Summary: These are very serious times in which we live and nothing is more important than the training of our children to be followers of God. Pastor Greg Phillips, children’s pastor of COTR, and myself taught this sermon together.

(GARY)(Put on tool belt- get from tool box) Talk this morning about families and children.

I have asked Pastor Greg- Children’s Pastor- to team up with me on this topic.

Our theme is- Home Improvements.

Around my house there is always something that needs to be repaired or improved.

A house in many ways is a work in process.

Spiritually, our families are a work in progress, as are we personally, and as is the church.

I am always looking for creative/innovative ideas.

Pastor Greg has developed a new tool for the home.

(GREG) (Toilet paper dispenser) (TacoBell comment)

(GARY) At COTR we believe- families/children are an important part of what God is doing today.

(GREG) Painted on the wall of our hallway for years was my motto; you can see it still hanging on the wall in my office. It is a poster that has been my inspiration all this time. It is a poster that says Kids are not the church of tomorrow; they are the church of today. (Hold up poster)

(GARY) Live in serious times- nation at a crossroad.

Discipling/training of our children- very important.

It is critical to their survival/survival of- Republic.

We live in the context of generations that have come before and those which will follow.

In referring to a young woman who became queen of a powerful nation at a critical time in history …

Est 4:14 Yet who knows-maybe it was for a time like this that you were made queen! (Music)

(Pick up cord) Every generation has been brought into existence “for just such a time as this.”

Every generation is important in God’s eternal scheme and has a purpose to fulfill.

This requires being connected relationally with God, much like this cord must be plugged into the wall.

(Plug in drill) Drill cannot do what designed to do if not connected to power source-

neither can we unless we are connected to God.

(GREG) You don’t have to grow up to serve the Lord. Kids in the Bible didn’t grow up first. Many served the Lord effectively BEFORE they ever grew up.

Josiah became king at eight years of age. Later in life he would go through Israel smashing idols and leading a return to God. The nation turned around because one kid knew he didn’t have to grow up to begin serving God. Josiah was not interested in becoming a future servant of God, he served God as a kid. The Bible calls him the best king Israel ever had.

A young servant girl walked up to rich, powerful Syrian commander Naaman and suggested that he travel to Israel where Elisha would minister healing to his leprosy on behalf of God. Naaman agreed and the rest is Biblical history. When Jesus launched His ministry in Luke 4 he referred to two Old Testament stories and one of them was the healing of Naaman. All of that happened because a little girl didn’t wait until she grew up to serve God.

(Pick up level) Samuel, a young boy brought to the temple by his mother, heard God’s voice reveal the fate of Israel while Eli, the high priest, seemed oblivious to the danger Israel faced. A kid, not the high priest, heard God’s voice.

Could there have been anyone else in the crowd of over 5000 who brought lunch the day Jesus taught the huge group? A boy stepped up and offered his lunch in faith, enabling Jesus to multiply it to the mass of people. If the boy had waited to grow up first there would have been a lot of hungry people that day.

David slaying Goliath is the classic example. A shepherd boy takes on Goliath in front of the adults. When David was through, Goliath never bothered anyone again. Even though David stood on God’s covenant, faced a giant and won; he was still a kid.

Mary and Joseph found Jesus at twelve years of age in the temple "about His Father’s business." That’s the objective: to bring kids to a place where they are "about their Father’s business" BEFORE they grow up.

(GARY) Each generation is important to God. (pause)

My generation is important …

the generations before me were important, and

the generations after me are equally important.

Each generation must …

humbly learn from the previous generation and

sacrificially teach the next generation.

The idea of a generation gap- demonic roots- part of Satan’s plan to destroy- continuity of God’s people

In some cultures- young taught to respect their Elders as those having wisdom from which they can learn

God brought an ungodly nation against Israel to judge them for their sin- says this about that nation …

Deut 28:50 a nation of fierce countenance who will have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young. (GREG turn around plywood)

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