share... and Declare... God to our children?

 

First... We must give God His rightful place in our lives.

 

Deuteronomy13.4 tells us... It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands... Obey Him... Serve Him... Hold fast to Him.

 

From Mt. Sinai we learn that our God will have no rivals... The first of the Ten Commandments...  You shall have no other gods before Me.

 

Jesus echoed these commands when He admonished us to... Love God with all our... Heart... Mind... Strength... and Soul... All our being.

 

Church...as Bible Students... It should be obvious to us that if... God... His Kingdom... His Kingdom Work... IS NOT FIRST in our life... We do not have a right relationship with Him and His son Jesus.

 

As a result... we will not have access to all His IN CHRIST power and blessings.

John 4.12 in our KJ reads... To those who believe... He gives the power to become sons of God.

 

You see... With placing God first... Comes the power to live the life he wants us to liVe...

• Power to become the right kind of… Husband... Wife... Parent... and Grandparent.

• Power to become better Christian individuals.

• Power to become a more capable... Teacher... Deacon... Elder... Soul winner…Servant... Disciple.

 

The Hebrews’ writer closes his Book saying... May the God of peace... That great Shepherd of the sheep... Equip you with everything... How much?... Everything good for doing His will. And may He work in us what is pleasing to Him through Jesus... So we can say with confidence... The Lord is my Helper... I will not be afraid... I will have confidence.

 

Secondly... We must exemplify Jesus before others.

 

Ours is to... Teach Jesus... Exalt Jesus... Share Jesus... And use words if necessary. Our lifestyle... Our walk... Is to look like Jesus... To have His...Heart... Mind... Attitude... Disposition... and Behavior.

 

Paul says... We are to walk after the spirit... Not after the flesh...

John says... We are to walk in the light.

Peter wrote... To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you... leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

 

Listen to me church... One of the worst things we can do to our children is to... Teach Jesus with words... But live a life that does not exalt and exemplify Him and his name.

 

Our children are... Listening... Watching... They know when our lifestyle is different than what we are teaching them... They are quick to pick up on our hypercriticalways.

 

Our walk before our children must exemplify our talk... Our walk must look like our talk... Is there a DICHOTOMY between our talk and our walk?... Is there?

 

You know, your walk talks, and your talk talks

But your walk talks louder than your talk talks

Your behavior toward your neighbor

Is really how you feel about the Savior?

 

When you exemplify and shine the Light of Christ

You know the number in the kingdom will be multiplied

Yes, your walk talks, and your talk talks,

But your walk talks louder than your talk talks.

 

It’s true... Isn’t it?... Truth is more often caught than taught.

 

We parents and grandparents are called to train up our children by... Teaching...Talking... And Walking... Our faith... Daily... Amen?

 

Thirdly... Make Jesus our Hero.

 

If someone asked... Our spouse... Our Son or Daughter... Who is your daddy’s hero?... How many would answer... Jesus?

• What does this say about... Who is first in our life?...

• Who is the pattern for our daily talk and walk?

 

Mark 8.34 has Jesus calling the crowd to Him along with His disciples... That’s us!... Saying... If anyone would come after Me, He must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me... Make me their Hero!!... Amen?

 

Then finally... We... Exalt... Declare... and Share...Jesus by serving others.

 

Go with me to the Upper Room... The disciples... Jesus followers... Are bickering around the table as to who is greatest in the Kingdom.

 

Jesus picks up the towel and wash basin... Washes the disciples feet... Then tells them... The greatest in the kingdom is he who serves... Go and do likewise and you will be blessed.

 

Church...Our children need to hear what brings greatness into their life... What brings God’s blessings... Serving the Jesus in others!

 

Our culture... Political correctness... Speaks with Satan’s tongue....

Who will we teach our children to follow?... Modern culture... Or Jesus.

 

At the end of life... Our eternal destiny will not be based upon the cultural ladders we climbed.... But upon service to others.

 

Jesus makes this point clear in the sheep and goat judgment of Matthew twenty-five…Beginning with the verse numbered thirty one… As often as you do it to the least of these... You do it to Me... Come you who are blessed by My Father... Come take your inheritance... The Kingdom prepared for you since the beginning….

 

Well...We must stop... I know some of the things I’ve said this morning are not easy to accept... But they have been said in humility... With a confession that I am guilty.

 

To the extent that we find them true to Scripture... Our challenge is to... Exalt... Praise... Share... and Declare... Jesus… To the next generation... To our children.

 

If you are here this morning and want to become a disciple of Jesus... If you want to exalt... Praise... Share and Declare... Him to be your God and Savior... We invite you to express your faith by… Confession... Repentance... and Baptism.

 

Perhaps...We haven’t exalted... Praised... Shared and declared... Jesus as we should have... And need to confess that wrong... This is our challenge as we stand and sing together.