“...the generations after us,...”
Jesus loved, and will forever love all the children of the world. He gladly dedicated his precious time to heal, speak, and listen to little children. He never rejected a child, no matter how busy he was; and He received them regardless of the objection of many, including his disciples.
If children are so important to our Lord Jesus, wouldn’t you agree that his followers should devote more time and effort to invest it in the future generations? The sad reality is, that children and youth are many times forgotten or ignored in our congregations.
Thankfully, the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh, had a better vision for the next generation than some of us. They built an altar as a visible testimony for those who were coming after them. These tribes desired to make sure that their children had all the opportunities to know, serve, and worship God.
We have the same challenge and privilege today. Our responsibility is to guide those who come behind us and to train them in the ways of the Lord. It is a great and difficult challenge, because it will demand from us to live above reproach, and it will require time...lots of time.
It is also a privilege, in the sense that we are called to be role models for our children. Forget about the athletes, singers and movie stars. It is our job (not theirs), to influence the next generation.
Who will answer the call?
“...and given a place...”
The heart of a Christian can be compared at times, to a city of refuge. We feel “compassion” for sinful thoughts and we hide them there. How is it possible for Jesus and sin, to dwell in our hearts at the same time?
This is the outcome of giving room or place to those evil thoughts. The devil knocks on our door and when we open, even if it is just to look, his wicked influence comes in and it becomes rather powerful and difficult to drive out. It is easier to deal with a "newborn" temptation, than with a full-blown sin in our hearts
But it does not have to be this way. The criminals in the cities of refuge were able to leave when the high priest died. Likewise, all evil thoughts have permission to leave us immediately; because Jesus, our High Priest, died on the cross, where He also crucified all our sins.
Nevertheless, Jesus was raised from the dead, and now dwells in our hearts forever. He wants to reign as king and he is not willing to share his throne with anyone or anything, including “criminal thoughts.”
What can we do then? When the devil knocks again on your door, do not open! If temptation is luring you away from God, say NO, but say it with conviction. If perhaps the devil keeps insisting, as he will, then you must exercise your option of calling on Jesus to answer the door. This is what the Bible calls resisting the devil and not giving room to temptation.
Remember... just say No.