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  • Writer's pictureChristy Schuette

Passing on the Baton

June 19


2 Kings 1-2

Psalm 73:4-12

Proverbs 16:8-9

Acts 15

Passing on the Baton

 

“Elijah left there and found Elisha of Shaphat as he was plowing…Elijah walked by him and threw his mantle over him…. Then he left, followed Elijah and served him.” 

I Kings 19:19, 21 HCSB

 

“As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire with horses of fire suddenly appeared and separated the two of them.  Then Elijah went up into Heaven in a whirlwind…. Then he never saw Elijah again…. Elisha picked up the mantle that had fallen off Elijah and went back and stood on the banks of the Jordan.” 

2 Kings 2:11-13 HCSB

 

Perhaps our greatest privilege and responsibility as believers is passing on our faith to the next generation.  Since Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, each generation of believers has shared their faith with their children and grandchildren teaching and training them to then carry it on to the next generation.  If any generation had failed to carry out their responsibility, it would not have been available to us.  Their faithfulness has paved the way for our faith.  And now it is our responsibility to pass on that faith to the next generation as well.  I fear that our generation is not doing a very good job of passing the baton.  While there are certainly faithful followers who are leading their children to faith, I see many who prefer to follow the crowd and submit to popular cultural norms instead of following biblical truth. Unfortunately, in doing this, they are teaching their children that biblical truth is relative and subjective.  We can be assured that there will be a remnant of faithful believers until Jesus returns. We know that there will always be Christians.  Christianity is not going to fade away as many false religions throughout history have done.  But we do not want to be the generation that dropped the baton.  We want to run the race with perseverance.  We want to be found faithful. 

 

We each have a responsibility to train our children and grandchildren, but like Elijah we also need to be training others in the faith.  We can all do something to invest in the lives of the next generation.  Maybe you could teach a children’s Sunday School class or help with Vacation Bible School this summer.  Maybe you can lead a high school small group, teach a Bible study for young adults or mentor someone younger in the faith than you.  Perhaps the thing you are supposed to do is invite the kids who live next door to go to church with you.  If you don’t feel like you can teach others, you could rock babies in the nursery so that their parents can sit in the church service and hear God’s Word preached.  Or you could serve in a local ministry that shares Jesus’ love with people through providing food, shelter, or other physical needs.  We can all do something to invest in the future.  We have a race to run, and that race involves imparting the knowledge that we have been given to those who will come after us.  Elijah left Elisha well prepared to take up the mantle and carry on.   Are you preparing others to carry on the faith after you are gone?


 

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