I believe that God has His hand on your age group. We have never seen a generation like yours. This year your numbers will surpass those of my generation, the Baby Boomers, to become the largest generation that has ever walked this planet. Simply put, there are a lot of you. In the short time you’ve been on this Earth, you’ve been exposed to more changes than I’ve seen in my whole lifetime. Social media runs through your veins. You’ve never known life without texting, smart phones, 3-D Movies and the Internet. You take bottled water and cable TV for granted. You shop online, drive cars that take verbal commands and … you care.
Yes, your generation is a caring, socially responsible generation. Unlike my generation who protested everything, your generation is trying to fix things. I deeply admire you for that. You are trying to clean up the environment, make energy-efficient light bulbs and produce cars that run cleaner. You want smog-free cities, clean water and recyclable everything. I applaud you, my friends. Yours is a great and mighty generation. You will go farther, faster and do more in this world than I could imagine in two lifetimes.
But being part of a great generation also carries great responsibilities. It is not by accident that you were born into this world at this time. God not only has a plan for your generation but for your life. In fact, yours might be the generation that ushers in the second coming of Christ. You have the potential to finish translating and bringing the gospel into every known language. With your knowledge of technology, there is not a place on the planet that can hide from you.
God has put a desire in this generation to do something good. I see that in you as you share your dreams and hopes. You remind me a little of my generation, and I feel connected to you in that your generation, like mine, refuses to be satisfied with the status quo.
Yes, it’s good to provide clean water to remote villages where children are dying because of contaminated water. Yes, it’s good to build smart homes, smart cars and smart everything else. But don’t stop at doing good. Keep going until you do something great, something with eternal ramifications. Give us clean water and smart everything, but then use those good things to tell us about God. That’s when your efforts will shift from good to great. I want this generation to become a great generation.
To that end, I want to remind you of a few things:
1. Your life is not your own (1 Cor. 6:19-20). It is not yours to do with what you want. You have been bought with a price, an incredible one at that. I don’t know if anyone told you, but when you decided to follow Jesus, you gave up your rights. That’s what why we call Him Lord. Being a Christian is all about denying yourself, picking up a cross and following Him. But that is the mystery of Kingdom life. When you give up your rights for a relationship with Him, you find yourself.
2. You are here for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). Esther found herself at the intersection of purpose and destiny. She was given the choice to be the one to save the Jews from destruction or watch God raise up their salvation from somewhere else. With fear and trembling, Esther accepted the task and did what God asked. You, too, are placed in this time of history for such a time as this. And it is your destiny to bring salvation unto the world.
3. God is doing a new thing through you (Isaiah 43:19). Old wineskins cannot hold new wine. Much of what my generation created worked for us, and God used it, but it is a new day. Our ways are not working as they used to. That causes us to struggle, because these are the only ways we know. So I ask as you create new ways to spread the gospel—ways that seem so foreign to us—that you not forget that it was our generation who built the churches, sent out missionaries and gave of our time and resources to train and educate you so you would have a foundation on which to build. We will do our best to pray for and encourage you as we pass the mantle on to your generation.
As I look at my two-year-old grandson, Titus the Honorable, I can’t even imagine what kind of world he will grow up in. But I pray that he will be part of the greatest generation ever: the one fully dedicated to God.