Stewardship of the Next Generation

Rod Hutton November 12, 2023 Psalm 78:1-7

4 essential elements of stewarding the next generation

I. It Begins with Our Own Ears

Psalm 78:1 - Listen, O my people, to my instruction; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

A. Seek out wise teachers

Matthew 15:14 - Let [the Pharisees] alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.

B. Listen to biblical wisdom

II. It Requires Us to Speak

Psalm 78:2, 4a - I will open my mouth in a parable, I will utter dark sayings of old… We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generations to come…

A. Cultivate a heart for the next generation

i. Thanksgiving for those who have gone before you

ii. Concern for those who will follow you

Titus 2:3-5 - Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

B. Speak the truth in love

i. Teach the next generation

ii. Pursue the next generation

III. What We Say Matters

Psalm 78:4 - We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

A. Our focus must be worshipping the Lord

B. Point to His strength and not our own

C. Recall all He has done

IV. What We Do Matters

Psalm 78:5-7 - For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments…

A. Is my confidence in the Lord?

B. Do I know the works of God?

C. Do I keep His commandments?

Proverbs 23:26 - My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.

Good Morning – I hope you are enjoying stewardship month. I look forward to this sermon series each year…I found it encouraging and convicting to prepare last week’s sermon on personal discipline…but you cannot imagine how excited I got when I saw the original preaching schedule with what we are talking about today…

I know all of you would not have gotten this excited – but when I saw that we were talking about the Stewardship of the Next Generation

Our whole family is a bunch of Next generation nerds – you can see that in this picture…

But then, I started to read the passages we would be studying and recognized We would be talking about something else

Stewardship of the Next Generation

But seriously, I am excited about the passage that we will be talking about today, because it flips the ideas of the world on its ears, just like God’s Word does so very often.

Think about it – The World’s leadership picture says the top dog ought to be exalted working out of the top floor office with a view…but Biblical leadership calls us to humble ourselves and serve.

The world’s view of a Savior pictures the brave super hero vanquishing their foes, but our Lord and Savior willingly allowed himself to be shamed, mocked beaten and killed on a cross…

The viewpoints and ideas that we all have – the Bible reveals a very different picture – one that generally looks upside down from the world…

What about how we see the next generation…

The current generation of young people have been referred to as entitled, lazy, over-sensitive and materialistic. But let’s not jump on that too fast…Baby Boomers were criticized too for being dirty, unlawful, immoral, and lazy as well….Sounds pretty much the same to me.

In my vast studies, I found that this phenomena is not unique to the 20th and 21st century…listen to this quote from Aristotle…

“(Young people) are high-minded because they have not yet been humbled by life, nor have they experienced the force of circumstances.”

So if we believe these attitudes to be true, I would ask why would we have hope…the world is continuously degrading generation after generation…based on that, I can’t really understand how we haven’t already destroyed ourselves or simply starved because of the next generation.

But folks we are not here to simply lament what we view as the loss of everything good in this world…we truly do have hope, because the Bible gives us the truth that the world cannot even recognize…


That is why we are centering this month on the theme of the Stewardship of Hope, because we do not look to the days ahead to see doom and gloom as a foregone conclusion…Trials yes, challenges, yes…but hopeless…never…because our hope is fixed on the Living God

1 Tim 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

And it is in the hope that we are able to steward the mission to take the gospel to the world and it is because of His assurance, that we are able to steward our personal discipline and it is because of our hope in the living God that we will seek to steward the next Generation

Stewardship of the Next Generation

Today we will step back into the Old Testament to unpack the way in which God is calling us to Steward the next generation…

Please open with me to Psalm 78…that would be on page ___ of the bible under your chair.

Asaph was a Levitical music leader assigned in the temple by King David and the author of multiple psalms to include Psalm 78. Today’s passage comes from a time, the darker days of Israel when hope was harder to find due to pressures and attacks on the kingdom from outside and from within.

As the worship leader for the people, Asaph’s song in Psalm 78 helps us to Steward our hope as He gives us instructions that will help us to steward the next generation. Our Psalm helps us to remember the days of old from one generation to another and he is imploring his generation to keep the law, not forget God’s works and to rebel as their ancestors did in the wilderness where they were slain by the Lord’s anger or given over to the Philistines as happened in the time of the judges.

Asaph was leading his people in worship to find their hope in the stewardships of the next generation.

READ Psalm 78:1-7

Just as Asaph was leading his people in Israel, God’s Word is still leading us today. So as we consider this passage and unpack it’s meaning, as we look for the application of these truths to our generation, I want us to see

4 essential elements of stewarding the next generation.

Where will we begin?

I. It Begins with Our Own Ears

How about we begin right where Asaph called us to begin…

Psalm 78:1 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

Whether we are looking at the trials that the generations of Israel were facing, or if we are perceiving the decline of our community and trying to attribute the causes to it all, we have a choice to make about where we will look for our hope and for our answers.

We could look to the voices of this age, the news reports and social media or we could simply listen to our own opinions…Who will it be that we choose to listen to…

Paul asked in 1 Corinthians…Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

Yes – he has…Because I know this to be true – I want to choose a wisdom different from this world, and so it begins with our own ears that we would

Seek out wise teachers

Scripture declares that God alone is wise and discerning and that human wisdom is often unable or unwilling to understand His ways…so then in this world, what hope do we have? Great hope, because as followers of Jesus Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can demonstrate the discernment received through God’s Word and through the insight of a renewed mind.

We can discern wise teachers by looking at where they seek their own wisdom…

Do your teachers fear the Lord – for the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom?

Do your teachers Trust the Lord? Or do they lean on their own understanding?

Do your teachers see God’s Word as sufficient? Or do they begin with a worldly concept and then try to match it to God’s Word.

As you choose to who you will listen…I would encourage you to begin with those questions…

Even as your Pastor, I would want you to discern if I am being a wise teacher who you light listen to…just like the Bereans who are applauded in the book of Acts because when they received teaching, they measured it against the Scriptures to see whether they should listen and follow…

Asaph sought the Lord and as such called the people to listen to his instruction. We can listen too, for we know that Asaph’s psalm is the very word of God calling us to incline our ear to Him that we would

Listen to biblical wisdom

The Lexham Biblical dictionary describes wisdom in the Bible as the practical skills associated with living a successful life.

That certainly sounds appealing to me and I would hope it would to you as well.

The beauty of having God’s written word available to us today and the freedoms that we have here in our community give us great access to the biblical wisdom, we simply need to prioritize it.


This is why your pastors would encourage you to set Sunday mornings aside as a priority over the other voices seeking your attention. As we commit to join our church family each week for worship, we will commit to teaching only a wisdom that comes from the Bible and then we would ask that you would test us on that.

But it is more than just Sunday mornings – What about during the week? Are you a part of a regular bible study seeking to unpack and teach biblical wisdom?

Or what about in the trials of your life – will you seek Biblical counseling, choosing God’s wisdom?

As the Body of Christ, as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and as individuals…It begins with our ears and the choices we make for our teachers and specifically what is the source of wisdom we will listen to…

But as we seek to steward the next generation, we cannot stop with ourselves, for even if we choose rightly for today, there is great danger in not considering what we will teach to the next generation.

The book of judges started in a foreboding way as Joshua who died at the age of 110 and the generation of those brought in from the wilderness died away.

Judges 2:10 All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.

It is not enough that we would simply incline our ears and that we would acknowledge the work of the Lord…that is not a treasure that we are to keep for ourselves…

II. It Requires Us to Speak

What we have learned – God is calling us to pass along as part of stewarding the next generation

Asaph says

Psalm 78:2-4 I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

Asaph was crying out to the people and imploring them…listen up…this is important…when he says that he would open his mouth in a parable and utter dark sayings of old, his meaning was that this would be wisdom teaching, just like the proverbs.

His purpose in teaching here through Psalms was to instruct God’s people in the way of life and in the fear of the Lord.

This meaning remains just as important for us today as it was to the original hearers of the Psalms and in the same way, the truth and teaching that we will find are both good for our souls and they are good for those we will pass the truth along to…

This is why it requires us to speak, but not to speak in the way of a grumpy old man who only sees the flaws and failures of those who he sees as too young to be wise, not to speak with a complaining heart that is unable to grasp onto the hope for tomorrow, but to speak as one who will…

Cultivate a heart for the next generation

When we think of the attitude of that grumpy old man, or bitter old woman…now I am not pointing at anyone here, but I as we walk today, we each need to look at our own hearts to see if these are our tendencies, the sinful responses that come from believing a lie.

The attitude that sees the next generation as filled with lazy, entitled, know-it-alls is believing a lie of exaggeration and generalization and is failing to see the pride that comes in believing that we did things right and if only we could go back to the good old days.

But God’s wisdom will teach us something different so that we can cultivate a heart for the next generation…

The lie in the world’s view of the generations believes that we got there because of our own hard work, that all good things of today have come about because of what we have done.

But that fails to see the help that we needed from the generation before us…

Psalm 78:5 For He established a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they should teach them to their children,

As seek to steward the next generation, we must honestly look at ourselves to see the impact the prior generation had on us giving…

    1. Thanksgiving for those who have gone before you

and giving thanks for the foundation on which we begin.

Asaph is pointing the people back to the commands which God gave to Moses and Mose taught to the people that they might stand upon commanding them

Deut 6:4-5 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

We give thanks for those who have gone before us standing upon the truth that the Lord is one – there is no other God – there is no other source of wisdom – there is no other source of truth…

When we look at those who have gone before us, sometimes that look like the Smith family. Paul, Jonathan and Eric can give thanks for the foundation and teaching that was passed down from Doc Smith so that they might love the Lord…

But maybe you are the first generation in your family to come to know Christ as Lord, maybe you are the first in your family to walk this path allowing the Lord to direct your steps, but even if that is the case, we can give thanks for those who have gone before you, because God used someone in your life to help you hear the Truth for the first time, God ordained that their was someone to help you find wise answers, so that by His wise teaching, you would receive His abundant grace for the salvation of your soul.

We give thanks for those who god placed before us to teach us the truths upon which we can choose to live…

Then just as He commanded the fathers to teach these things to their children, we should also be looking to who God is commanding us to teach.

For they are just as lost as we were before we knew the truth, and the Lord wants us to have

    1. concern for those who will follow you

When I look at the next generation, my natural heart, my prideful heart, wants to measure them against my own standards, knowing that there is no way where they actually grade out positively in that test. The grumpy old man comes out in me…and all I see is their sin and I say

1 Cor 6:9-10 do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Yes- that is the grumpy old man coming out in me…the Bible abusing grumpy old man who has forgotten to continue reading and hear the truth God wants me to hear….

1 Cor 6:11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

And if by God’s grace, my heavenly Father transformed me from my sinful state, How can I see the next generation in the same way God saw me…

Created in His image yet dead in my trespasses…Loved deeply by my Creator, loved so deeply that He sent His Son to die for me. The next generation is just the same as I was and I am called to love them, not condemn them.

So then we must ask…What is the most loving thing we can do? Continue to lump them together as a lost generation concealing what God has shown us, or will we share the testimony of God’s redemptive work in our lives…to do that…we must

Speak the truth in love

The truth that needs to be shared is the beauty of God’s redemptive plan and what he has done in the past and what He has promised from generation to generation.

Psalm 78:5 For He established a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they should teach them to their children,

For the Nation of Israel, God has saved them out of the land of Egypt, He had protected them in the wilderness, even as they had rebelled against his plan…even when the next generation did not know the Lord, when they cried out, he delivered them and then when they asked for a king like all the other nations, God patiently waited and anointed His chosen King promising to place a descendant of David’s on the throne for all of eternity.

    1. Teach the next generation

He commanded that they would teach to the next generation the law of Israel so that they might see their need for God because of their sinful hearts. He revealed the testimony of God’s redemptive work from Jacob through the generations that they might know the truth.

And again, the Psalms shows us that to know it for ourselves is not enough, that they should teach it to their children so that the generation to come would know.

This element of Stewarding the Next generation requires us to speak up about the truth, to fulfill our missions to go, making disciples even among our own family. It is a command that is never intended to be complete this side of heaven as we…

    1. Pursue the next generation

Psalm 78:6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children,

Our work is not done when we have discovered the truth for ourselves.

Our work is not done when we have reach out to our children…

God’s plan is to do the work today that makes the truth available to the next generation and to the generation after that, and to the generation after that and so forth until the day that Christ returns.

Before I move on. Let me make some suggestions on how we can seek to apply this to the next generation…

  • Show your kids that you want to make it a priority to incline your ears to the words of truth. When is the last time you said no to a Sunday Activity because you committed to placing church first? How about how you schedule your vacation? Is it about maximizing your weekends? Or do you return on Saturday to be back in God’s house on Sunday?
  • Worship together as a Family. At some age, and you as parents know when that is for your kids, they will be ready to sit by you and hear the truth. Share in the teaching together.
  • Take the Sunday teaching home with you? Over lunch on Sunday – could you ask your family what truth they heard and then talk about how it can change your thinking and actions on Monday.
  • Are you a grandparent? How are you coming alongside your kids, to help them share truth with their kids. Sometimes that can mean you need to be the teacher for the grandkids too…you weren’t done after only one generation…

Now as we see the importance and the command that we are to carry forward the teaching of the Lord, to share God’s redemptive plan and teach our children,

Let’s unpack the third essential element to help us steward the next generation because we will find that…

III. What We Say Matters

Verse 4 guides us in what it is that we are to be teaching…

Psalm 78:4 We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done

It is the wisdom teachings that we are not to conceal for God has provided to us in His word all that we need for life and godliness.

Remember from last week that in our discipline, we are to pursue godliness and the answers, the truth needed, are all available through the wisdom of God’s revealed Word in the Scriptures

And as we grow in the knowledge of the truth, there is really only one response that can follow, that is to come to the praises of the Lord, for the truth and the hope can only come from our Lord…

And so we steward the next generation by teaching them that

Our focus must be worshipping the Lord

What good is it is we steward our children to learn to manage the things of this world well…their finances, their time, their abilities and yet we do not see the need to point them to the Lord, to teach them the gospel that they might taste and see that the Lord is good.

Now I can certainly teach my children to not spend their allowance all on candy and video games that are here for the moment and quickly gone…But do they know why?

How have I taught them that God owns everything and they own nothing, that God has entrusted them with everything they have and that they can either increase or diminish it, and God wants them to increase it. And do they really believe that God will one day call them into account and it could be today.

Do they see God’s grace poured out in their lives and will they choose their purpose to be pleasing to God rather than simply seeking their own entertainment

The gospel has implications for every aspect of our lives and the beauty of God’s grace should cause us to worship Him not just in song on Sundays, but with the thoughts, actions and decisions of our lives as we set a purpose of bring God the glory because I know who He is

and because I know what He has done.

Point to His strength and not our own

When the Psalmists wanted to point to God’s strength and the wondrous works that He had done, they frequently reminded Israel of God’s mighty hand in parting the Red Sea, defeating Pharoah’s army, providing for them in the wilderness and even in driving the people out of the promised land so that they might receive the promise

The message in it all - Our God Saves

Israel’s proper response was to humble themselves and worship the Lord knowing that the land where they lived did not come by their own strength, but from God’s hand and by God’s heart for His people.

But not long after the Psalms were all written, then next generation began to forget, relying on their own strength for their salvation, their protection….needless to say, it did not go well for them as they were sent into exile and even after their return, they were under the rule of other nations…

Today, we see the same choices being made. A people seeking to save themselves in their own strength, a people choosing the idols and gods of this day to try and fill a need, a longing that they do not even understand

But as followers of Jesus Christ, as we steward the next generation, we have far greater rescue to point to than the deliverance from Egypt. We have a testimony of God’s work to set the captive free, free from the penalty of sin. Free from the bondage that comes from the sin in our lives.

We have the joy of declaring the gospel and sharing the grace available through the death burial and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Without him, we are dead in our transgressions – and let me ask you…how much strength is there in anything that is dead?

But by the power of Him who raised Jesus from the dead, we share in that strength as he makes us alive in Christ, empowered now by the Holy Spirit that we can have victory over the sin that would otherwise entangle us and hold us in bondage. He is the one who break our chains and He is the one who sets us free…

Thus by His strength – we can overcome what would hold us back from sharing the truth of the gospel…this looks like sharing the testimony of His work in you to bring Him the glory, especially with those who are still seeking to live in their own strength.

Thus as we worship the Lord and point to His mighty Hand, we are called to

Recall all He has done

Let me ask you – How do you do this? How often do you do this?

How often do you open God’s Word to share the gospel with others in your life?

But I don’t always have my Bible with me…you are right, you may not have your paper copy with you, but if you have a smart phone…you can carry the Bible with you at all times.

In the OT days, they recalled the mighty works of God through the telling and retelling of Israel’s story and God’s redemption

If you don’t have the 4 gospels memorized along with the rest of the NT, well, thankfully God has enabled us to carry His word in your pocket.

Because as It began with our ears, seeking wise teachers and biblical wisdom and as we learn to speak the truth in love to the next generations, understanding that what we says matters, I understand that for some of us, really many of us, we may not feel as comfortable as we would like.

Thus I have a challenge for us – find some one here who God has placed in your life and take the time to practice that you would no longer conceal the wisdom of the Lord and you would share in the work of the Lord to give him all glory with the aim of finishing with an invitation that someone who does not know the Lord, might take a step towards Him.

Then as our final element in stewarding the next generation, we will look at more than just our words, but how our lives also impact the story that we are telling

IV. What We Do Matters

Asaph has made the purpose of God’s law clear to his people

Psalm 78:5-7 For He established a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they should teach them to their children,
6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
7 That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments,

He can hardly overemphasize the essential purpose of teaching God’s Character and His Word to the next generation…

And for us, that is a call to action…we cannot sit on the sidelines for we know that if we do not steward the next generation, teaching them of the Lord, we leave the door wide open

And we know that if it is not us who will teach them, there will be another, and they will lead them astray, they will cause them to rely on their own strength, they will not know the Lord.

If we desire to be effective teachers, we must also commit to having been taught the truth and that we would choose to live out that truth.

This is not like being able to teach math, but I struggle to keep my check book…

God’s word would argue that we must both learn and live the gospel in order to effectively teach the gospel.

So since Asaph has shown us what we are being called to teach, I ask you to look at yourself to consider if these are areas that we would need to work on…

Is my confidence in the Lord?

It is one thing to teach “Trust in the Lord…”

Do you give thanks that God gives you opportunities to show how you have lived that Trust?

How do you respond when trials come and life does not go as you would have planned it?

  • Is your response characterized by anger? Anxiety? Avoidance?
  • Where is your confidence?
  • It must be in myself or something other than God if I am angry because I did not get my way
  • Or why am I worried? Am I trusting in something other than the Creator of the Universe?

If my confidence is in the Lord, then when the trial comes, my response will be to turn towards Him and not away

When the next generation sees your confidence in the Lord, they are more likely to see that He is worthy of their confidence too…

Do I know the works of God?

Asaph knows of our forgetful tendency, because the people of Israel have demonstrated that forgetfulness many times

When your family gathers for Thanksgiving or Christmas, whose the story teller in your family, reminding everyone of the laughs and memories from years past. For some, they hear “do you remember when…” and they jus moan thinking here it come again… Why do they tell the story, because they have forgotten, they clearly have not and they don’t want others to forget either.

God’s word tells us His basic truths over and over again too. Not because God had to remind himself, but because He knows that we do need the reminding.

Then when it comes to stewarding the next generation, It all has to start somewhere, because they cannot forget what they have never been told.

Do I really know the Word so that I am confident in sharing the gospel?

If I said no, Asaph is calling me to incline my ear to God’s Word…but even if I said yes, let us knot forget that the Word is living and active, it does not mean that it changes, but it does mean we will aways have more to learn.

Then lastly...

Do I keep His commandments?

In John 14:15, Jesus teaches, If you love me, keep my commandments…

Every one of us is learning – the question is “are we doing?”

As Paul taught the first generation of Christians – he called them to…

1 Cor 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I also am of Christ

How will the next generation look to you? And what would be the outcome if they did the same with you…

I pray that as we seek to Steward the next generation, that they would be able to say we were imitators of you, as you were an imitator of Christ.


Rod Hutton


Pastor of Faith North Ministries - Faith Church

Director - Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries

Executive Director - Vision of Hope

Chair of the Northend Properties Board - Northend Ministries

Certified Biblical Counselor - Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries


B. Mathematics – University of Minnesota
M.A. – National Security Affairs – Naval Post Graduate School
M. Div. – Faith Bible Seminary

Pastor Rod Hutton and his wife Kathy have been married for 34 years. They have five children, Chris, Tim, Malia, Grace and Josie. The Hutton’s came to Lafayette on assignment with the Navy to Purdue University which afforded the opportunity to attend Faith Bible Seminary. In 2018, Rod retired from Naval Service and joined the staff to lead the efforts in opening and operating the Northend Community Center and in 2019 he was ordained as a pastor with Faith Church. In 2024, he transitioned to the role as Director, Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries.