Shaping the Next Generation Part 4
Teach Them Early
I Sam. 3
I. Volunteering for God – 2:11, 18; 3:1
Samuel wasn’t the priest, or even part of the priests’ family.
Yet he was introduced to ministry at an early age.
ILLUSTRATION: I was singing specials in church at the age of 4. I was taught to knock on doors at the age of 7. I was leading the singing at 13. My parents started me early!
Samuel’s parents taught him early what it means to be involved in the work of God.
- Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work [be] pure, and whether it be right.
Reasons why getting your children started in ministry early is a good idea.
- There are low expectations for kids. No pressure.
- They learn quick. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
- They have the zeal and energy to get it done quickly.
- They get a behind the scenes perspective of church and ministry. Not one dimensional.
- They work cheap. Usually just give them a piece of pizza and a coke and they are happy.
- They don’t get discouraged easily and they don’t stay discouraged.
- They are generally more positive and upbeat and easy to motivate and organize.
- They learn to how to make ministry fun. Fellowship and work simultaneously.
- They meet and get close to other people in ministry.
- They are around spiritual leaders and can glean from their experience and knowledge.
II. Voice of God – 3:7
The Bible is clear in 3:1 that the word of the Lord was precious in those days.
Yet in this chapter, God spoke.
What can we learn from this encounter?
A. The Voice of God is Personal – God called his name.
Verse 7 tells us that Samuel was unfamiliar with the voice of God.
Eli recognized that God could talk to a child. (vs. 1)
Eli also recognized that a child could hear and understand God.
He taught Samuel to listen and to respond with “Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth.”
B. The Voice of God is Persistent
- Vs. 4 God called.
- Vs. 6 God called yet again.
- Vs. 8 And God called Samuel again the third time.
- The Bible says in 3:10 that the Lord came and stood and called as at other times.
C. The Voice of God is Powerful – vs. 11-18
That “heareth” is more than just hearing audibly. It means to perceive; to listen with great interest; to understand and to agree.
Would to God we could teach our children to HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD!
III. Visit from God – 3:10; 19; 21
Teach your children early to position themselves to encounter personal visits from God.
In 3:10, God came and stood.
Verse 19 says …and the Lord was with him.
Verse 21 says that the Lord revealed himself to Samuel
What can we glean from this story about how we can help shape the next generation?
I think it is important that we understand the value of:
A. Faithful Parents – 1:3
B. Fervent Praying – 1:10, 26, 2:1
C. Firm Promises – 1:11, 28
Don’t underestimate the importance of the priest.
Eli was blind, but he at least perceived that God had called the child.