Being the Redeeming Value of Our GenerationBro. David Chancellor
10/15/2006 6:00 PM
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth:) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
"Ye were sometimes darkness, but now ye are light…" We are to be a light to the world, to establish what is acceptable with God. Light should help people to know what is wrong and what is right. Your life can be telling on the conscience of those who may not read a Bible.
We want people to wake up and see the life they’re living. "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Evil times and things have happened ever since the garden of Eden. Every age has its evil aspect, but it has also had those that redeemed their time (or age). If we would redeem the time, we need to make a difference in our day even though the time is evil. Those that redeem the time stand out in their generation. There’s a need for us to stand and make a difference. There’s a need for a people whose lives will be the conscience of their generation. There are lives that can make a difference.
Government can’t solve the problem of evil. You can’t legislate love and kindness and generosity. Government can only restrain evil. It only succeeds as people are willing to submit to it. The days are evil. Because of this, there is a need for a people who will walk right and be the conscience of their generation. We want to be able to hand something to the next generation to help them stand against evil.
It takes something to be able to stand up for what is right in the face of evil. Civil rights failed because they went the route of government and didn’t hold to what was right. Salvation makes a difference. It helps you live godly in hard situations. Someone needs to stand in a wicked and evil generation. God wants you to make a difference in the world around you. What we do in the circumstance is more important than the circumstance itself.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them: and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Noah’s day was bad, too. Noah was the redemption of his generation. He made a difference in his time. He left something for generations to come. God expects us to make a difference in our day. We need to make a difference in our generation. We can make a difference in our day – no matter what our age. We still need to stand up for God and hold up before the minds of men that this truth can make a difference in the lives of men.
1 Kings 19:9-18
And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And the Lord said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu son of Nimshi shall thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
Elijah’s day was evil and things were bad. Elijah was discouraged and felt alone. God gave him things to do for what lay ahead. Many people take Elijah’s view of their day; "It’s evil and there are so few of us." God says, "Well, stand and leave something for the next generation." Those that stand for God are the ones that make the difference down through the ages. God needs people to uphold what is right and live out the gospel.
We don’t know everyone that knows God. We don’t know everything God is doing. There are people living what they know and making a difference in their generation and their place. God isn’t limited to us to preserve the truth. We’ve been blessed with a country where the gospel has been allowed to be freely shared and to prosper. We need to make a difference in our time and our place. We want the gospel to go wherever God opens a door for it to go, and we need to make a difference where we are.
Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit. The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up. The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity. Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law: a man’s enemies are the men of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise: when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.
It was evil in Micah’s day. We don’t want to be discouraged or put off because the day is evil. God can help us in our day just as he helped people in other days. Life can get better. We need to redeem our time, even if we feel inadequate. If we’ll stand for what is right, we can make a difference, too. We can make a change in our day. We can influence lives and be the conscience of our generation. People’s lives can be touched.
The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God.
"And I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." This is a sad commentary; nobody would stand. God had to do a lot to bring something back. He still needs people to stand for what they know is right. Stand in the face of discouragement. Keep working for God. Show God to others. Care about other people. Look for ways to help people and be a blessing. Be faithful to live out what is right. Make a difference in the lives of those you meet. Don’t settle for doing nothing.
After the cross, the disciples were discouraged. Peter put his light under a bushel when he "went a-fishing." Make a difference. Stand for Christ. Speak up for what is right. Let the love of God shine through you. Redeem the time for future generations. Stand and live out the will of God for your life. It will make a difference.