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March 3, 1996

A Teaching Agenda

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O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old—what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. PSALM 78:1-4
Sometimes we think that the Christian life should be characterized by our personal relationships with God: what we think of Him, how we meditate on Him, how He answers our prayers, what He says to us, etc.
That certainly is a big part of it—we should make the most of moments of prayer and meditation that are just between us and God, whether we’re on airplanes jetting between cities, listening to a boring presentation at a board meeting, or just sitting at our desks at the office. But in this passage, Asaph identifies another agenda for our lives with Christ. We should take all the wisdom and insight we have gained through our walks with Jesus and intentionally pass it on to others. Whether it’s through a mentoring relationship at work or with our own children at home, we are to express what God has done in the past, both in Scripture and in our own lives. In order to do this, we have to know what those praiseworthy deeds are. We have to know what He did in the Scriptures, and we have to pay attention to what He’s done for us.
Then we have to figure out appropriate ways to pass them on to the next generation. We can bring them up in a teaching context, or we can inject them into casual conversation with friends and coworkers who are confused, angry, hurt, or uncertain about life. Over lunch or an afternoon Coke, we can encourage them by relating cases when God came through for us in uncertain times. Perhaps hearing how God answered our prayers will give them the extra faith boost they need to press forward into a cloudy future.
Make a list of specific times in your life when God showed up and made a crooked road straight or a bumpy path level. And don’t forget to mention these praiseworthy deeds of the Lord the next time you have the opportunity to advise or encourage someone.

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