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Sermon Overview & Prayer: "Pass it On"

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PRAYER POINTS
PASS IT ON – Steve Whitacre

These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer.


Psalm 78:1-72 1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!

2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, 3 things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. 

  1. The MANDATE: Tell the Coming Generation (v 1-3)

The mandate of this psalm is to tell these stories to the coming generation to shape their love for God.

PRAYER: Lord, as I read your Word, remind me of the stories I’ve already read of your mercy, provision, and protection – of your sovereignty, authority, and power. And rekindle the wonder, the adoration, the love, and the awe that each story stirred in my heart. And as I continue to read your Word, open the ears and eyes of my heart to treasure the stories of your great salvation unfolding throughout history!

According to Asaph, the proclamation of the gospel to the next generation is a responsibility in which we all share. We are in this together: the church (children’s ministry), the family (especially fathers), hospitality (ask for, and share, testimonies)

PRAYER: Holy Spirit, alert me to opportunities to share the stories from Scripture, paving the way to, and including, the gospel. And open doors for me to share, with the next generation, my own story of your saving love and transforming grace. 

  1. The MESSAGE: What to Tell the Coming Generation (v 4-5)

The entire rest of the psalm, the second longest psalm in the psalter, describes happens when God's people forget the story or ignore the story; what happens when they forget the great works of the Lord.  This psalm uses the story of the Exodus to illustrate the story of God's initiative and goodness, Israel's rebellion, repentance, forgiveness and restoration of those blessing.

PRAYER: Lord, please give to every parent (especially fathers) the wisdom to train their children to understand the wickedness and consequences of sin and rebellion. Help parents to teach the blessings of faith and obedience. Guide them to instruct their children on the necessity of the cross and repentance; and the gifts of discipline and forgiveness. 

  1. The MOTIVE: Why to Tell the Coming generation (v 6-8)

Asaph wants us to be sure we understand why this is important! v 6: there is more at stake than just our children. There are actually four generations in view. Our fathers... teach to their children (that's us)... that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn...and arise and tell them to their children...

PRAYER: Father, I thank you that years before I was saved, someone told someone, who told someone, who told someone, who told me, the story of the gospel and your great salvation. May that gratefulness inspire compelling compassion, intentional communication, and faith-filled anticipation...praying that others, in turn, might pass it on!

v 7 this is how God works in the next generation through stories of his salvation: That they should set their hope in God... and not forget his works... and but keep his commandments. There is a progression here: that they would know, that they would remember what they know, that they would act on what they remember. We plant and water but God gives the growth.

PRAYER: Lord, we see that beholding your glory in the stories of Scripture, are a means by which the Holy Spirit transforms us from glory to glory. May each encounter with you in your Word shape a deeper affection for you, a deeper passion for your glory, and a deeper desire for growth in godliness.

When we tell the story of the gospel from own lives and from the lives of other Christians, we are shaping the next generation. God has used and will use your telling of the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ and empower it to shape the next generation.

OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
We are called to tell the stories of God’s dealings with his people to the next generation. Not only parents, but all believers are called to pass on God’s works and his words. In Psalm 78, Asaph tells story after story of the Israelites’ rebellion and of God’s justice and mercy. God faithfully responded by punishing their sin, bringing them to repentance, forgiving them, and restoring their fellowship with him. God graciously brings an end to the cycle of rebellion by committing to live among his people through Jesus Christ who has borne the penalty for our sins and purchased our lives with his blood! This glorious story must be told to the next generation so that they might know it, remember what they know, and act on what they remember.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. In what ways does Psalm 78 encourage you to remember and proclaim God’s history of salvation to yourself and to others?
  2. God’s faithful work for us is often seen in cycles of sin, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration. Where can you identify this cycle in your own life, especially over the last few months or year?
  3. What are some examples of ‘telling God’s stories’ that you have seen or experienced in our church?
  4. Steve mentioned praying for parents, serving in children’s ministry, sharing testimonies, and reading christian biographies. What is one thing you can practice this week to participate in this rich heritage of God’s family telling his stories?
  5. What is a testimony of God’s work in your life that you will share for his glory and for the edification of his church?