Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25 (additional reading Psalm 68:19-35 and Proverbs 11:29-31)
Have you ever watched a relay race? As the lead sprinter on each team runs the first leg of the race, the next runner gets set. He anxiously times his teammate’s arrival and begins running before the lead man overtakes him. Then, the crucial moment arrives, and the lead man passes the baton to the middleman. The process is repeated twice more in the race, as each man surrenders the baton to the next.
A good track coach will tell you that the relay is won or lost in the transfer of the baton. A miscalculation or hesitation at that point can cost the race.
Many times in all positions of leadership we can easily feel as if we have dropped the baton. Pastors who can’t understand why their congregation isn’t catching the vision. Parents who can’t understand why their kids are totally against church. Maybe you have begun fearing and feeling that you’re losing the race.
In fact even for a generation, when you consider that teen pregnancy has increased over 500% in the past thirty years and suicide among young people has jumped 300% in that same period. When we live in a time where thousand teen girls get abortions every single day and over 4,000 kids a day catch a sexually transmitted disease, it is easy to wonder what has happened to this baton.
Nevertheless, I do believe we can transfer our values to the next generation; we can pass on Biblical values to our children and teenagers and we can equip them to live godly lives in the midst of an ungodly world. Of course, there are hindrances; the crowd may be distracting, and the track may be rough, and as in a relay, we have a limited zone to make the transfer, but we can transfer godly, Biblical values to the next generation. We can’t turn back the clock, but we can give the next generation a better start.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 acts as a guide for us. Firstly it teach us about building a relationship with the younger generation. “You shall teach [these things] diligently to your sons (and daughters) and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” We can’t expect them to learn from us if we don’t spend time with them.
Secondly, be an example – we can’t pass on biblical values if we don’t model those values in our own lives. Would you be happy if the next generation turns out just like this one? God is calling you to “set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12)!
- Who has passed a baton on to you?
- Who are you passing a baton on to?
- How can you live your life as an example?
Father, thank you for those you’ve sent before us and the values they’ve passed on to us. Thank you for allowing us to be an example to others. Help us to live our lives wisely and to point others to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen