Genesis 1 - Intergenerational Discipleship
The Lift Up Your Hearts devotional series for the month of March 2021 is provided by Canon Craig Roberts, CEO of Anglican Youthworks in Australia, and his colleague. Craig’s vision is to see an effective youth and children’s ministry in every church. Today’s devotion was written by Craig who is also the leader of Gafcon's Youth and Children Network. You can find more of Youthworks excellent resources here.
To listen on podcast click here.
It's right there, at the beginning, implicit in God’s second Day Six creative speech. Intergenerational discipleship. Each generation passing on to the next the imperative to produce men and women who might grow into a relationship with God. That theme will be our guide through the Scriptures this month, starting here on the first page of the Bible we will follow some key contours of salvation history to see how we are called to intentionally invest not just in our own relationship with God, but to nurture a saving relationship in him in the generations that come after us.
We see in Genesis 1:26 the arresting mixture of persons who are speaking. From Genesis 1:1 it is clear that the one who is speaking all things into being out of nothing is God. No one else. Only God. By himself. But here this singular God, who stands outside of time and space and over creation, said, “Let us”. Us. Plural. The Bible’s first veiled hint at the three-ness of God, one God in perfect relationship within himself and, after verse 27 and the creation of humanity, in perfect relationship with men and women.
We know from the parallel creation account in Genesis 2 that God created one man, Adam, and one woman, Eve. In our text we see they were created in God’s own image and commanded to increase in number. What does it mean to bear the Imago Dei, to be created in God’s own image? Certainly, the context of verse 26 suggests we humans represent God in the way we rule over the earth and the close linking of humans as being in the image of God with being male and female points to how we express God’s image in our relationships.
This is why life outside of Eden hurts so much. Sin has stained our every relationship and we know we’re not perfect at relationships and yet broken relationships hurt so much. That in itself points to the fact that we were created for relationships. Relationship with God and relationship with others. As we are “fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28) what sort of relationships are we encouraging in our children and youth? Whether you are a parent or not, we all have a part to play as God’s family in raising the next generation.
In order to fill the earth and subdue it, we want the next generation to be competent citizens of the world, who can bless their neighbours and community by their good stewardship of scarce resources and by selfless living. But we also want them to be citizens of heaven. It is said, ‘The child with the most toys, wins’ but the person with the most toys when they die…is still dead. Tragically, we live outside of Eden where fractured relationships are commonplace. We need our children and youth to follow in Adam and Eve’s first footsteps of Genesis 1 (not their wrong footsteps of Genesis 3) and to know what it is to be in a right relationship with God.
We read Genesis 1 and know that Genesis 3 stands in the way. But we know, and rejoice, that the first Adam’s trespass that brought condemnation to us all can be overcome by the second Adam’s act of righteousness that brings grace and life for all (Romans 5:18).
As you see children and youth come into your family, your neighbourhood, your church, will your heart yearn for them to experience a right relationship with God? Will you model that relationship? Is there a young person you can encourage toward faith and maturity in Christ today?
Pray with us today's prayer request:
In November 2020 we prayed for Gafcon Ireland's online event, with international speakers including Archbishop Foley Beach. Thank God that the conference had a good reach and has encouraged further online events and initiatives in 2021. The talks by Archbishop Foley and Rev Rico Tice were recorded and are now being used for training in church planting (Abp Foley) and personal evangelism (Rico).
To access daily prayer requests click here: