HANDOUT FOR SERMON: YOUNG PEOPLE – DOING THINGS GOD’S WAY. The Essentials for making the right choices early in life. July 23rd, 2023, Manchester, TN 9:30 a.m.
INTRODUCTION: I want all those who are young adults, teenagers and kids to know there is an amazing joy in and with following Jesus Christ! In fact, it doesn’t matter what age you are. As an adult I know growing up is difficult! Parents often have enormous expectations of their children. Sometimes they may even have unreasonable expectations. In my lesson today I will be speaking primarily to young people and helping them to understand that God does notice them and that He cares greatly about them and has good advice for them. It is tough growing up in our society today. How can we help our young people navigate through this culture of worldliness and still make the right choices and be good! There is joy in following Christ, no matter what age you are!
1.LIFE IS A STRUGGLE, THE STAGES OF CHRISTIAN STRUGGLES.
• The struggle to get our lives together (the young)
• The struggle to give our lives away. (the middle age)
• The struggle of giving our deaths away. (the elderly)
These three phases of struggles compare to the levels of growth in discipleship:
• Essential growth.
• Mature growth.
• Radical growth.
Young people have it rough, they have it tough (not so much physically but more so socially, emotionally, and mentally. In our lesson today I want us to study “essential discipleship” which basically means developing oneself to do things “God’s way!” Every parent, aunt or uncle, grandma or grandpa in this room understands what it means to be young, because they all were young. They know what you are going through because they also did! I want to encourage every young person in this room to turn to your parents, talk with them because they know best.
Young people are filled with all kinds of internal emotions, ideas, turmoil and confusion.
• Energy: Full of fiery energy of youth.
• Eros: the sheer pulse of life.
• Sexuality- the brute force within us.
• Restlessness-choosing the right path for me!
• Loneliness- the fear of not finding the right companionship. Feeling distant from intimacy and acceptance.
• Self-esteem-trying to figure out one’s value. Each person wants to be valued.
• Moral Fervor- having a heart for some cause or purpose. (Join a club or a cause to save something.)
• Nostalgia- finding home again (your home) yet it will resemble the way things were before in the home you grew up in.
2. ESSENTIAL DISCIPLESHIP & THE STRUGGLE TO GET YOUR LIFE TOGETHER. This is that stage of accountability, one’s early teens. Young people must learn essential things about being godly. This can be a difficult stage with lots of things for youth people to figure out and put together. Scripture: Proverbs 1:8-10, 1 Timothy 4:12-13, Ecclesiastes 11:1 & 9, Ecclesiastes 12:1-2
How can our young people navigate through the culture of worldliness and selfishness, and still be good?
• Build your own relationship with God through prayer. Philippians 4:4-9 Our young people must be taught about prayer, private prayers, and devotion. This will be how they can develop faith and eventually a strong faith, their own faith! I want you to know you can take ALL your fears, uncertainties, and your pains to the Lord. You can dump it all on Him and trust that He will give you peace and the wisdom that ONLY HE CAN give to calm your uneasy heart. Having good parents is a plus but that does mean you will choose the Lord, each young person will in the end make the decision for their life. Having the counsel of good parents can help!
• Charity and Justice. Galatians 5:22-6:10 It is now that you must plant the “seeds” of kindness, love, justice, and goodness in your heart. Be this way towards others, even though others may not deserve it! If you lose compassion, generosity, and love in your youth, you will most likely never become such in your adult life. Tell yourself: “God has put me here in this world to change the world, to share and care about others, to spread goodness and justice among fellow mankind! You see, it is NOT all about YOU! Or ME! God gave me a home to share, a job to provide for others and children to be salt and light in the world!
• Involvement with a Local Church. Ephesians 4:11-16 Become a part of the Lord’s Church, join a wonderful new family! Get involved! Go to Bible class, participate, discuss, share and encourage. Young people can be a great example to both young and old.
• Forgiveness and Be Mellow Hearted. Luke 15:11-32 (the prodigal son story) How many people between 20-60 years old do you know who are NOT mellow and have difficulty forgiving someone in the name of the Lord and moving on? Lots of Christians struggle with forgiving others in the manner and the way God our Father does. Yet He expects us to follow His and His Son’s example. Let us raise our children to truly forgive, but they must first learn it and see it from us. Let us raise our children to be calm and mellow people. The prodigal son, at the end of the story, “comes to his senses” and admits to himself “I have not been controlling my impulses.” (v.17-21) The older brother was all about SELF! Grownups often struggle with a sense of humility, joy, forgiveness and moving past things. We battle with these constantly. Conclusion: BE OPTOMISTIC ABOUT LIFE!