As Christian Education emphasis month draws to a close today, and as we reflect on the topic of raising the next generation, it is worthy for us to consider this verse that was chosen as a focus for this sermon series.
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them” (Deut. 4:9).
As we have been exploring the biblical vision of discipleship, the challenge of Christian living and lifelong learning, as well as passing the faith on to future generations, God reminds us in His Word that firstly, it begins with ourselves. We are to be careful, or to give heed to ourselves, and to watch ourselves closely, or to keep our souls diligently. Why is this important? Our life is our best witness to the generations after us, not our achievements, not our words or teachings, but the way we live our lives.
Secondly, we are reminded not to forget the things we have experienced, or let them fade (or slip, depart) from our hearts, not just when we are young, or when those God-moments happen, but for as long as we live. In the immediate context, God was reminding the Israelites through Moses not to forget what He had done for them by freeing them from slavery and bondage to Egypt and Pharaoh, and the eventual leading to the Promised Land. The same applies for us. Do we remember when we received Jesus as our Saviour and Lord? Do we remind ourselves (and our children) of all that He has done to save us? Do we keep it at the forefront as our motivation for obedience and service to the Lord?
Lastly, we are exhorted to teach God’s laws and what He has done to our children and their children. This does not just apply to Christian parents, but to the whole body of Christ, that God has placed us and younger generations together in. As teachers, as leaders, as a church community, we all have a role and responsibility to live godly and exemplary lives and to teach others to do so, for the sake of Christ and God’s glory. May God help us to connect to His Word, commit to Him and be His people, shining His light and love wherever we go.