Not too long ago, I was in a discussion with a woman who shared with me about talking with a teenager in a major city in the U.S. who had never heard the name Jesus!
Can you imagine a child growing up in Canada or the U.S. and never hearing the name of Jesus? How many children and teenagers live or attend school within one mile of your church? How many of those children and youth are unchurched and do not know about Jesus? Yet, Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.”
We live in a time when our children and youth (even in the Church) are missing out on the greatest story in human history – the story of Jesus and the Gospel. Rather than hearing about Jesus, these young people are being enculturated with ungodly and unbiblical attitudes and behaviors. Their childhood is being taken from them by the fracturing of the family, their exposure to sin through television and the Internet, and the lack of moral teaching and discipline in their schools. The “innocence of childhood” is quickly becoming a faint legend from the past.
What are we, both as followers of Jesus and leaders in His Church, going to do about communicating the Gospel and Jesus to our youth?
First, pray. Ask God to intervene and help you reach the children in your neighborhood and community (Luke 10:2). Second, make disciples of your children and your youth “teaching them to observe all that He has commanded you” (Mathew 28:20). Third, equip the parents and families in your congregation and community with teaching and resources on how to parent, disciple their children, and model Godly parenting. Fourth, creatively reach out to the children and teenagers in your neighborhood and schools.
Will you join me in praying that the Lord will provide the people and resources to communicate Jesus and the Gospel to our youth that have never heard?
We have a God that loves us so much, and God’s love for us is expressed to us through His “covenants”. Also, God’s “covenants” reveal to us His grace and faithfulness. In today’s message, we will discuss God’s Covenant with Noah. A “covenant” can be defined as an “oath or promise of God”. In a Biblical covenant: 1) God establishes the Covenant; 2) God always implies that “I am your God, and you are my people” – God desires a personal relationship with us; and 3) God sets the covenant’s terms and rulers.
In Genesis 6:5-22, the corruption of humanity, through mankind’s sin after the Fall, became too much for God, and He became sorry that He made mankind. From Genesis, we know that God “grieved in His heart” because of human evil, corruption, and violence. However, Noah found favor in the eyes of God. Noah was righteous and blameless, and Noah “walked with God”.
After destroying all humans and all other inhabitants of the earth, except for Noah, his family, those animals that Noah collected for His arch, God “blessed Noah in Genesis 9:1-29; and God established His covenant with Noah in Genesis 9:9-1:10,11-13: “’Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you . . . that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.’". Therefore, this covenant is not only with Noah and all other living things on the earth; but God’s covenant with Noah is with us too! The “rainbow” is a sign of this covenant between Noah and all humanity; and this “rainbow” is, also, a sign of God’s love, grace, and mercy.
In 1 Peter 3:18-21, the Apostle Peter relates Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, which is a redemptive covenant for our salvation, to God’s earlier covenant with Noah: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ . . .". In this text from 1 Peter, we learn that our “baptism” represents our Salvation through Jesus. Like Noah and his family, we have been saved “through the water” not “by the water”. Therefore, “baptism” is another covenant between God and all humanity, through God’s Grace, to save mankind from itself if we accept God’s Grace. God does not see us, now, in our sin like humanity’s evil of Noah’s time; rather, God sees us through the eternal (like the “rainbow”) “Justifying” covenant blood of Jesus.
TODAY’S AFFIRMATION: I affirm that because of what God has done for me in His Son, Jesus, I AM FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13).
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE (ESV): Genesis 6:5-22; Genesis 9:1-29; 1 Peter 3:18-21; Psalms 28: 1-9.
WEBSITE LINK TO DR. BEACH’S SERMON VIDEO: https://awordfromthelord.org/video-archives/
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