God Uses Young People
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
God Uses Young People
"Some of the greatest men of the church were Christian lives consecrated to God from youth.
- John Wesley was a student at Oxford when he founded the Holy Club.
- Martin Luther was 27 when he embraced the passage and was inspired throughout his ministry with the text "The just shall live by faith."
- John Calvin, at age 24 was already proclaiming his message in Geneva.
- George Whitefield was 21 when he moved to England as an evangelist.
- Jeremy Taylor, at age 18 left the men gaping at the Cathedral of St. Paul when he preached.
- Dwight L. Moody, at 20 years was a powerful evangelist who moved to the United States.
- Hudson Taylor at age 21 began the missionary work of a lifetime in China
These young men and many others, launched from their youth with the desire to make their lives count for God with fervent devotion dedicated to Christ.
Solomon wrote: Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say,“I find no pleasure in them”—Ecclesiastes 12:1
Joseph was only 17 when he was sold into slavery by his brothers and ended up a slave in Egypt. He was only 30 years old when he became second in command to the Egyptian Pharaoh. He was given the tremendous responsibility of seven years of laying aside grain in such a way that people could eat, but still have enough stored when the seven years of famine would come.
Jesus was only 30 years old when he began the most important ministry that would happen in the history of the earth. At the young age of 33, he would die on the cross and be raised from the dead making the way of salvation for the whole world.
Paul sent young Timothy to perform a very important ministry in Ephesus and other new churches. We don’t know his age, but he was so young that Paul wrote to him, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
Many young people in churches today wander away from the church and even their faith, feeling disillusioned because they have determined that the church of Jesus Christ has lost track of her mission. They sometimes think that God has no use for them because the church is for “old people and children.”
As you can see from prior words that young people are crucial to God’s plan for the world. God has used young people in their early years to accomplish great things. I have known a number of people who wandered from God during their youth years and were finally restored to God many years later who looked back with great sorrow to see how much they missed.
Statistics show that a large percentage of young people leave the church when they get out of high school and into college of work life. They don’t have time for God or they no longer see it as relevant anymore.
This is why it is vital to teach our kids the Bible and the relevance of God’s Word to their lives. We must also show them how to take part in ministry so they can already see how God can use them early on. Parents must show their children and teens a strong example of faithful living so they won’t decide that Christianity is filled with hypocrisy. And, those parents should also encourage their kids to be active in the Lord’s work so they will continue into adulthood with that same passion.
A church without young people is a church without vitality. This is why leadership in the church, from pastors to elders to deacons, must pay close attention to the ideas and needs of teens and young adults and be willing to even change for their sake, even when we don’t fully understand or even agree with their ideas.
I am excited about the young people at FCC and pray that they will continue to grow into leadership and prominence in our church family and ministry. Let us keep encouraging and blessing them in every way we can.
God bless the youth of the Lord’s church!
This Sunday we will continue our series of messages titled Any Nobody Can Become Somebody The transformative power of God in people with a sermon titled Promoted and based on Joseph’s life in Genesis 41. I hope you will come and see how God blessed and used this young man after he had prepared him through a series of troubled times.
Blessing our youth with you,