“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life…” (1 Timothy 4:12, NIV)
Last Spring Break (March 2009) a small group of youth and adults from our church spent our vacation time sprucing up Camp Quaker Haven with dozens of others from all around the Yearly Meeting. The youth from Argonia Friends were great examples to the believers there. They worked hard from sun up to sun down. They painted for hours on end without much complaining. They hauled downed trees and dug trenches and carried heavy loads and tore down stuff. They did whatever was asked of them all week long. When others took time off to play, they kept working. I was so proud of them. They were good examples in the way they lived and worked that week.
Self-indulgence is the norm among the youth of our day. In reality it’s the norm among America adults too. The baby boomers refuse to grow up. In fact, I read this recently on FoxNews.com: “Baby boomers, now well into middle age, are still turning on to illegal drugs, doubling the rates of illicit drug use for the older generation, according to U.S. government statistics released on Wednesday. The rates of people aged 50 to 59 who admit to using illicit drugs in the past year nearly doubled from 5.1 percent in 2002 to 9.4 percent in 2007 while rates among all other age groups are the same or decreasing, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported.” (FoxNews.com - Aug. 19, 2009)
Self-discipline is uncommon in our nation. Those youth seeking to follow God and set an example for believers in life will be noticed if they live a life of selflessness. Their sacrificial lifestyle, their willingness to give themselves wholeheartedly to their work, will shine brilliantly in this dark world.
“Let your light shine before men,” Jesus said, “that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, NIV)
While it’s true that salvation “is by grace…not by works, so that no one can boast.” It is also true that you “are…created in Christ Jesus to do good works...” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)
Kids, teens, young adults – set an example for your parents, your grandparents, your older friends. Do the good things God created you to do. Work hard, not only when your boss or your parents or your teacher is watching to win favor, but all the time. “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men…” (See Ephesians 6:5-8 for more.)
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