[01/11/2020]

The Three-Legged Race – Ps Kerrin Wallis

Episode Notes

Have you ever watched the grace of a single runner? Then, if you put that runner in a relay you get an inspiring picture. It’s captivating!

Often it seems that we use an example of a relay race where we pass on the baton to the next generation – and although it gives one sense of what we do, it implies that at some point we no longer hold the baton.

That is not supported in scripture, not modelled by any of the heroes of faith and certainly not the example taught by Jesus.

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

God will get glory because of ‘us’ in the church – all generations allowing His flow and work. What a great declaration, that God has immeasurably more than we can imagine according to the power that works in us!

Several applications for this are:

God has more power than we need – it is us (you and I) that are the flow increasers or limiters. We are a conduit and either allow God to move or stifle it. The village where Jesus was limited is the clear example. Their unbelief would not allow them to believe in Him and His power.

Today however I want to highlight the understanding of what it means. But also, it’s to us (corporate) and by us it gives context. ‘All generations’ is the Church, and the Church should give God glory.

  • Not the current generation
  • Not the past generation
  • Not the future generations

All generations have a place together to:

  • Serve God through His Church
  • Bring Him glory
  • To allow the power of God to be seen in them

Not our generation or the one before or after, but simultaneously all generations can act together to bring glory to God, and Ephesians says that this is called the Church! We all have the power to serve God together.

  • People regardless of generation, age, stage of life – we are all working together
  • Great Grandparents, Grandparents, Parents, Young People, Kids – all together make God’s power flow through us as the Church

Isn’t that the beauty of the family?

  • It’s not one generation, but multiple generations working together in: life, lessons, fun, celebration and challenge.

That is why I think the baton concept of life is not totally correct because it’s less like where we start and finish carrying the baton, and more like a 3-legged race where we are all tied together!

Isn’t that a cool and slightly more real picture of family? Not some sleek, highly skilled, professional individual racing gracefully, but a bunch of misfits all tied together in a messy bundle trying to just make it to the finish line!

There is something beautiful in life, it was God’s intent, its powerful, there is great strength in the overlapping generations.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Though we are quick to use this as an illustration of several people, imagine the power of it applying to several generations getting together. Doing this life together.

You see the first part of the 3-legged race is that we are all in it together – the Church – across generations we all are part of the plan and the race.

We find in the Psalms there is a powerful message on the goal!

  • Regardless of the generations, it is clear what’s required from start to finish, tied together, flapping about, is trying to make it somehow work

Let’s look at God’s intent within the 3-legged race.

1. All generations will hear of the wonders of God!

Psalm 22:30 (NLT)

Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.

It’s our service to God that allows people to hear. How do we know that people in future generations will hear about the wonders of God? Because us and our children will serve Him!

But how do we know that? Because we will do it! We serve Him! We will model it to our kids and the coming generations!

  • It’s not a passing of the baton and sitting on the bench!
  • It’s carrying God’s message together
    • I honestly can’t understand any person that is not active serving God and His house in some capacity because God’s plan is our kids (or those looking to us) see us serving God and then follow suit and that is how we know the wonders of God will be passed on!

Does our life teach and show our children the generations to come serving God?

  • As a joy
  • As something we are committed to
  • As a priority in our lives
  • As something that is rewarding and adds purpose to our life?

Together we all join hands and serve. That’s how we know that in the future people will still be hearing about God and His wonders!

  • If people are to hear wonders of God, it’s because His people live lives that draw others to see the wonder of God!

When there is an army of believers that are passionately serving God together it allows God’s wonders to be seen by the many.

  • We are so blessed by the many people who serve to bring God’s wonders to this service.
  • How many people serve bringing God’s wonders to the Youth of Bendigo as we saw last week?
  • How many people serve on our Hymns Alive team bringing God’s wonders to the older generations?
  • How many serve God as Connect Group leaders bringing God’s wonders of love and discipleship into the lives of people?
  • How many people serve all across our city in workplaces and homes telling of the wonders of God? Together we tell a story of the wonder of God.

Together all generations serve God modelling it to the ones to follow ensuring that for generations, the wonders of God are declared.

2. All generations are to bring God praise!

Psalm 45:17 (NKJV)

I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore, the people shall praise You forever and ever.

Psalm 79:13 (NKJV)

We will show forth Your praise to all generations.

It’s our lives that dictate what is remembered and how.

Boston repeated what his dad always said when he stated ‘He went mad so we shot him” in answer to where his brother was. It was what Kerrin always said, so now he says it!

If we want the generations to come to praise God – then we can never lose the praise on our own lips.

Psalm 79:13 (NKJV)

We will show forth Your praise to all generations.

It is our praise that should ‘show forth’

It’s possible when you have seen enough of life, failed leaders, the humanity of the Church to let:

  • Negativity be in our mouth
  • Complacency be in our mouth
  • The problems of life be in our mouth

But we need to know that what’s in our mouths will be in the mouths of the generations to come!

I think parents will answer before God for the negativity or suspicion they put in their kids mouths about God, the Church and serving Him through their unguarded or undisciplined talk.

  • I have seen this first-hand and it’s so sad to watch.

But I have also seen people that never leave:

  • the wonder
  • the joy
  • the life
  • the praise
  • the adoration
  • the love for God’s house the Church
  • the passion

For God is in their mouths and what that imparts to the generations to come is so powerful! They allow their passion for God to show through.

All of us will make something be remembered!

  • Every person’s life can and will make something to be remembered by someone and often times many will be impacted by us.

The Psalmist states that from their life God’s name will be remembered in a way that leads to praise!

As believers every day in our:

  • Homes
  • Workplaces
  • Friendship groups
  • Places of sport or hobbies

Will those who know us remember God’s name and “praise it” as a result of our:

  • Life
  • Words
  • Example
  • Integrity

Living in such a way that what our kids, work colleagues, friends and family do is praise God as a result!

  • Let them be inspired by, be lifted up by, see a better example, because we are followers of Jesus! In all generations.

3. All Generations to make known God’s faithfulness!

Psalm 89:1 (NIV)

I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.

It is His faithfulness that we pass on!

I loved last week that some of our older generation spoke and all talked about the faithfulness of God! Over years of life and plenty of stuff – they still celebrated God’s faithfulness

Life might not look pretty, tidy or smooth – but we can choose to point people to:

  • The wonders of God
  • Serving God
  • Praising God
  • His faithfulness

This is about our focus, what we choose to:

  • Speak about
  • Highlight to others
  • Act according to
  • Draw attention to
  • What we choose to remember
  • The way we choose to look at things

Does our life tell of the faithfulness of God?

How powerful when you have not just one generation, but multiple generations telling of the faithfulness of God!

Over the last few weeks, we have highlighted different generations and them serving Jesus here in Bendigo:

Youth/young Adults

Legends (older demographics)

And our families -kids, parents and everywhere in between

But I want to leave us with a simple understanding today, we are not passing on batons, but are all in this giant race together all at the same time!

Our city from the youngest to the oldest needs to know Jesus Christ and every generation needs to be active in serving God, considering what we do, how we live and if it points people to God’s:

  • Wonder
  • Praise Him
  • His faithfulness
  • His Church and people

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT)

 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

What we see here is that part of God’s plan for the Church is beyond what we can imagine.

  • People talk about it
  • People believe for it
  • People pray for it
  • We read about Gods’ intention for it

But here intrinsically linked to the outpouring of more than we could imagine, is the generations! It is not generation, but generations.

The Prophet Joel had something to say about God pouring out His Spirit in the end of days.

Joel 2:28-29 (NLT)

“Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. 29 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike.

God’s plan for His coming, for His church, for His people, for the greatest revivals we have ever seen are that all generations would work together to glorify His Name!

Does our life include the ‘us’ in this?

  • Are we part of the ‘us – the church’ and do we bring God glory?
  • Does our part to play in God’s plan at work today in His Church mean others in other generations will look at the Church and give God glory?

Psalm 45:17 (NKJV)

I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore, the people shall praise You forever and ever.

(NIV) I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore, the nations will praise you for ever and ever.

God has a plan for your life, there is a space for you in His plan for us.

Choose to become a follower of Jesus. Join the race together with all the other family of people who love God and serve Him together.

Suggestions for discussion

  1. Do you think life is more like a baton race where the baton is put down when you are finished racing? Or do you agree with the 3-legged race idea?
  2. Are we able to demonstrate to generations to come the love of God and the blessings that come when we serve Him? What are you prepared to do to make this happen?
  3. Are you able to allow your passion for God to show through to others?
  4. Does your life tell of the faithfulness of God?