The Next Generation
And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. ~1 Samuel 3:19
One of our core responsibilities is raising up leaders for the future. It is vitally important that we are focusing on mentoring men who will be the next generation of leaders. At the time when Samuel was just a lad, there was a void in leadership. The sons of Eli abused their office as priests and discouraged the hearts of the people. In spite of this, God saw good things in the life of Samuel that were fully developed and that led him to become God’s man for the nation. As we consider Samuel this morning, let us see the criteria for raising men who will lead the next generation.
Samuel was an answer to prayer.
“And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head” (1 Samuel 1:11). Samuel became one of the great men in the Bible because of the prayers of his mother. She prayed for a miracle: she was unable to bear children, and she asked God to open her womb. She prayed for a man child. She asked God to bless her with the birth of a boy. She prayed that he would give his life to the ministry. Her praying was unselfish and brought glory to God. We must pray for the next generation, and that begins with us giving our children to God to be used for His glory.
Samuel was anointed with God’s presence.
“The LORD was with him.” Samuel’s tender heart and teachable spirit received the Lord’s favor and approval. God’s presence is evident after we have spent time with Him in prayer and in the Word. Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days, and when he came down, his face shined with glory. The closer we get to the Lord, the more of His presence is upon us. God’s presence is our source of power. The greatest need of the next generation is to learn how to have the presence and the power of God on their life. I remember how, at the age of 20, God made it clear to me that if I wanted Him to use me, I would need much of His presence in my life. Does your testimony reflect that the Lord is with you?
Samuel was abiding in godly precepts.
“And did let none of his words fall to the ground.” What a powerful statement! He was not negligent about the Word of God. He was obedient to God’s Word. He was ingrained with God’s Word. He lived on God’s Word as his spiritual food. He was strong in God’s Word. God’s Word transformed him daily. The people recognized early on that God raised Samuel to be a prophet. I believe that even as a young lad, he preached the Word with clarity, conviction, and authority. He was a revivalist, and he sought that God’s people would, likewise, love the Word and let it change them. What are you doing with God’s Word?
Samuel was abounding in the growth of his person.
“Samuel grew.” The next generation must be committed to spiritual and personal growth. Recently, I remarked to the pastoral staff how a few of our boys have grown physically and spiritually. We know there is growth when there are positive changes. Even as a young lad, Samuel was transformed spiritually with a maturity and discernment that set him apart from others.
Let’s raise leaders in the next generation that will model the life qualities that Samuel had: a generation who has God’s presence and does not let any of His words fall to the ground.
Have an abounding God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 28-30