No other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
but…When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?
— 1 Corinthians 3:11, Psalm 11:3
I can almost hear the echo of the battering ram that is destroying America’s foundation of faith as I read the following statement by the president of Barna research…. “With each passing year, the percent of Americans who believe that the Bible is ‘just another book written by men’ increases. So too do the perceptions that the Bible is actually harmful and that people who live by its principles are religious extremists.”1 We see evidence of it in the soaring rate of violent crime; in the toxic public discourse; in truth that is spun as lies and lies that are spun as truth; in the sharp decline in church attendance; in the breakdown of trust in our national institutions and government leaders; in the homelessness and hopelessness of thousands living on the streets in our major cities; in the rising suicide rate among our young people until it’s the 2nd leading cause of death; in the plague of fentanyl and other illicit drugs…and the list goes on and on.
What can you and I do? We are in an epic spiritual battle! Therefore, our weapons are not worldly, they are spiritual …weapons of prayer and God’s Word.2 So first and foremost, we need to pray for the next generation. Pray against the unseen spirits that are trying to hijack the faith of those who come after us. Then we need to be intentional as we seek to pass on the Truth by our example and our words. To this end, my daughter, Rachel-Ruth, and I wrote Jesus Followers: Real Life Stories to Ignite Faith in the Next Generation. While the subject is extremely serious at this critical time in our national life, we have written this book as a combination of Biblical exposition and personal stories. You will find it very easy to read as it will make you laugh and cry while sharing practical wisdom that will also challenge and encourage you.
When the publisher approached me about producing a video-driven Bible Study based on the book, I was thrilled. As a result, the video crew assembled the week before Easter at my father’s house nestled in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Spring had not yet come which seemed to emphasize the emptiness and lifelessness of the house. But I believe the message is powerful. What my father left behind was not a beautiful home filled with treasured possessions. What he left behind was a legacy of faith…specifically a legacy of the Gospel…a legacy that lasts.
Perhaps the video session that blessed me the most was the Bible Study workshop that I led with three generations of my family discussing the Scriptures together. It surely was a tribute to my mother and father’s legacy of faith that they successfully passed down to me, my children, and my grandchildren.
So as you view the videos and travel through my father’s house, I pray you will not only be thoroughly blessed by the context I give for each message Rachel-Ruth shares, but that you also will be recommitted to being a Jesus Follower yourself, then pass the Truth on to the next generation. This Christmas, strengthen the foundation on which you are building your life so that you leave a legacy that lasts.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands. Deuteronomy 7:9
For His Glory,
A Word From Rachel-Ruth
When I was in elementary school, each Christmas my mom would come in to share the gospel through the Christmas story. I attended a public school that did not look favorably on the Bible or any type of Christian teaching. To share the Christmas story openly without using a Bible, my mom had to be creative. She had the clever idea of using the encyclopedia. As she sat surrounded by my classmates, teachers congregated in the doorway and the principal made a show of being present. But no one could argue with what the encyclopedia said about Bethlehem, the angels, baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
While writing this, I took a moment to look up the words Jesus, Mary, Joseph, angel, cross, forgiveness, resurrection, heaven, eternity, and peace in the dictionary. And do you know what? The same thing is true! The explanations are right there. You can share the gospel from the dictionary! Try it the next time you feel led to share the gospel and someone tells you not to read the Bible in a public setting. Just thinking about it makes me smile.
This Christmas give The King something I know He wants for His birthday. Share the Gospel with someone else.
As we look to Thanksgiving and Christmas, many of us will be with extended family. But those times can also carry undercurrents, can’t they? Because families can have a down side. If there are those in your family who are not Jesus followers, or are deemed not “qualified” to be Jesus followers, consider those in His extended human family. Some of the most poignant examples of God’s love, mercy, and grace are stories highlighted by names of women that appear in the genealogy that begins Matthew’s Gospel—a list of names that make up His Family Tree.
- Give the main facts of Tamar’s story from Genesis 38:11-30.
- What evidence is there that she was not loved by her family?
- If you have been unloved by your family, how do the following verses comfort and encourage you? Give phrases from Jeremiah 31:3; Psalm 103:17; Lamentations 3:19-24; Isaiah 54:6-8; Isaiah 60:15; Matthew 12:48-50; Ephesians 3:17-19.
Click here for the Bible Study especially developed for this newsletter.
On August 20th I was given the privilege of speaking to a group of people who had gathered on our state’s capitol grounds in order to seek God’s blessing on our city, state, and nation. I then led them in prayer, by faith believing that our God is a prayer-hearing, prayer-answering, miracle-working God. The group was also led in prayer by Pastor John Amanchukwu who brought a sizeable contingent of his delightful and dedicated church members.
Tony Perkins is the President of the Family Research Council, as well as a dear friend, who is on the front lines in the battle for Truth. His recent summit was held in the beautiful sanctuary of the First Baptist Church in Atlanta. He gave me the privilege of challenging those gathered to look up and ask God to give us a fresh vision of Jesus. I am more convinced than ever that Jesus is The Answer to our national crisis.
I was privileged to speak to the Executive Directors and their spouses at the Adult and Teen Challenge Retreat held at the Cove, followed by a Q & A with questions from the audience. The President and CEO, Gary Blackard, invited those gathered to pray over me and my daughter, Morrow. We were thoroughly blessed!
JESUS FOLLOWERS Bible Study
Real-Life Lessons for Igniting Faith in the Next Generation
What a blessing to have parents and grandparents with confident faith. What a blessing to be a parent or grandparent, an aunt or an uncle, a friend or a neighbor, who has confident faith!
What will people think of you when you’re gone? What will your grandchildren know about you? Perhaps you see shadows of this ancient generation in your own family tree as you consider those who chose faith and those who did not. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you are remembered throughout generations to come as one whose life bore unmistakable witness to your faith in God? The choice is yours.
The Jesus Followers Bible Study has been written to encourage and challenge you to think through the legacy you are building. We pray you will be blessed. Then share the Bible Study with someone else this Christmas.
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