Living for “all who are yet to come”

Posted Nov 25, 2021

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Daily Scripture

Psalm 78:1-8

1 Listen, my people, to my teaching;
tilt your ears toward the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a proverb.
I’ll declare riddles from days long gone—
3 ones that we’ve heard and learned about,
ones that our ancestors told us.
4 We won’t hide them from their descendants;
we’ll tell the next generation
all about the praise due the LORD and his strength—
the wondrous works God has done.
5 He established a law for Jacob
and set up Instruction for Israel,
ordering our ancestors
to teach them to their children.
6 This is so that the next generation
and children not yet born will know these things,
and so they can rise up and tell their children
7 to put their hope in God—
never forgetting God’s deeds,
but keeping God’s commandments—
8 and so that they won’t become like their ancestors:
a rebellious, stubborn generation,
a generation whose heart wasn’t set firm
and whose spirit wasn’t faithful to God.

Psalm 71:14-19

14 But me? I will hope. Always.
I will add to all your praise.
15 My mouth will repeat your righteous acts
and your saving deeds all day long.
I don’t even know how many of those there are!
16 I will dwell on your mighty acts, my LORD.
LORD, I will help others remember nothing but your righteous deeds.
17 You’ve taught me since my youth, God,
and I’m still proclaiming your wondrous deeds!
18 So, even in my old age with gray hair,
don’t abandon me, God!
Not until I tell generations about your mighty arm,
tell all who are yet to come about your strength,
19 and about your ultimate righteousness, God,
because you’ve done awesome things!
Who can compare to you, God?

Reflection Questions

We hope that on this Thanksgiving Day you find reasons to offer thanks for "the wondrous works God has done."

God’s people have always valued teaching and learning. In Israel of old, the focus of education was not to satisfy random human curiosity, but to understand and pass on the knowledge of God’s powerful acts to future generations. They clearly believed that God wants us to use our minds regularly, faithfully and well.

  • Psalm 78 said that while learning has present benefits, it is strongly future-focused. God’s followers, through the centuries, have played a major role in starting many types of schools. That’s because the faith teaches them to care about future generations, not merely their own comfort and security. How important is it to you that your faith not just make your life better, but reach those who will be here after you’re gone?
  • Psalm 71 had a different view from investment ads that picture our older years as a non-stop, self-indulgent vacation. The psalmist saw a lifelong calling to share God’s love and power: “Even in my old age with gray hair, don’t abandon me, God! Not until I tell generations about your mighty arm, tell all who are yet to come about your strength.” Whether you’re 21 or 81, how are you (or how will you start) shaping a legacy focused on telling generations about the God you love and serve?

Prayer

Lord God, I want to accept the challenge. I want to live a life with the big picture aim of helping present and future generations know your strength and ultimate righteousness. Please help me. Amen.

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GPS Guide

Whether you’re just starting to explore the Christian faith, or you’re a long-time Christian, we want to do everything we can to help you on your journey to know, love and serve God. The GPS (Grow, Pray, Study) Guide provides Scripture and insights to enhance your journey. If you have a question or comment about the GPS Guide, please send it to GPS@cor.org.

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as Human Resources Lead Director. Janelle finds that her heart is constantly wrestling with the truth that she needs a Savior, and the times when she's at her very best are when she's just too tired to put up a fight.

It’s THE day – the day in which Americans are required to be grateful. Family and friends will share in a Thanksgiving meal. Growing up, my mother or my father blessed our Thanksgiving meal with a prayer that sounded like it came out of the King James Bible. I always found this odd. 364 days out of the year, we blessed every meal we ever ate together with a prayer I understood. But for Thanksgiving, we held hands around the table while one of my parents spewed out phrases like, “We thank Thee for Thy bounty Thou has blest upon us, Thy humble servants.” It was beautiful, my mother always teared up, but I never found it relatable. I’m totally okay with people who prefer a formal prayer for Thanksgiving, but for those who need something less ceremonial, I thought I’d share a prayer of thanksgiving from an honest place in my heart:

Okay, God. Here we are again. It’s Thanksgiving, the day that we’re reminded to be grateful. And honestly, I appreciate the reminder. One would think that I have this down by now; that the actions of my life would reflect my gratitude for you. But on a scale of 1 to “I will forever remember how you have provided for me, been there for me, and blessed me beyond my wildest imagination,” I would say that my actions come in around a “Yeah, God. That’s cool.” Sorry about that. I’ll try to do better. Know that I am grateful.

I’m grateful that you love me. You know the parts of me that are pretty and presentable, but you also know what lies beneath. You see me for all that I am, and, somehow, you still cherish me.

I’m grateful that you don’t give up on me. I know that my ignorance or stubbornness must be frustrating to you. How many times have you had to remind me that you are there for me? I can’t even imagine. Yet you continue to do so over and over again.

I’m grateful for how you have chosen to bless me. I feel your delight in the moments I have been infused with surprising joy, laughter, kindness, and content.

But I also have to say that there have been moments that have been difficult. Life has thrown me challenges that have knocked me down, that have wounded and bruised my soul. If I’m to be honest, I don’t feel grateful for these times. Am I to be? Would that make me a better person? I don’t know, and I’m not sure that I ever will. While I don’t appreciate the pain, I can say that I am thankful that you have walked with me through these tender times and shown me your mercy. You have guided me through the darkness to find your light again. I really am grateful for that.

With all that said, I hope you feel my gratitude today. I will do my best to be more thankful going forward, so that my life better reflects my appreciation of you in the days and weeks to come.

It’s in that gratitude I pray.

Amen.

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