Old Commitments for a New Year

A new year is upon us and—no surprise—our world is in upheaval. No matter how much we as parents and a church community try to absorb or deflect the societal conflicts on behalf of our children, there is no way to completely shield them from the realities in which we now live. Nor, should merely shielding our children be our top priority. Rather, let us strive to equip our children. We must equip them to live in a fallen world with a strong and sure hope and defense: the Gospel of Jesus.

How can parents, teachers, and the church work toward this end in the coming year? Here are a few New Year resolutions to consider:

By God's grace, and through His power, we will...

  • Emphasize the absolute, objective, and unchanging truths of Scripture.
  • Make a serious commitment to teach children a God-centered view of all of life.
  • Develop an intentional plan to present our children with the whole counsel of God.
  • Proclaim to our children the whole Gospel, in all its scope, depth, power, and beauty.
  • Live out the timeless truths of the Gospel so that our children see that Jesus is a treasure more precious than anything this world has to offer.
  • Inspire truth-filled, Spirit-empowered worship of the King of kings.
  • Impress upon them what it means to deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Jesus in joyful obedience.
  • Model true Christian humility that grieves for the lost, desiring their salvation.
  • Remind them of and rejoice in the global mission of God to save people from every tribe and tongue.
  • Pray, pray, and then pray more.
  • Depend increasingly upon the One who is faithful.

As you can see, there is nothing really “new” in this list. It reflects old and timeless commitments regarding our calling to disciple the next generation – reminders given to us throughout Scripture. So, by God’s sovereign grace, let’s begin the New Year by striving to pursue the amazing privilege and solemn responsibility God has given to us!

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;

incline your ears to the words of my mouth!

I will open my mouth in a parable;

I will utter dark sayings from of old,

things that we have heard and known,

that our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children,

but tell to the coming generation

the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,

and the wonders that he has done.

He established a testimony in Jacob

and appointed a law in Israel,

which he commanded our fathers

to teach to their children,

that the next generation might know them,

the children yet unborn,

and arise and tell them to their children,

so that they should set their hope in God

and not forget the works of God,

but keep his commandments; (Psalm 78:1-7)