Passing the Gospel to the Next Generation (Joshua 4:19–24) - Radical

Passing the Gospel to the Next Generation (Joshua 4:19–24)

“The people came up out of the Jordan on the 10th day of the first month and they encamped at Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. And those 12 stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, ‘When your children ask their fathers in times to come, what do these stones mean? Then you shall let your children know, Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground, for the Lord, your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over. As the Lord, your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up for us until we passed over so that all the peoples of the Earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty. That you may fear the Lord your God forever.'”
-Joshua 4:19–24

Ah, there’s so much in this passage. So much in this passage to reflect on, to pray according to. But the picture that I want to focus on is this question, when your children ask you what do these stones mean? So, they’re setting up these stones as a remembrance of when God stopped the waters of the Jordan River just like He had stopped the waters of the Red Sea, and He made a way for his people to cross through. And these stones will be a remembrance, a marker of the day when God did that so that all the peoples of the Earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, and that you may fear the Lord your God forever. Tell your children what God has done so they might fear the Lord, and so that all the peoples of the Earth may know that God is mighty.

God, we pray that you’d help us in our homes, in our churches, in the cities where we live to pass the gospel on to the next generation.

That is a word for us for sure in our lives today. Tell your children, tell the next generation whether they’re in your home or whether they’re in the church, whether they’re around you in your community, tell the next generation what God has done for those who have trusted in Him, that they might fear Him. And that the nations might know, all the peoples of the Earth might know that the hand of the Lord is mighty.

See, the relationship here between making disciples of all the nations and making disciples of the next generation, they go together. And so we pray, O God, please help us to faithfully pass this story of your works on to the next generation. God, we pray that you’d help us to be faithful, especially as we see statistics are all around us of decreasing levels of succeeding generations who are in the church, who are trusting your word.

God, we pray that you would help us to reverse that trend. God, we pray that you’d help us in our homes, in our churches, in the cities where we live to pass the gospel on to the next generation. God, help us to reach students, teenagers, children. God, I pray for students, teenagers, children who are listening to this right now. God, we pray that they would know you, they would lead their peers, their friends to know you, to know your love, to know that your hand is mighty.

God, we pray for adults and I pray in my own life. God, help us to be faithful to pass on to them the good news of who you are and what you have done, O God, in the past, in the past in your word, in the past in my life, the past in the lives of others. I see around me how you have worked. Help us to remember with them who you are and all that you’ve done so that they might fear you, so we might fear you. And God, so that the peoples of the Earth might know that you are mighty.

God, we pray for the Nosue people. God, we pray for all kinds of different subgroups, the Nosue people. God, may they all know your hand is mighty. May your hand that is mighty to save be known among them we pray. God, help us to pass the gospel faithfully onto the next generation. Help us to pass the gospel on to all nations according to this picture we see in Joshua 4:19-24. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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