“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” — 2 Timothy 4:7
Newsman Tom Brokaw wrote a book in 1998 entitled, “The Greatest Generation.” He believed the generation that grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression and then went on to fight in World War II justly deserve such a title. He said, “These men and women fought not for fame and recognition, but because it was the right thing to do.” I find it fitting as we prepare to celebrate next month the Independence Day holiday that we take a moment to reflect back on this “Greatest Generation.”
If you go back to the early beginnings of our churches in America you will discover one common denominator that caused them to grow at a spectacular rate. It was after World War II that something wonderful occurred. This greatest generation of Americans came back home from war not forgetting the promises they had made to the Lord as He protected them on battlefields around the world. God was faithful in His protection of them. As they were saved they brought that same tenacious spirit, courage, and commitment, learned from surviving the Great Depression and the war, with them into our churches. The results speak for themselves: explosive church growth, new churches springing up all around the country, and thousands of souls coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the most respected preachers in America, Reverend Billy Graham, came to symbolize this great spiritual awakening during the preceding decades of growth.
Over the past number of years I have been privileged to conduct the funerals of many of these great men and women who had given so much of themselves to make this country great. This greatest generation understood what it meant to fight a good fight, to finish it, and to keep the faith. They experienced and understood hardship, sacrifice, and commitment. They understood battlefields and strongholds, but most importantly they understood the importance of staying focused. 2 Timothy 2:3 the Apostle Paul instructed Timothy, “Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
In these last days it is my prayer that you will take a moment to reflect upon the great impact our forefathers had upon this country and their contribution to the Lord’s work. I am hopeful our generation and the ones that follow us will lead with the same compassion and commitment that preceded us. I am praying that God will allow us to follow in their foot-steps and become the next greatest generation. As the Lord encouraged Joshua, so I encourage you. Joshua 1:5-6 “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6 Be strong and of a good courage.”
Love and prayers…
Rev. Randy Skeens is pastor of Central United Baptist Church and a member of the Logan Ministerial Association.