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ESPECIALLY FOR YOUTH!
September 9, 2012
Last week: God, The Bible And Church In A Modern World
Are you a preteen, or a teenager? Then this is just for you! Do you ever feel like you don't matter, that nobody cares about you? Then you are not alone! Young people often feel that way. But, you do matter! Someone does care about you! God cares, and, unless you are in the minority, your parents care about you. It may not seem like it, but they do. Adults want what is best for you. Sometimes they have a hard time expressing it. And, sometimes caring means they have to say, "No," to you. Some things you may want are not good for you. Some things you don't want are good for you. Many people care about you too. I care. That is why I am writing this article.
The psalmist David writes, in Psalm 127:3-4, "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth." What is the psalmist saying? He is saying, that, just as parents will their physical belongings to their children to enjoy after their passing, God grants children to parents. Children are both a blessing to their parents, and to their children - and the world - after their passing. As many arrows are a blessing to a "mighty man," cheldren are a blessing to their parents, granted by God. The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, writes in Proverbs 17:6, "Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers." Most parents would rather have their children, in good health, and faithful to God, than wealth or fame. In ancient times it was considered a dishonor for a woman not to have children. An example of this is found in 1 Samuel 1, where Hannah's desire to have a child is so strong she vows, that if God would grant her a son, she would dedicate him to His service (Please see also, Judges 1:1-3; Luke 1:1-20). Though not having children doesn't have the stigma that it did in ancient times, it is still quite important to most women. Children are still a "gift" from God. You are a gift from God!
Jesus clearly showed his love and respect for children. Mark writes, "And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, 'Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.'" (Mark 9:36-37.) Jesus taught in Matthew 18:3-5, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." In Matthew 19:13-15, New King James Version, the disciples rebuked those who brought children to Jesus that He might lay His hands on them. He responded, in verse 14,"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." So, God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, care about you.
God also has something to say about your relationship with your parents. The Tenth Commandment reads, "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee" (Exodus 20:12). That includes your older parents as well (See Proverbs 23:22, 24). Obedience to parents is also required by God (See Proverbs 1:8). The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 6:1, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." (See also Colossians 3:20). This is important because, as these verses say, it is "right," and "well pleasing unto the Lord." It is also important because it is the responsibility of your parents to bring you up as God would have you to be. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:4, "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
As you probably realize, God expects obedience to His laws. But, when should you start following and obeying His laws? Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 12:1, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them." So, now is the time to start obeying God! God created you, He sent His Son to die for you. He wants your faith and obedience. He wants that now. The Wiseman gives an explanation, "....while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them." Those who put off obeying the Lord find it harder and harder to do later. Things change. You get involved in worldly pursuits, pleasures and responsibilities. Eventually you get too old and tired to give yourself to Him. Soon it will be too late! Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6:2, "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." You would do well to heed the Apostle's warning! "Rember now thy creator in the days of thy youth!"
Why not follow the example of young Timothy? Paul wrote a pair of letters to him. He wrote, "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15). He had learned them from his godly mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). Paul urged this young man, "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine" (1 Timothy 4:12-13). What a great example to follow, and a great admonition to heed! To help you, there are several links for youth included on this homepage. I urge you to click on them. Have fun and learn!
L. John Bost
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