Passing On More than Memories

After 17 years, what should we as a Church be doing?

Psalm 78

Audio MP3

June 12th 2011 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

I. Introduction (Psalm 145:4)

A. King David is dictating a Psalm to his secretary named Asaph

B. He is concerned that as the years pass, people of the next generation would move on without remembering some very important things from the past

1. David wrote many of the Psalms so that his children, and the nation of Israel would never forget where they came from, and how they got to where they are

2. It never is an accident

C. David had so many memories of God’s hand on his life

1. Calling him as a teenager to be king over all Israel

2. Giving him the victory against Goliath – when everyone else ran scared

3. Protecting him from king Saul’s attacks – for 7 long years

4. Making him Israel’s greatest king of all time

5. And, he had been taught so many things about how God had always been working in their lives – going all the way back to Abraham, and the later, to Moses defeating Pharaoh just by faith!

6. So many great memories

D. He realised that we have a great responsibility

1. To pass on those memories – what are WE passing on to next gen? Debt, bad attitudes…

2. But more so, we have a bigger responsibility to pass on an “awe” of God

E. So he cries out this Psalm!

1. Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

2. I’ve got something to say!

3. As a matter of fact, I have a load of things to say!

4. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old

5. These are things “our fathers have told us.”

6. And we have decided that “We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.”

F. Let’s listen and learn that we who are here this morning, in this church’s 17th anniversary, have more than just memories to pass on to the next generation!

II. Background

A. There are More than just Memories in Life (Psalm 78:1,2)

1. I love memories!

a. I can’t believe how much I have been allowed to do, and be a part of in my 48 years of life!

b. For almost 31 years, of it, God has been my Saviour and Lord, and has made absolutely every memory sweet

2. Too many people have only bad memories

3. But beyond just memories, there are lessons to learn – parables, hard sayings

a. Things that require pondering, and praying about

b. Things that need God’s word to clear up and explain

B. There are More than just One Generation to Worry About (Psalm 78:3,4)

1. Our parents tried to teach us

2. Our grandparents tried to warn us

3. We need to start to see that life is not all about OURSELVES and what we get out of it day by day

a. Almost all of advertising is about SELF and what YOU want and what you DESERVE

b. Almost all relationships and activities are about what YOU get out of it, not what is important for others

4. Church is about families – generations of families

5. About passing on truth and memories and joy from generation to generation

6. What good is a church if it only lasts one generation and then fades away?

a. The church that Jesus started 2,000 years ago was not just something for that one age, nor a passing fad - but was to be kept up from one generation to another

b. So He commanded that parents should train up their children in the knowledge of his law: and, when they had grown up, they must arise and declare them to their children, that, as one generation of God's servants and worshippers passes on, another generation may rise to the challenge of preaching the Gospel and affecting their generation with it!

C. We as a Church must Affect Our Generation, and the Generations to Come For Right!

1. People are losing every grip on right and wrong

2. On moralities

3. On what to expect of people

4. More than ever, we need to be a bright light in this ever darkening world around us!

5. Repeating God’s great works in our lives, reminding them of His perfect words, and causing them to be in awe of such a God (Deut 6:5-7)!

D. Why? (Psalm 78:5-8) Why work hard to make sure the next generations know what we know?

1. So that they might set their hope in God

a. This is the main reason – so that they learn that they can trust the God of this Book!

b. Not have their hope, in the “givernment"

1) What a joke modern governments are!

2) The last 2 years should have taught people that the Irish giverment is a sorry thing to trust in!

3) But will they learn? NO! They will try and try again to elect people that will take care of them from cradle to grave!

4) You had better learn to trust in the Lord (Ps 37:7; Mt 11:28)

c. Our children, and the normal Joe on the street needs to trust the God of this Bible, NOT try and have hope in themselves

1) Modern psychology, self-help, self-hope

2) New age inner power

3) All are failures, if they would only admit it!

d. Nor in some religion or religious activity

1) Meditations

2) Pilgrimages

3) Just attending church

4) Saying prepared prayers

5) Reading select portions of inspirational literature

e. But in the God of heaven and earth who loves you and became a man just like you and gave His life at the hands of people just like you, so that He could save you from a devil’s hell!!!

2. So that they will not forget the wonderful and fearful works of God

a. This whole chapter is a review of the miraculous and wonderful works of God on behalf of His people

b. This whole Bible is a continuous record of what GOD has done, in spite of our lack of faith, our lack of praise, our lack of obedience (78:40,41)

c. We need to constantly be reminded how much we need God, and how much he does for us, on a moment by moment basis!

3. So that they would keep God’s commandments

a. God didn’t write this Book for HIS benefit

b. He gave us laws and commands to protect US

c. These laws and commandments protect everybody

d. Do you want to know what life is like when people ignore God’s instructions?

1) Just look at our homes

2) At our streets

3) At our TV

4) At our music

5) At our children

6) All of this has been experienced before – even in David’s day!

4. So that they would NOT be like their parents

a. Stubborn and rebellious

b. Not right with God in their HEARTS

c. Not spiritually stable with God

5. But would follow God and praise Him like he deserves!

III. Message - These are the Things we will Pass On to the Next Generation

A. God’s Word (Psalm 78:9,10)

1. It is not that people don’t have God’s word

2. It is that they refuse to obey it

3. And they paid for it – with fears and defeats – what a shame!

4. We aim to keep preaching the word (2Tim 4:1-4)

5. We keep teaching that this Book is perfect, and pure, and can fix anybody’s life and home and destiny!

6. So, we will keep giving Bibles away

7. We will keep pointing people to the very words of Scripture

8. Because THEY are the words that heal, that save, and encourage (Jn 6:68)

9. Never mind what other people, other cities, other countries are doing… this church is going to keep preaching the word, and calling upon every generation to live by it!

B. God’s Works (Psalm 78:11-16) – “all things are of God…”

1. God does wonderful things – He ONLY does wonderful things (Ps 72:18)

a. Split the Red Sea

b. Led Israel for 40 years with a cloud by day and fire by night

c. Gave a million and a half people water from a dry old rock, several times!

d. Fed them with manna every morning (78:23,24) for 40 years

e. Fed them often with quail in the evenings (73:25-29)

f. Defeated the Egyptian empire without a weapon!

g. He kept their clothes and shoes from wearing out

h. He defeated every army and enemy that attacked them on their way to the Promised land!

2. What other wonderful things has God done that our children need to know about?

a. It was GOD who created this world, not science – quit allowing people to teach that our children are only accidents and quirks of nature!!!

b. It was God who put the rainbow in the sky

c. It was GOD who gave you life and breath, not your parents only

d. It was GOD who gave His only begotten Son to save your soul

e. It was GOD who drew you to repentance, and then saved you when you believed on Jesus’ finished and perfect work on the cross

f. It was GOD who called me to come to Cork

g. It was GOD who started this church 17 years ago

h. It was GOD who got your attention and convinced you to start coming out and start hearing the preaching and teaching of the Bible.

i. It was GOD who gave you a perfect Bible.

j. It was GOD that saved your husband or wife

k. It was God who answers your prayers

l. Don’t ever stop praying Psalm 103:1-6!

3. What has GOD done in your life? I bet you could stand here for 2 hours and testify of the great things he has done! I know “I” could!

a. How he humbled me and convinced me of my sin

b. How he changed not only my destiny from hell to heaven, but he changed my life!

c. How he gave me my precious wife and amazing five children, and now a grandchild

4. Well, then, pass that story on to your children, and to the children of all the families here! (Mark 5:18-20) They need to know!

C. God’s Fear (Psalm 78:17-42)

1. People today don’t fear God – they don’t fear “provoking” God

a. People think it is wrong to fear some things

b. We think sins don’t matter anymore

1) Swear words, Filthy words, Lying words – still as wicked as hell

2) Eyes full of adultery on the internet and on the movie channels – all just as wicked as hell

3) Stealing is wicked

4) Bowing before idols and statues – wicked as the devil

5) Being too busy to pray and too proud to obey God – wicked, wicked wicked sins!

c. Sins are serious! Romans 6:23a “wages of sin is still death!

d. And it is up to OUR generation to pass that fear on to the next generation!

e. I want people to love and enjoy God…

f. But without proper fear of pushing God too far, our children, and the generation today will only experience the wrath of almighty God!

2. People mock God, questioning if he is really “there! – maybe they haven’t seen the reality in US, so they mock US!

3. People are wondering if God is able to do what the Bible says he is able to do!

4. We had better get back to reminding this next generation just how faithful God really is

5. God does get angry (78:21,22,29-31,36-42)

6. Don’t think empty acts will fix things (78:58)

a. Idolatry is not how to worship almighty God!

b. Flattery (78:36)

7. This entire world is against God, and so is under His wrath

8. They MUST repent, just like we did when we turned to Jesus Christ

9. The message of the Gospel never changes – because the heart of men never changes!

10. People will not think they need God until they understand just how much in trouble they are with God!

11. And they are not going to understand that unless we keep telling them!

D. God’s Ways

1. Did you know that God has very specific ways of doing things?

a. Ways of worshipping Him

b. Ways of talking to Him

c. Ways of raising our children

d. Ways of staying married

2. What are the ways that God says to do things?

a. By faith – not feeling

b. By obedience to God, not to the world’s ideals – simply doing what God says to do in His word

c. Doing what seems foolish, because God is wiser than us

d. Doing the opposite of what seems natural

3. Oh that the next generation in this room would decide EARLY to live that way – God’s way!

a. Lifting up and worshipping Jesus instead of our needs

b. Praising instead of worrying

c. Giving instead of demanding

d. Just staying faithful doing what God has asked us to do

e. Changing our world by preaching and not compromising

E. God’s Will (Ps 78:41)

1. Nothing is greater than doing God’s will

2. He sees what is ahead

3. He knows what He designed you for

4. He knows where he is taking you

5. And yet we fight it, and resist His will, and end up limiting His blessings upon our lives

6. I am here to tell you that doing God’s will works

a. Marry HIS choice for a mate

b. Fulfil HIS design for your career

c. Surrender to HIS calling for your life – no matter how hard it is

d. And you will NEVER regret it!

F. God’s Praise (Psalm 78:4)

1. If you see us enjoying our singing in church, it is because we want people to know what praise looks like!

a. Not like a zoo

b. Not like a bunch of zombies either

c. But full of joy and passion for the Lord Jesus!

2. If you see us giving thanks to God, even though in great disasters and defeats, it is because we have decided to live what we believe – that Jesus is worthy of our praise ALL the time! Not just the good times!

3. I want to teach these kids how great it is

a. To stand for Jesus!

b. To rejoice in the Lord always!

c. To be thankful for everything and everyone in their lives!

4. I may not have any money to pass on, but I can pass on the joy of praise and true worship!

IV. Conclusion (Psalm 78:4)

A. We must never forget where we came from, and how we got to where we are! It never is an accident

B. We have so many great memories

C. And we have a great responsibility to pass on those memories

D. But more so, we have a bigger responsibility to pass on an “awe” of God

E. Why? Because people of the next generation are prone to move on without remembering some very important things from the past

F. So, We will Pass On to the Next Generation

1. God’s Word (Psalm 78:9,10)

2. God’s Works (Psalm 78:11-16) – “all things are of God…”

3. God’s Fear (Psalm 78:17-42)

4. God’s Ways

5. God’s Will (Ps 78:41)

6. God’s Praise (Psalm 78:4)

G. As pastor of this Church, I think I speak for all the adult Christians here…

1. We WILL not hide all these things (be ashamed of what God has done in our lives)

2. We WILL show the next generations what it means to praise the Lord – not each other

3. What it means to trust the Lord, and wait on Him

4. We WILL show the generations to come just how mighty God is and how far we can trust Him – all the way to heaven!

H. And we pass on this rich heritage…

1. So that they might set THEIR hope in God

2. So that they will not forget the wonderful and fearful works of God

3. So that they would keep God’s commandments

4. So that they would NOT be like their parents

I. It all begins with Repentance

1. Sorrow for sin

2. Asking only Jesus for forgiveness

3. Believing that He can save your soul from hell

4. Deciding to follow Him from now on!