Passing on the Greatness of What?

Written by Pastor John Kim

One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. Psalm 145:4

The greatness of the glory of God is the most valuable treasure that we have been given and if there is anything that must be passed on, it must be that God’s greatness is the highest priority to pass on to the next generation. As parents, it is incumbent upon us to share this priceless legacy with our children so that they would have every advantage to have been presented the glory of God to be seen as our chief end in life.

Yet this is the most fundamental problem, whether at an individual family level to whole congregations. The things of this world are proclaimed with much greatness, whether it be to get a higher education or to strive after a more prestigious vocation. What is most disheartening is that “God” is often used to present these pursuits as justifiable. I can distinctly remember going to churches where the last thing parents were concerned about was the spiritual destiny of their children, but they sure were going to make sure that they studied every possible moment to get that coveted 4.0 grade point average and a 1600 on the SAT. So you had kids in elementary school starting to get tutored for the SAT, attending academic enrichment classes above and beyond their regular school load. On top of that there was often the additional weight of taking on a musical instrument, the pressure to become the first chair of the orchestra. There was the constant comparing to other children and the all too often criticism of having fallen short. All for what end? When I was a youth pastor, kids were punished for getting a B on their report card so they were forbidden to attend Bible study until they got their grades up. When junior year rolled around, life then revolved around getting ready for college applications and finding every way to get an advantage to get into the highest ranked school possible. But it didn’t stop there. The major invariable revolved around something that would move toward a high end white collar profession. God forbid that you mentioned something about auto mechanics or becoming an elementary school teacher. A college degree was not enough either. A graduate degree was considered minimum in order to be acceptable. Some parents don’t even let their children consider marriage until they have finished a graduate degree. All for what end? It doesn’t end. It simply comes down to the greatness of this life on earth is being passed on as the highest priority for your life. And this is just one way of many that reflect the misappropriation of parental responsibility toward their children.

The one message I hear when I observe this kind of situation is that the parents have committed themselves to passing on the greatness of man. It is not about the greatness of God. It is about trying to attain to the greatest heights possible for the purpose of self-glory. It provides the kind of fodder for boasting to other parents. The highest value in life is placed on something that will not even last for eternity. On top of this, God is often invoked upon to help people attain to these earthly ends. This is a tragedy. And we are going lose yet another generation until this cycle is broken.

Now I’m not saying that education in itself is evil. But education was never to be used as a means to my own ends. If I call myself a true Christian, then the chief end of my life is the glory of God and to enjoy Him forever. All that I do in life is to be dedicated to this end. But how can this be if everything in life is focused on the glory of man and to enjoy this life now? Have not parents then forfeited their highest responsibility, that is, to pass on the greatness of God?

Parents are called in Scripture to raise up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Parents are called to give their children a model of what it means to fear the Lord and keep His commandments. It is not enough to just take them to church once in awhile. It is not enough to pray that God will one day turn your children around. Your child will die one day and as a parent, your responsibility is to have prepared them to the best of your ability to face God, not man.

We must learn from the example of the Israelites. Read the book of Judges and see how long it took for them to forget the greatness of God and start pursuing the idols of the countries around them. God had already warned them of the follow of worshipping false gods and yet they went ahead and would face the consequences.

We must strive to pursue the greatness of God not only for the sake of our own generation but we must be ready to pass it on to the next. We cannot blame the world or the culture around us if we ourselves have not done our utmost to present a high view of God and His Word in our own lives. We cannot afford to be hypocritical about this. If we have given ourselves over to the lusts of this world, then the pursuit of the world will exactly what the next generation will value. We cannot lose any more time because the lives of the next generation are at stake. We must break the cycle of sinful worldliness and pursue righteousness and holiness in being citizens of God’s kingdom (Matthew 6:33).

Remember Romans 12:1-2 and meditate on it day and night. Live it and pass it on to the next generation. God’s glory is at stake so don’t treat it as inconsequential. You WILL give an account for it before God.

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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