Like Father, Like Son

February 4, 2018 ()

Bible Text: Genesis 5 |

Series:

Like Father, Like Son | Genesis 5
Brian Hedges | February 4, 2018

All of us have heard the phrase, “Like father, like son.” It’s an old cliche, dates back at least to the 1300s, at least in the English language in print, and of course it just means that children often follow their parents in behavior or in physical or emotional or social characteristics, or in character. Like father, like son. We have similar phrases, “A chip off the old block,” or, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” There’s actually a similar phrase in Scripture; not, “Like father, like son,” but rather, “Like mother, like daughter,” is found in Ezekiel 16:44.

It raises the old debate, the old nature versus nurture debate. Are children more shaped by their genetics, by what they’ve inherited genetically from their parents, or are they more shaped by their environment? Nature on the one hand and nurture on the other? Of course, psychologists remain divided by that.

I think Scripture actually gives credence to both views, that we do inherit something from our parents. We do inherit something that just comes down to us through the genes of our parents, just inheriting a like human nature with our parents. But also that the way parents raise their children can have significant social, emotional, as well as spiritual impact and implications on their lives. So a question that all of us have to ask is this question, “What legacy are we leaving our children?” What is it that we pass on to our children?

It’s interesting that a passage that we’re going to read this morning that may seem an unlikely place to draw instruction and help for parenting, is actually very helpful for us when we dig into the details, and that’s Genesis chapter five. Genesis chapter five. So we’re going to go to this passage.

This is one of the genealogies that’s found in the book of Genesis. I know that when you’re reading through the Bible the most exciting passages in Scripture are the genealogies, right? Those are probably the passages that most of us skip. We figure, “I don’t need to read this long list of names that I don’t know how to pronounce anyhow,” and so we tend to skip over the genealogies. But, as we’ll see this morning, there are, tucked away in some of these lists of names, some very important and helpful insights for us, and that’s especially true here in Genesis chapter five.

This is the second main section in the book of Genesis that begins with the phrase, “This is the book of the generations of. . ." There are ten of these sections in the book of Genesis; this one is the second, and it’s giving us the genealogy of Adam down through his third son, Seth. So let me read the passage, and then we’ll dig into it to learn some lessons.

“This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died. When Seth had lived 105 years, he fathered Enosh. Seth lived after he fathered Enosh 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died. When Enosh had lived 90 years, he fathered Kenan. Enosh lived after he fathered Kenan 815 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enosh were 905 years, and he died. When Kenan had lived 70 years, he fathered Mahalalel. Kenan lived after he fathered Mahalalel 840 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Kenan were 910 years, and he died. When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he fathered Jared. Mahalalel lived after he fathered Jared 830 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years, and he died. When Jared had lived 162 years, he fathered Enoch. Jared lived after he fathered Enoch 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Jared were 962 years, and he died. When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he fathered Lamech. Methuselah lived after he fathered Lamech 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died. When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son and called his name Noah, saying, ‘Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.’ Lamech lived after he fathered Noah 595 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Lamech were 777 years, and he died. After Noah was 500 years old, Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”

This is God’s word.

So, this is an important passage in a number of ways. First of all, it’s just a bridge between the account of the creation, the fall, the first children of the human race, and then the Flood narrative, which begins in Genesis chapter six. This passage bridges those two big events, the creation and Fall and the Flood, in the book of Genesis. It’s giving us the godly line of Seth, and it stands in some contrast to the ungodly line of Cain, as we will see in just a few moments.

But I want to point out three lessons that we learn from this passage about the legacy that we will leave to our children, what we leave, what we pass on, and I want you to see three things that we either will pass on or we can and should pass on.

I. You will pass on to your children life and death

The first one is this: you will pass on to your children life and death. Now, that’s pretty self-evident, isn’t it, on the face of the passage, but I think it bears some examination. You see this especially in verses one through five, which begins with something a little bit different from the pattern that will then follow. It begins by telling us that God created man and made him in the likeness of God, male and female he created them, blessed them, and named them Man when they were created. And then Adam, of course, passes on this life and he passes on this image to his son Seth.

(1) So the first thing we learn here is that parents pass on to their children life, and life here is defined in terms, that really go back to Genesis 1, as human beings made male and female, in the likeness of God, or made in the image of God. This is the first thing that all of us pass on to our children. We pass on life to them. We are instruments in God’s hands to create little image-bearers of God, and so we pass on life with all that that entails. That’s the first and most obvious thing about parenting.

(2) But we also pass on to our children death. That is, when children are born to us, the seeds of mortality are within them. We pass on to them our fallenness; not only the fact that we are created in the image of God, but also that we are fallen from our original created state, that we are subject to the consequences of sin and the curse and the fall. This, of course, reaches back to Genesis chapter two.

You remember that God, when he created the man and the woman, he gave them a mandate. He told them what they were to do, and he told them what they were not to do. What they were not to do was eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and he said that “if you eat of it, you will surely die.”

Genesis 5 shows that this happened. It shows the consequences of their disobedience. When they ate the forbidden fruit from that tree, they were asserting their independence from God. They were acting in rebellion to God. They were defining life in their own terms, and in so doing they plunged the entire human race into sin and death.

As the apostle Paul will say in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Adam, our first father, sinned, and he died, and his posterity following also sin and also die. Paul, again, says in Romans 6:23, that “the wages of sin is death.”

And so we see that there’s a pattern that is followed here in Genesis chapter five, and here’s basically the pattern: a person is named and lives x number of years, and fathers a son. Then he lives a number of years following that, y number of years, has other sons and daughters, then lives a total of z years, and then he dies. In fact, this is the refrain throughout this passage (it states it eight times): “And he died.” Right there you have a mini biography of every single person’s life.

The same could be said of someone like me, right? Brian Hedges lived until he fathered his firstborn son, Stephen, 27 years, and then he lived another, let’s say, 95 years (let’s be generous here!), and he fathered another son and daughters, and then he died.

That’s going to be true of every one of us. There will be an epitaph, there will be an obituary that will state the basic details of our lives, and we will die. So there are these two inescapable realities to all of our parenting; that is, that we parent children who are made in the image of God, and we parent children who will die. We parent children who are mortal, who are subject to the fall, who are subject to sin and death.

That’s the most basic thing that is true about the human race. We are made in the image of God, and we will die.

Now, this passage raises a couple of questions, and one question in particular that you might be wondering about is the really long lifespans in this passage. I feel like I can’t just read through that without making some comment about it. This is something that would cause some people to doubt the Scriptures. They would look at this and say, “Well, that’s totally unrealistic. We know that people can’t live that long, so this must be fabricated, this must be a fable, it must be a tale or a story; it must not be true.”

There have been a number of possible explanations offered to harmonize such accounts of long lifespans with what we know from modern science and modern lifespans. Some people say, “Well, perhaps their way of reckoning years was different than ours.” That really doesn’t work when you look at how the language is used in Genesis. Other people would perhaps give another explanation of it.

What seems to be probably the best explanation is that, prior to the flood, and early on in the human race, lifespans were much longer, and even in the book of Genesis you see that by the end of the book the lifespan is shortened significantly. Again, the explanation for the mortality of the human race is the fact of sin and of the fall, and so it seems that God, in his judgment upon sin, gradually shortened the lifespan of the human race, so that by the time you get to the Psalms we read about the usual lifespan of someone as being “threescore years plus ten,” so 70 years, which, of course, is close to averages we’ll see today, perhaps a little bit longer.

I think something that’s very interesting to note, and most of us probably would not know this, is that when you compare the book of Genesis to other literature from the ancient near east, the fact of the matter is that Genesis is much more modest in the kind of lifespans that it describes. There’s an ancient document called the Sumerian King List, and the average age, or the average reign of kings on that list is 30,000 years, with some kings on that list having reigned 72,000 years! Now, that very well may be legend, but we know that some of the kings on that list, at least, were actually historical figures.

So, when you compare the ancient literature of the Bible with other ancient near eastern literature, what seems pretty clear is that the Bible is not at all exaggerating lifespans, and the Bible is rather consistently emphasizing the fact of death. Again, eight times in this passage the refrain is, “And he died. And he died. And he died.”

So, this is the first thing that we pass on to our children. We pass on life and death. We have to recognize that, we have to reckon with that. Some of us as parents, perhaps, really need to wrestle with that and actually turn over our children to the Lord and recognize that we don’t have control, that our children our mortal. We may very well face their mortality; some of you as parents have faced that with your children, very difficult thing to face. But it presses upon us the most urgent responsibility we have as parents, and that is that we not only pass on to them life and our mortality, but that we also pass on to them a way of living and hope in the living God.

II. You can pass on to your children a legacy of walking with God

That leads us to a second observation from this passage. Not only will you pass on life and death, but you can pass on to your children a legacy of walking with God.

Now, one of the interesting things (and I’m sure you noticed this as we read the passage) is that verses 21 through 24 give us something of an exception to this refrain of, “And he died.” You have that in the case of Enoch. Look at verses 21 through 24.

“When Enoch had lived 65 years he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.”

As one commentary notes, “This astonishing paragraph shines like a brilliant star above the earthly record of this chapter.” There’s a bright light! In the face of all this death, here’s someone who seemingly escaped death. He “walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” The idea seems to be that he bypassed the natural processes of disease and decay and death, he escaped mortality and was translated directly into the presence of God.

I think what’s really interesting is, when you read this in light of the overall structure of the two genealogies that you have in Genesis chapter four and Genesis chapter five, there’s a very clear and intentional contrast between the descendants of Cain on one hand and the descendants of Seth on the other. This contrast is telling us something about two different ways of living: the way of Cain, which as we have seen is a way of sin and wickedness and disobedience, and now the way of Seth, consummated here in Enoch, a way of walking with God.

Look at just a quick chart to see the contrast between these two descendents. What’s interesting is that when you trace it from Adam, the genealogy of Cain reaches up to the seventh generation, and the seventh person in the generation is Lamech, who we looked at last week, Lamech.

As we saw last week, Lamech was someone who was characterized by polygamy and by violence. He distorted the patterns that God had given in creation, both in marriage and in peaceful living with the human race. He’s boastful and arrogant about the vengeance he took on a young man, killing someone more vulnerable than himself, and he swears that he will take sevenfold vengeance, 77 times vengeance, if someone tries to retaliate. So here’s a wicked man, and again, he’s the seventh generation from Adam, following the line of Cain.

I think it’s intentional on the part of the writer of Genesis here that the seventh generation from Adam in the line of Seth is godly Enoch, who walked with God. So here’s a contrast. There’s a contrast between Lamech, who shows us the way of sin and what it leads to; it leads to death and more death, it leads to this sinful, wicked way of life. There’s a contrast between him and Enoch, who escapes death, because he walked with God, and then, of course, he becomes the ancestor of Noah, whose birth is recorded at the end of the chapter.

So there’s this contrast here between the two lines, between the two seeds. This, of course, echoes Genesis 3:15, where the Lord said to the serpent that there would be this enmity between the seed, or the offspring, of the serpent and the offspring of the woman; the godly line and the ungodly line. There’s conflict between them, and you see that played out in the contrast between these two seeds.

Now what I want to focus on, though, for a few moments, is what does it mean that Enoch walked with God? Because this passage is showing us that we can leave a godly legacy, a legacy of walking with God, to our children. If we walk with God, it very well may have influences, it is likely to have influences; under the hand of God, under the blessing of God, it will have influence on our children, on our grandchildren, and on our descendents.

So, what does it mean that he walked with God? I think it implies three things. I think it implies friendship, a path, and a journey. Walking with God implies friendship, a path, and a journey.

It implies friendship with God. This is a word that describes intimacy with God. It describes fellowship with God, or companionship with God. Enoch walked with God. Now, remember that in the ancient world there are no planes or trains or automobiles, there are no bicycles. The main way you got from here to there, the main way you traveled, was by walking. So you would go on a journey. You would walk a path, you’d go on a journey.

The idea here is that in a metaphorical way this is describing Enoch’s lifestyle. His lifestyle was one of walking with God. He’s walking on a journey with God, and he’s walking along a very specific path, and he’s doing so in fellowship with God. And when we look at what other passages of Scripture have to say about this walk, it becomes pretty clear that such a walk is characterized by humility, by faith, and by righteousness.

So, for example, in Micah 6:8, a passage that probably many of us know, we read these words: “He has told you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?”

Or take Hebrews chapter 11, which gives a little mini-biography of Enoch in this great hall of faith. Hebrews 11:5-6, we read, “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death. And he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

What does it mean to walk with God? It means to be in friendship with God. It means to walk a pathway of humility and of faith and faithfulness and of obedience and righteousness, and it means to do this through the whole journey of a lifetime, to walk with God throughout our lives, throughout our days; to be fellowship with God. It means to have our lives under the scrutiny of God. But not just that, it means to live in friendship with God, to have fellowship, communion with God, to know what it is to have God as our friend. I wonder if you know what that is. I wonder if you walk with God?

So the passages tells us that Enoch walked with God, and God took him. He escaped from death. We have one other example of someone in Scripture who did this. I wonder if you know who it is? It was Elijah, Elijah the prophet. Maybe you remember, in Second Kings chapter two, that Elijah the prophet was carried up into heaven by a chariot of fire. So here’s someone else who escaped death, who didn’t actually go through the process of death. Only these two people, only Elijah and Enoch.

As Luci Shaw, the poet, put it in a very short poem, simply called “Enoch,”

Enoch
crossed the gap
another way.
He changed his pace
but not his company.

You see, he’d walked with God throughout his life, and then God took him.

Now, because this only happens two times in Scripture it’s not something for us to expect for ourselves. You and I are still mortal, and the real answer to our mortality is found in someone who did face death, went through death, and came out the other side; namely, our Lord Jesus Christ, who also faced mortality, and whose body was raised incorruptible on the third day. That’s our real hope in the face of death.

But the story of Enoch walking with God is placed here, in the midst of a genealogy marked by death, to show us that there is the possibility of something more than death, that there is life beyond the grave, and such life is found in a walk with God.

So we need to ask ourselves this question: do we walk with God? What might that look like? What does it look like to walk with God?

I found some great help from the Puritan writers, writers such as Richard Rogers or Henry Scudder. Richard Rogers was one of the early Puritans, and he wrote Seven Treatises that were basically a detailed manual on living a Christian life. He talked a lot about what it meant to walk with God.

He said that walking with God involves certain priorities, and among those priorities were things like this: that we should daily be humbled for our sins as we examine ourselves in light of the law of God, and also that every day we should be raised up to an assured hope of forgiveness as we embrace the promises of God. That every day we should prepare our hearts to seek the Lord and to keep our hearts willing to follow him; that we should daily and resolutely arm ourselves against evil and against sin, putting our sins to death and fearing to offend God. That we should nourish a fear of God and love for God and joy in God on a daily basis. That every day we should give thanks to God for the benefits that we’ve received from him, that every day we should watch and pray for steadfastness and constancy, and that every day we should keep our peace with God, we should live in peace with God. He said these were to be daily priorities.

And then the Puritans (and, as far as I know, Roger was the first to do this, and Scudder and others followed) actually wrote very practically about the Christian’s daily walk. They detailed it in terms of practices that a Christian should follow every day. Now, these are quite challenging. I find these challenging myself, but let me just name some of these off to you as a challenge for us to learn, “What does it mean to walk with God?”

So, Richard Rogers in his fourth treatise said that we should wake with God. He says first thing in the morning we should wake with God and begin the day with prayer. He says that we should walk with God in our callings, and he meant our vocations. So, whatever our calling in life, if you’re a mom, a dad, if you have a job, a certain vocation, you’re a student, what does it mean to walk with God in the place where you are called?

He said that we should learn to direct ourselves, both in company with others and in solitude. What does it mean to walk with God when you’re with other people and to walk with God when you’re by yourself?

He said that we should learn how to walk with God in both prosperity and adversity. So, how do you use the prosperity that God gives you in a good way, and how do you wisely respond to your trials and your adversities?

He said, further, that we should daily seek to have religious exercises in our families; that is, we should be gathering our families together for some kind of prayer, some kind of devotions. We should be leading them to the Lord.

And finally, that we should every day view our day in light of our walk with God. How have we done? Have we walked with God this day?

It’s quite a challenge, because I think most of us, while we want to walk with God and occasionally we attend to God in the word and prayer, much of us spend much of our waking time not thinking about God. We’re not thinking about God and how we walk with him in company and in solitude. We’re not thinking about how to use prosperity well or how to respond well to our adversities or trials. But walking with God involves just that.

Now, as a final illustration, I want to just contrast for a moment what such a life will do in a family. What happens in a family when someone actually walks with God? What can be the legacy left?

It’s really interesting that, about a hundred years ago, someone named A.E. Winship decided to trace out the descendants of two men who lived basically during the same time period. One of those men was Jonathan Edwards, so we have a picture on the screen of Edwards. The other was a man named Max Jukes.

These two men were very different men. Jonathan Edwards is well known, of course; he was one of the leaders in the First Great Awakening in the American colonies, preached that famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” wrote many wonderful books. He had nine children, he raised believing children.

As this man, Winship, traced his descendents, this is what he found. He found that among Jonathan Edwards’ descendants was one U.S. Vice President, three senators, three governors, three mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 65 professors, 80 public office-holders, 100 lawyers, and 100 missionaries.

So, something like 150 or 160, 170 years after, this was the legacy of Jonathan Edwards. Here was a man who walked with God, he raised a godly family, and he started something that continued for generation after generation after generation.

In contrast to Edwards was a man named Max Jukes, and you can see his mug shot here. Max Jukes was a scoundrel. He wasn’t a particularly good man, he was a criminal, and someone began tracing the story of Max Jukes when they found that 42 people in the New York prison system traced their lineage back to him.

As they traced the descendants of Max Jukes, these are some of the things they found: seven murderers, 60 thieves, 130 other convicts, and a family that was marked by poverty for generation after generation after generation, so that Max Jukes’ descendants had cost the state more than, it was estimated, 1,250,000 dollars, and this was back when a million dollars was actually a lot of money, right, back in 1900.

Quite the contrast between two ways of life, between a godly life and a wicked life. You see the same thing in Scripture when you contrast the way of Cain with the godly life of Seth and his descendants, especially Enoch.

So the question is for us, what legacy will we leave? Will we leave a godly legacy of walking with God? You’re going to pass on life and death to your children. Will you pass on something more? Will you pass on a life of godliness?

III. You should pass on to our children hope in God

And then thirdly and finally, we should also pass on to our children, of course, hope in God. Now that’s a part of walking with God, but the text gives special attention to hope in the promise of God, and I want you to see this as we draw to a close.

In verses 28 through 29, here again you have an exception to the formula in the genealogy. You have more comment than in the rest of the chapter. It says, “When Lamech had lived 182 years he fathered a son and called his name Noah, saying, ‘Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.’”

Now, you know in Scripture that births are significant events, and oftentimes when a child is born there is specific hope that is directed to God and to the promise of God. We’ve already seen this with Seth, last week. It was when Seth was born that men began to call upon the name of the Lord; [there is] something significant about the birth of this child.

And of course, the greatest hope is found in the New Testament when a Child is born who actually is our hope of relief from the curse, and Noah, of course, is just a dim pointer to that. Noah does represent in Scripture both judgment and salvation; salvation for the people of God, as we’re going to learn in future weeks, but there is a true and better Noah. That true and better Noah is Jesus Christ, who faced the judgment for us and who rose victorious over it, and who represents for us true relief, true rest, true comfort and salvation rescue from the curse.

So part of our job as parents is to pass on to our children hope in God, to encourage them to hope in God, to hold out before them the promises of God, to hold out the gospel to them, to point them to Christ.

Something I learned about parenting, a long time ago, is that I’m going to disappoint my children and I’m going to sin against my children. Even though I don’t want to, even though I strive against it, I still do. I sin against my children. So what I want my kids to get is not just my mortality and my corruption; I want my kids to get that there’s a hope for forgiveness and that there’s a hope of life and of grace that’s found in the gospel.

One of the ways we do that is by repenting regularly with our children and by pointing them to the same hope that you and I hold onto, which is hope for forgiveness in Jesus Christ.

Let me just end in this way. A few months ago I had a privilege, that I cherish every time I have this, to spend a little bit of time with my grandparents, who are now, I believe, 90 and 91 years old. Here’s a picture of them. It’s really dim; I’m sorry you can’t see that more clearly. They are 90 and 91 years old, not a great picture, but Arthur and Mozelle Hedges are their names, affectionately known in our family as Nana and Zanzan. They’re still living alone. They’ve faced a lot of health difficulties the last couple of years, but are still living alone.

My youngest brother and I were able to do something that was just a real privilege to us. We actually spent a morning with them, interviewing them about their lives. So they were telling us about the Dust Bowl years in Texas, they were telling us about World War II, about how they came to know each other, their years raising a family, and so on. But a question was asked in the course of that interview, “What legacy do you want to leave to your children?”

That really caught the heart of my grandmother, and with all of these stories they had to tell, the legacy she said she wanted to leave was faith in Jesus Christ, that that’s what had carried them through. Faith in Jesus Christ.

Now, they’re thinking about that now. They’re in their 90s and they’re thinking about their children, they’re thinking about grandchildren, they’re thinking about great-grandchildren, as I’m sure that some of you who are in your 60s, your 70s, your 80s, you’re thinking the same way. What legacy do you want to leave your children?

But I want to tell you, it’s never too soon to start thinking about that. What legacy will you leave to your children? Will you leave a legacy of walking with God, and will you point them to their true hope, to faith in Jesus Christ?

We’ve recently learned this question and answer, “What is our only hope in life and death?” Our only hope is “that we are not our own, but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.” Are you teaching your children that? Are you passing that on? Let’s pray.

Father, we cannot help but be challenged this morning as we think about our children, our grandchildren, we think about our families, we think about what it is that we pass on to our children. Oftentimes we find that our children sometimes pick up the worst of our character traits and our tendencies. We can see our sin reflected in the lives of our family members. So this morning what we want to do is ask for grace, we want to ask for mercy. We want to pray that you would intervene, that you would work in ways that are beyond nature, ways that are supernatural, and your Holy Spirit would work through the gospel to bring redemption and salvation into our homes and into our families.

Father, right now I just want to pray for our children. Thank you for the children that we have in our church. There are so many and we’re grateful for them. We don’t take it for granted that just because we are believers that they will be. We don’t take it for granted that our children, because they are born into a believing homes, are necessarily saved. We want to pray right now that you would save our kids. We pray for their conversions. We pray that you would do a mighty, powerful, supernatural work; that you would take the hearts of stone, that you would give them a heart of flesh, that you would put your Spirit within them, that you would write your law upon their hearts, that you would place your fear within them that they might walk with you.

We pray, Father, that you would give us humble and believing hearts, that we too would walk with God. Father, would you show us practically what we need to do, how we need to put that in practice? Are we walking in humility and in faith and in righteousness? Are we day by day seeking to think about you throughout the day? Are we walking with you in all these different parts of our day?

So Lord, help us to examine ourselves and bring about change where that’s needed. We confess this morning that we cannot do this on our own. We’re insufficient for the task of parenting, we’re insufficient for the high calling of walking with you, so we need your grace, we need your Spirit. We pray for that now and we look to you and we pray that you would work.

Father, as we come to the table this morning we pray that you would meet us by your Spirit; that as we take the bread, the juice, we would also by faith take Christ, who is the bread of life, and we would be nourished by his strength, that we would be comforted by his presence, that we would be strengthened by his grace, his holiness. Draw near to us in these moments as we continue in worship. We pray it in Jesus’ name, Amen.