How to amaze the next generation with the greatness of God? (Kevin DeYoung)
I beg you, don't harass the next generation with mere moralism, be it right-wing (refrain from illicit sex, go to church, talk about your faith, hands off drugs) or left (recycle, dig a well, take care of the homeless, wear an eco bracelet). The gospel is not about what we should do for God, but what he has done for us. Instead, tell the young people who God is and what he has accomplished for us.
Apparently some of us are terrified of talking about God. Could it be for lack of knowledge about him? Or do we prefer to live in mediocrity? Doesn't knowing God seem very useful to us in life? I myself must make an effort to drive this disbelief out of my own life. If only I could believe more in God's ability to win the hearts and minds of the new generation! It’s more his work than mine or yours. So put it in the center and all around. Don't preach your doubts as if they were a mystery. And don't bring God down to your level. If people are hungry for a God of the size of God, it is certainly now more than ever.
Introduce to young people a holy, independent God and, unlike us, a God who is good, righteous, rich in anger, and rich in grace. Tell them about a sovereign, powerful, loving, and sincere God. Talk to them about a God who sets limits, an undiluted God who makes them feel loved and secure, yet makes them feel their smallness and a certain uneasiness in his presence. Introduce them to a God who works all things according to the counsel of his will and for the glory of his name, a God whose love is overflowing and free, a God who is worthy of admiration and fear, a God big enough for our faith, our hope and our love.
Do your friends, your Church, your family, your children know that God is at the center of the universe? Can they realize that he is also at the center of your life?
Imagine having a dream. Someone is seated on a throne surrounded by a rainbow. Twenty-four men stand around the throne. From it come lightning and roaring thunder. At its base burn seven lamps. A sea of glass stretches out before him. Four strange creatures surround the throne and give thanks to whoever sits on it. The twenty-four men bow down to him. No need to get Joseph out of his prison to get the meaning of this dream. The throne is the literal and symbolic center of the vision. This revolves entirely around God.
This is obviously no ordinary dream. This is the vision of John recorded in Revelation 4. It now corresponds to a reality. God should be for young people more essential, more durable and more important than their suffering, their fears, their temptations, the opposition they encounter, their presence, their dress, their friends, their video games, their iPods, their BlackBerry mobile phones, or whatever our culture presents to them as essential. What is decisive for the present and for eternity is perpetually worshiping the one who sits on the throne.
As you strive to win the next generation to Christ, you may amaze them with your insight, your humor, or your appearance. But you can also amaze him with the greatness of God. I need a lot of things in my life. I have a schedule to follow, details to keep in mind, and a long list of things to do. I need food, water and shelter.I need to sleep I also need to exercise more and eat better. But behold, my supreme need, and yours too, is to know God, to love God, to delight in him and to give him great importance.
We have an incredible opportunity. Most people lead a tasteless and fleeting existence. Let's give them something substantial instead of the superficial. Let us show them a great God capable of making sense of their narrow life. Let us insist on divine transcendence rather than banalities. Let's give them something more durable and more powerful than accessories, gadgets and games. Let them know God.
Imagine winning the next generation for God by showing him more who he is. It’s amazing enough to be successful.
This article is taken from the book Marvel them by God by Kevin DeYoung p >.