Acts 13:36 “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:”
The great President Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” Sadly, I am afraid that America has come to its sunset years because of believers who have not protected or passed on to the next generation those things which keep a nation great.
It says about David in the verse above that he “served his own generation.” What days those must have been for Israel to sit under such a great leader like David. However, many took for granted that David would be there forever, but his days came to an end, as do the days of every great leader. Sadly, nobody picked up the mantle of serving their generation after David died. Israel began its demise after David died because the next generation served themselves and not their generation. What you know as a great nation will die when a generation lives for themselves instead of serving those in their generation. Let me share some thoughts from this phrase about David’s life.
First, each generation needs someone to serve them. Someone must die to pleasure if their generation is going to see God’s great works. Generations never see God’s power on display when the people of that generation are pleasure-driven instead of Gospel-driven. The hope of each generation is for one person to die to self to serve their generation.
Second, you can’t serve your generation outside of the will of God. Don't think for one second that you can do your own thing and do something to save this generation so that your children have hope when they become adults. Your children have a bleak future if all you do is live to do your will instead of God’s. You will never do God’s will when you can't live by faith. God always provides for those who live by faith, and it is those who live by faith who serve their generation the best.
Third, when you are living in the blessings of one who is serving your generation, enjoy it; they won’t live forever. David didn't live forever; he died like everyone eventually dies. Many in David’s generation who took for granted what God was doing through him who later regretted that they didn't get involved. If you happen to be in a church where God is blessing your pastor’s ministry, you had better enjoy every week of it because he will one day pass away.
Fourth, when the one who has served their generation goes to Heaven, someone needs to step up for the next generation. The key to multi-generational blessings of God is for someone to step up to fight and defend the old-time religion the same way that those who served their generation fought and defended it. Let me ask you, what are you doing to serve your generation? Are your children watching the sunset as you tell the stories of the past, or are they living in the sunshine of watching God work through your life in a miraculous way? My prayer and hope is that you are not just telling the stories of God’s great works of the past, but that you are passing on those great works of God to the next generation by doing them.