[9] And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. [10] Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

[11] “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. [12] His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Matthew 3:9–12 ESV Read More

It’s not often that you hear an outgoing pastor praise the incoming one. That doesn’t just happen in the church. You don’t often hear a former anything praise their replacement. But John the Baptist wasn’t typical. He knew that the whole purpose of his life was to get people ready for the Man that would come next.

It’s fun to go places with your grandparents. When they introduce you, you’d think that their old grandparent-like friends would be about to bow down and kiss your ring the way some of these people carry on. You don’t need a grandma to be around long before she’ll introduce herself and point out who her grand-babies are.

What if we had confidence in our kids’ faith like a grandparent has confidence in the greatness of their grand-babies? What if we had confidence in our kids’ judgment like a grandpa smiles at a band concert or a T-ball game?

John the Baptist was confident in the Messiah that would come after him. There are ways, through daily life, church experiences, and quality time, that we can build that confidence into ourselves and into the next generation. This is why the Law says:

‘teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up. ’ — Deuteronomy 6:7

We can grow ourselves as we discuss the scriptures and our prayer life with our kids. They will ask questions, and if we have a healthy environment, we’ll all figure out the answers together. The confidence they get in their faith is worth the time spent away from all of the things we’d rather waste time with.

The confidence and joy we get in seeing how awesome they are and flashing a grace-filled grandpa smile is a sign that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

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