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Take a trip with me

Think back to your senior year in high school
I know you can remember because most of you have posted your senior picture on FB
Lots of black and white pictures HA!
Think about the excitement you felt in knowing that you were about to be an adult
Done with school
Headed to work/college
Maybe even stepping into a marriage
What would you say to Senior Year you?
Knowing what you know now
Walking through the life you have walked
What would you say?
I asked that this week and got some really good answers!
Life is just beginning and the best is yet to come
Get out of your hometown. Travel as much as possible. Get an education, and research things for yourself. Figure out what you believe. Meet new people and listen to their perspectives.
You have no idea what life has in store for you. Quit making small things bigger then what they are
I'd be like..."what's up handsome!....You need to stop eating a box of Mac and cheese for dinner every night, and hey....your wife is gonna be hot!" Then a high five
Savor the next 20 years because before you know it, you will wake up and be 40 something 😱 And don’t sweat the small stuff!!!
Listen to your mom
Buy Apple stock
You aren’t as smart as you think you are. Be kind.
Take God seriously and fully surrender to Him. Because, sooner or rather, you’re going to wish you would have.
Know your worth, trust your gut, and be disciplined enough to see things through.
Don’t sign up for those credit cards at the university bookstore for a free pizza.
I know what I would say.
These valuable life lessons that I have learned in the last 21 years since high school would have been such an asset to 17 year old me.

We have a generation of senior year you and me needing to hear these life lessons.

As I thought through these moments with many of these students that I have known for a long time I was reminded of Psalm 71:15-18 (DON’T READ NOW!!)
This Psalm is a Psalm from an old man calling on God to not forsake him in his old age but to take up the fight that is currently going on.
Assumed to be a Psalm of David we find he speaks of God being his hope and trust from his youth
He speaks of the praise that is filling his mouth
That God is his rock and refuge
He asks God not to forsake him in his old age as his enemies attack and his strength weakens
To rescue him from his enemies
Let’s read...
Psalm 71:15-18
Psalm 71:15–18 ESV
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone. O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
Now I don’t know about you but I am NOT old
I’m just getting started.
But I have got a few gray hairs
There are lessons that this next generation can learn from to continue to proclaim the greatness of God to the generation after them.
In a world where phrases like Ok, boomer are used to tear down the wisdom of a generation, we have to know that there are still many that need to hear from us and see what God can do!
On a side note don’t say this.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1
1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
There are parts of the way that I lead worship that are imitation of guys like Brad Russell and Michael Deerman because of how they poured into me as a teen.
My youth ministry was heavily influenced and replicated guys like Barry Downs who I watched and worked closely with.
Even now a lot of how I preach and deal with people are influenced by Spencer.
Hebrews 13:7
Hebrews 13:7 ESV
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
My prayer for guys like Jake Dunlap and Trey Pierce will think back years from now and realize that a lot of what they do is from the countless hours, guys like Ryan Davenport have poured into them.
My desire is to live a life that the next generation will look back on and I will be able to see imitation of my life because I followed God
But to be imitated there is somewhat of a prerequisite
… as I am of Christ.
Our lives have to reflect that of Jesus
What we do and how we act is the influence that people see
In an age of social media, our lives are being lived out on a public platform like never before
Our lives have to reflect Jessus
It’s the Romans 12:2 thought process
Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Pouring into this generation has to start with us being imitators of Jesus in all we do
Allowing God to transform us and allowing the next generation to see how God is transforming us

But we also have to walk the walk

WE can’t just be the ones who talk about it.
Proverbs 13:20
Proverbs 13:20 ESV
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Our goal should not just be to make an inspirational speech but we have to be willing to bring people in to walk side by side with us.
Look at Paul and Timothy
Took Timothy with him!
He didn’t just tell him things, he showed him his life in real time!
But what about Jesus?
He took 12 with him to walk beside him, serve alongside him, and to learn from him in the doing!
We have to be willing to bring the next generation with us so that they can learn from our mistakes and our successes.
We have to be willing to walk with them and show them life.
Not a religion but a relationship
Words only go so far. Actions go farther.

Ladies this goes for you!

Titus 2:3-5
Titus 2:3–5 ESV
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Ladies there are a generation of women who need you to show them how to be a woman of God.
Not to be the false narrative that has been put over them but to be the women that God has called them to be!!
The women coming up in this generation have enough of the world influencing the way they perceive themselves, and judge their worth
They need to know how God sees them and what he thinks of them

We have to teach the next generation that their life has a purpose

Matthew 28:19-20
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Teach them that regardless of their career choice, life goals and aspirations, that the purpose we were called to do is to GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES!

So What?

Psalm 145:1-7
Psalm 145:1–7 ESV
I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
We are the generation that has to share the glory and greatness of God to the next
We are a generation away from being a Godless nation or from being the nation who chases after God.
If we do not bring in those following us they will create a path away from God.

But I want to speak to the generation behind us.

You have a responsibility to search out and find the right mentor
I heard a quote on a podcast this week that said “He was a great example of how to write, but not how to live!”
Find the mentor that will not only make you realize the gifts that you have but find someone that will show you how to live a life worthy of the calling
1 Peter 5:5-7
1 Peter 5:5–7 ESV
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Hebrews 13:7
Hebrews 13:7 ESV
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
Find a mentor, follow them, learn from them, imitate them

Where do we go from here?

Colossians 3:16
Colossians 3:16 ESV
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Every generation has a responsibility to the generation that follows
I would charge you to find someone or many to pour into
I would encourage you to find someone to pout into you.
Proverbs 27:17 says as Iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.
We need each other to live the life that God has for us.
To live a life worthy of the calling
As we take communion in our homes today, think of someone that you can reach out to or ask God to open your eyes to see who you need to reach out to.
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