The Choices of Youth

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11:23-27

With pride and joy we come to the day when high school seniors are recognized as having completed a course of study. We come to this day with praise for our Lord for his blessings upon us. We come with praise for those who have achieved success in this portion of their lives. We should offer gratitude and praise to teachers who have made their distinctive contribution. We come to this day with hope and anticipation, for the future holds great promise. We come to this day with earnest prayer for divine guidance for you as you begin making the decisions that will determine your destiny.
Life is made up of choices as well as consequences. There are some circumstances concerning which you have had no choice whatsoever. You could not choose your parents, and you could not choose the nation into which you were born. You could not choose the date of your birth or the world situation into which you were born. The past has been formed by the choices made by your parents and your response or reaction to these choices. Now a new door is opening for you. A new era is beginning. You will enjoy more freedom in the future than you have in the past. With this new freedom will come a great increase in responsibility. I hope today that you are mature enough to accept responsibility for your choices.
The new world you face can be exciting and satisfying. The road you choose will lead to your destiny. Your responses to circumstances will determine your decisions. It is only proper that your pastor and your parents come to this day with prayers for you.

1) We pray that you will choose to serve God rather than mammon.
“Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24). We live in a secularized world where the scientific approach to life is emphasized. Great emphasis is placed on achieving material success.
A Hindu merchant in Hong Kong was observed burning a candle before an image at the beginning of the business day. Inquiry revealed that he was making a sacrifice to the money god. He believed that the money god could give him financial success. He declared that this was the first thing on his agenda each morning. The world’s strong emphasis on economic success would encourage you to live your life dedicated fully and completely to the search for mammon.
Live for something more than profit.
Live for something more than position.
Live for something greater than power.
Live for something more than privilege.

2) We pray that you will choose to sow to the Spirit rather than to the flesh.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6:7-8).
In our flesh we are kin to the animal kingdom.
In our mind and soul we are related to God. While living in the flesh, in the world, we must recognize that our higher nature is in the realm of the Spirit. We are something more than intelligent animals walking around on two feet.
The person is made in the image and likeness of God. He has an inner hunger that cannot be satisfied with anything except a knowledge of and a relationship to the Creator God.
As you give attention to preparing your mind, do not forget your soul. Determine that you will not be content with a childhood concept of God. As your knowledge of the world increases, make certain that your knowledge of God deepens and grows.

3) We pray that you will choose to enter the narrow gate of disciplined living rather than the broad way of shallow drifting.
“ ‘Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt. 7:13-14 NIV).

No one becomes a scholar automatically or accidentally.
Scholarship is the result of a desire that is followed by a decision to make diligent inquiry and comprehensive study of some field of knowledge. This requires discipline.

One does not become an outstanding athlete accidentally.
One may possess a wonderful physique and have splendid muscular coordination. However, these do not constitute athletic prowess.

One does not become a medical doctor merely because he has desire.
Desire must be matched with decision and discipline. To follow the course of study that leads to a medical degree requires that one eliminate many available electives and options.
The mighty minority who achieve significance are those who live a disciplined life. Jesus speaks of the gate being small and the way being narrow that leads to the abundant life. He has reference to that narrow gate of decisiveness and the disciplined life of dedicated living. No one can become a dedicated Christian apart from the discipline that makes the will of God the top priority of life.

4) We pray that you will choose to serve rather than to be served.

“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
How do you define success? Do you think in terms of stocks and bonds, farms and property? Do you think in terms of a beautiful home and the latest model automobile? Do you define success primarily in terms of the things that you can acquire and enjoy?
If you want to find the highest success possible, you must do so by defining success in terms of service to others. Jesus warned his disciples against the error of thinking of greatness in terms of exercising authority and control over others. He said, “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matt. 20:26-27). Jesus paints for us a word picture of a man who thought of success in terms of being served rather than serving. The rich farmer was eminently successful in planning and following a procedure that produced an abundance of material things. These things made it possible for him to be served by others. The divine verdict is that this man followed a policy of foolishness because he thought only in terms of himself. He forgot God, he forgot others, and he forgot eternity. He was living to be served rather than to serve (Luke 12:15-21).

5) We pray that you will choose the will of God as the road map for life.

“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
The will of God is not something to be avoided at all cost.
The will of God is not something that we must endure with dread.
God’s will is all-inclusive and comprehensive, and it leads to the highest possible joy and achievement in life.
God’s will is always ultimately best for us and best for others. God is a good God. He loves us to the extent that he gave his Son to die for us on the cross. All of his purposes and plans for us are purposes of love. To find the will of God for your life is life’s greatest discovery. To do the will of God in your life is life’s greatest achievement.

Now in Conclusion

As you face the future, I would suggest to you that Christ is the way for you. He is the way out from the guilt and from the power of sin. He is the way through an unknown, uncertain tomorrow. He is the way to abundant life, to the life that leads to the highest possible usefulness and happiness. Christ is the way to the Father. In all of your ways acknowledge him, obey him, follow him, and trust him.

God bless you all, Pastor Mike
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I like those two words you gave to the youth "decision and discipline ".
    Those words of Wisdom are what all ages from young to old , need to think on and take action. Thanks for this blog - it was wonderful!
    2143 days ago
  • JUDITH316
    Amen Pastor Mike, another awesome blog, I have been serving Jesus for 35 years, when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior the void in my life was filled once and for all. when people try and fill their lives up with things and not Christ there will always be a void, a sense of emptiness, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, He is the only way to fill that void that is in a person's life. Jesus loves all, He died once and for all to save all people, all that is required is to accept this awesome free gift of Salvation that only comes through Jesus, Jesus poured out His Life's Blood for all mankind so they could have their sins forgiven and be saved, what He did for me/for us He can do for all who Call Upon His Name! John 3:16
    2148 days ago
    Pastor Mike, Thank you for this blog!! My 17 year old gd Adelaide chose to follow Jesus in baptism...and that next to accepting Him as her Savior is choosing well. With God's guidance and a willing heart I pray that she will continue strong for God all her life decisions. Both she and her sister Josie are home schooled. Her sister on the other hand is in need of prayer. She is 19, should be graduated but stuck, and I believe is in depression. I have tried to talk to her and encourage her. Please pray for her. She is an intelligent and beautiful young girl. I know God will be her strong arm if 1) She chooses Him 2)Sows to the Spirit, 3)Goes through the narrow gate of discipline 4)Seek to serve Him. emoticon
    2151 days ago
    This blog is the end all for young, middle age and old alike, Jesus is for anyone and everyone at any age and all ages.

    Before I came to Jesus people were always telling me what was important in life and sometimes I would try some of the things that people said were all so important and other times I did not because I just was not interested in their important things.

    I came to the cross of Jesus and because of that meeting I now what is important in my life.

    But, we all have to make that decision for ourselves.

    Jesus gives us life and a reason to live life and full filling all the good plans that are their for us to full fill in His perfect will for us.

    His will for us is perfected before the foundation of the world.

    He knew us before the foundation of the world.

    He knows who will seek and come to Him.

    He knows everything all of the time.

    Jesus is the way maker and the enabler of us living life to the fullest of doing good to all never ceasing.

    Thank you so much PastorMIke for a life changing blog.
    2152 days ago
    Another great blog PastorMike. Keep up the good work. Lucinda
    2152 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    Jesus is the way!
    2152 days ago
    I wish someone had written this when I graduated from High School....such wisdom, love and understanding. Thank you once again Pastor Mike for sharing God's love for us all....I'll share this with the kids at church that are graduating.....
    2153 days ago
  • CHRIS3874
    I often reflect on the saying that youth is wasted on the young. Whoever wrote THAT had a lot of insight!!! I sure rue some of the stupid, stupid choices I made when I was young.
    2153 days ago
    Pastor what a beautiful blog. Something to think about.

    I understand what you say that it's not what path my parents leave for me. I've seen so much and know so much as I grew up about my family little did I know. I know why I was so different then everyone else not having parents but I have Jesus now and he is my Mother, My Father, My Husband and My God.

    I didn't have either parents but I Know that I'm in control of my life and just because society tells me different in many aspects of life whether it be a big family sitting at a table for Thanksgiving or doing things as a family for family day. It all doesn't matter if you don't have Jesus.

    I don't have much in my little home like a stove or a sofa because of my recent hiccup in my life but again I can sit on the floor and my opportunity to eat 100% raw is where I'm at and most of all I'm not starving and I'm happy.

    Thanks You Pastor for explaining that Narrow path for us to follow it's people like you that help me grow and see life differently. I'm happy to say that with all that has happened in my life with family/husband I know that's not important here on earth if you don't have Jesus I can't stress that enough.

    Thanks for the heartfelt and hitting home message, I am greatful!

    2153 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/1/2012 8:51:02 PM
  • -RUBIES-
    Pastor Mike, this blog is nothing less than excellent. It should be the graduation speech given at every highschool and college. But more than that, it is relevant for us all, no matter what stage we are at in our lives, there is something to take away and ponder.

    Thanks for letting God use you so mightily. My heart is full.
    2153 days ago
    As you might know Pastor Mike I have a senior this year. Your blog is exactly what I wanted to tell my son. Your beautiful way with words can't be matched. May I copy this for my son?

    I was one of the Blessed seniors that had parents who prayed & set me on the right path, along with neighborhood of people that cared about the kids.
    2153 days ago
    Wonderful blog, Pastor Mike!
    I wish all young people this May could read your blog.
    I am so thankful for the guidance I received as a senior to choose a self-disciplined life. It does take takes me choosing to "Just Do It"...and knowing I'm not alone in the path I take. I'm so glad Christ walked with me...never could have walked the path without him leading.

    So thankful for the times He carried me when I was not strong enough. How faithful He has always been!
    2153 days ago
  • KAYDE53
    This is what I would wish for all graduates! Wonderful blog! Bless all those who are graduating from school or college this year!!
    2153 days ago
  • BAKER1009
    Sounds like a great plan to me!
    Thanks, Pastor Mike, for another great blog!!
    2153 days ago
    Remember graduates, the best leaders are the greatest servants. Look at Jesus as your best example. And in the old testament:

    1 Kings 12:7 the elders told Rehaboam "And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. "

    Thank you Pastor Mike for your wonderful message as always!
    2153 days ago
    Thanks so much for this timely blog, Pastor Mike.
    It is one that I wish I could have read many years ago when I graduated.
    I hope you don't mind if I share this blog with the young people I know who will be graduating this year and those that need to hear this message. It says so much that I would like to share myself.
    Thanks again for sharing.

    2153 days ago
    What a timely blog. I will be sharing this with the youth I know.
    Blessings to you.
    2153 days ago
    Wonderful!! Just what I needed to share with my Daughter.
    2153 days ago
    Oh my, I can only say this is the message He wanted me to hear today.

    I am needing prayers for my son. He's in basic training and has a stress fracture of his right knee. He is still continuing on. I just neeed prayers that he takes care of himself and follows His will. Thanks.
    2153 days ago
    Beautiful and timely blog.
    My daughter is graduating from college next week.
    I will share this with her. Thank you! Have a Blessed Day!
    2153 days ago
    What a wonderful blog for the youth. I will make sure my Grandson reads this as he needs to follow the Lord.
    2153 days ago
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