Talking About My Generation!

I am still confused as to what Generation I fit into.  Some say I am a boomer and others say I am part of Generation X.  Well, until recently I really couldn’t tell the difference between Boomers, Busters, Gen X, Y or Z.  Well, not until I heard the “Generation Experts” teach how each generation can be understood by asking two questions:

  • What is the kernel of common experience?
  • To what do they aspire?  Or, What or who are they looking up to?

So, here is a really easy way to understand what generation you belong to.  Ask, what was the  format of music that you listened to?

  • The “Silent Generation” born between 1925-1942 grew up listening to the Radio
  • The “Boomer” Generation born between 1943-1960 grew up listening to LP’s (76’s & 45’s) also known as Vinyl Records.
  • The “Generation X’rs” born between 1960-1981 had both Radios and LP’s but listened mostly to Cassette Tapes.  This was my generation and I had hundreds of cassette tapes all over my car and was notorious for putting the wrong cassette with the wrong cover, but I knew my filing system…but I digress.
  • The “Generation Y’rs” were born between 1982-2001 and grew up listening to CD’s and were a part of the birth of Mp3’s, itunes and the ipod.
  • Finally there are the “Generation C’s who were born between 2001-2025.  They are all internet browsing guru’s and download their music, watch their music and share their music online.

But, regardless of the generation of choice, God’s timeless truth gives us a picture of our responsibility to each and every upcoming generation.  One of those passages is Psalm 78:1-8 that says…

 [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.

[5] He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, [6] that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, [7] so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; [8] and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

This Psalm is all about teaching the future generations about the history of Israel, but verses 5-8 are particularly helpful as we consider investing in the Next Generation.

First, notice God’s Plan. “He established a testimony… and appointed a law”.  Here we have two sides of the same coin expressed in testimony on the one hand and law on the other.  Both are incredibly important as we seek to invest in future generations.

A testimony is what God’s word reveals about the character of God – the fact that He is trustworthy, gracious, holy, omnipotent, dependable, faithful, etc.  Every time we read an account of God’s dealings with people He is screaming at us and future generations that He is a God with impeccable character.  He is living out His resume for all to see.  He is reminding us of His track record.

A law is referring to the Commands of Scripture.  This is God’s transcendent truth, the standard that we are to build our lives on and view the world from.  God’s commands are a tsunami against the “pick and choose – al la carte” attitudes toward Christianity.

We can live our lives as we see fit, but at the end of the day we will all come under the evaluation and judgment of the Law.

Next notice God’s Process.  We are to teach about God’s character and His commands to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  The point is that as we teach the generation before us we must recognize that we are also laying the foundation of teaching for the generations still unborn.

Someone has said, “If you want to leave footprints in the sands of time you will have to wear work boots.”  These boots are the heavy imprint of your life on the next generation…

  • What difference are we making?
  • What do we want the next generation to look like?
  • How will we impact them?

Finally, Asaph gives us God’s Product.  Here we are given four attitudes that underpin any future generation.

 [7] so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; [8] and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

When we are faithfully teaching generation after generation about the character and commands of God He says it will result in them…

1. Having a sense of confidence in the character of God.  Because they have set their hope in God they can now trust fully in who He is.

2. Having a sense of providence in the purposes of God.  God is not some distant being that is unrelated to our lives.  No.  He is very much at work accomplishing His purposes through us, our trials, struggles, joys and relationships.  He is in everything that we are doing.

3. Having a desire for obedience to the commands of God.  The commands of God have become a priority.  They are loved and appreciated.  They are listened to and embraced.

4. Having a sensitivity toward sin.  Scripture is replete with negative examples warning us that we who know God can so easily ignore, forget and rebel against His will.  When we take those warnings lightly there are always serious consequences.

God has called us to invest in the next generation, to preach and teach them about the character and commands of God and to do so with passion and joy.

[4] One generation shall commend (or “Praise” – NASB) your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. (Psalm 145:4 ESV)

That is what God is calling us to do.  To commend God’s works to the next generation who will in like fashion commend God’s works to the next generation, and so on.  When we do that, we will instill in the next generation a confidence in God and His providence and a desire for active obedience rather that the entanglements of Sin.

I love what John Piper says on this same subject…

It is the Biblical duty of every generation of Christians to see to it that the next generation hears about the mighty acts of God. God does not drop a new Bible from heaven on every generation. He intends that the older generation will teach the newer generation to read and think and trust and obey and rejoice. It’s true that God draws near personally to every new generation of believers, but he does so through the Biblical truth that they learn from the preceding generations. The Spirit comes down vertically (you might say) where the truth of God is imparted horizontally.

May we humble ourselves before our sovereign God and seek to invest in the Next Generation for His glory.

Below are some other “Generational” videos.  One instructional and the other, entertainment.  I would go with the entertainment first!

Here is a good, helpful and short instruction on the differences between the four generations (Silent, Boomer, X & Millennium)

Finally, and just for fun, some generation entertainment by the Zimmers…you will enjoy this…

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One thought on “Talking About My Generation!

  1. Ed and Lauren

    The race is indeed won or lost in the passing of the baton. Thank you for the post and inspiring sermon today.

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