Are Christians ‘packing it in?’
PROFESSIONS OF FAITH
It’s very sad to me that many, many so-called Christians seem to be, “packing it in.” The urgency they once had to reach the lost and disciple others has diminished into a dying flame. The days of them waking up grateful for all the Lord has done, coupled with an excitement to shine His light into the lives of others are all but dead and gone. Ho hum has replaced their hallelujah. Complaining has replaced their praise. Their faith that was once like dynamite is now dull.
The phrase “pack it in” means to give up and stop trying. It means to abandon one’s efforts.
Those that do this, those that pack it in, whether they realize it or not are saying to the next generation… “I don’t care about you.”
Surely that is not the heart of our Heavenly Father. I’m tired of hearing people say things like, “the world is going to hell in a handbasket” and that ends up being their justification for doing nothing to help others. If you say things like that flippantly, without concern at all for the next generation, you need to repent. You need a change of thinking. That is not the mind of Christ.
David was called a man after God’s own heart. WOW!!!
Acts 13:22 NLT “But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.”
That’s so powerful to me. I want to be a man after God’s own heart. I want God to be able to say the same thing about me, “Travis will do everything I want him to do.” He is worthy of our full surrender, my friends. Oh, how He loves us!!!
Now check out one of the burning passions and drives that was on David’s heart even while the hairs on his head were turning gray:
Psalm 77:17-18 NLT “O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.”
David, a man after God’s own heart, cared passionately about the next generation even while aging. That shows you that God also cares deeply about the next generation. He’s a generational God. David wasn’t wasting away in a man cave with a beer belly and high cholesterol, he was proclaiming and penning the wonderful working power and love of God to the next generation and we are still benefiting from His labor of love in 2022. David didn’t just become a grumpy old man who complained about kids with holes in their jeans, he wanted everyone to know the greatness of God. No matter how young or old you are, I don’t believe you ever have to lose your passion for Jesus and for reaching the lost.
I’m eternally grateful David didn’t “pack it in” before he wrote the Psalms. People often ask me what my favorite book of the Bible is and while I can’t pick one, the Book of Psalms is definitely high on the list.
We are in some interesting and trying times for sure. I know many have grown tired and weary over the last couple of years. “Packing it in” would be easy. In fact, that is exactly what the devil wants us to do. He wants us to give up and throw in the towel so that he can destroy an entire generation. But let me remind you, Jesus never promised us easy peasy.
John 16:33 NLT “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Pain is a part of this thing. There is no peaches and cream gospel. We are in a war, but Jesus is worthy. Our kids are under attack like never before. They need fathers, mothers, grandparents, mentors, teachers, and pastors to speak the truth into their lives, not an older generation that gave up on them and abandoned them. It’s not time to pack it in. It’s time to pour it out. It’s time to pass down all that we’ve learned about God and life to the next generation.
Here is a powerful passage to ponder:
Psalm 78:1-7 NLT “O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past– stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them–even the children not yet born–and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.”
If you’re a Christian, please remember… It’s because someone told you about Jesus. You have hope because someone shared the good news with you. You are not separated from God anymore because someone in your life didn’t pack it in. They saw your value and tapped into God’s heart for you. Surely, we should desire to do the same for others.
Many revivals and moves of God in the past died out because of an over-emphasis and I would say a selfish perspective on the second coming of Christ. This produced a lack of discipleship. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for the return of our King, but that also produces an urgency in me to reach the next generation. God still wants none to perish.
I was spending time with Jesus the other day and received this message:
“The second coming of Christ isn’t an excuse for idleness. It’s time to shine. It’s not time to pack it in. It’s time to PLAN, ADVANCE, and GROW!”
If we want our kids and the next generation to be able to set their hope anew on God, we better not be packing it in. If we believe that Jesus is coming soon, we should probably get to work!
Travis Habbershon is the youth pastor at New Life Church.