"A WORD FOR OUR YOUTH"
"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth" -Ecclesiastes 12:1.
Remembering is a challenge for each of us every day. I usually carry a pocket full of notes to remind me of my daily obligations. Many times I forget to look at those very notes. It seems that we are prone to remember the things that do us the most harm, the things that we should forget, and forget the things that would do us the most good, those things that would bring us joy. In computer terms, each day we should purge our hard drive of harmful information and run a scan disk, placing usable blessings before our eyes. But of all the things we should remember, the Lord, our 'creator', should be at the top of our list. He should be remembered in every thought(Psalm 19:14), in every word(Psalm 19:14), in every action(II Cor. 5:10), and every place that we go(Psalm 1:1). According to Solomon, the time that this discipline should begin is "in the days of our youth."
The book of Ecclesiastes is written by the wisest man that ever lived, other than our Lord. His name is Solomon. It is a book written in his old age. It is written in the spirit of repentance as he reflects back upon his life and remembers the mistakes he made as he tried to find happiness from worldly things and pursuits. He found that those things, without the Lord, were vanity and vexation of the spirit. Without God, money, possessions, servants, and land were empty and vain. In this verse, he addresses the young, in their "youth", as much as to say, "I've learned all this from the school of life and I want to share it with you so that you will not make the mistakes that I did. True happiness will not be found in those things." Sounds like mom and dad, doesn't it? His desire was to keep the 'youth' from falling into the same traps of Satan as he had done. The best way, says Solomon, is by remembering "thy creator".
But what are those things our youth are to remember? The things that Satan is trying so hard for them to forget, of course!!! Turn on the television, the radio, or pick up a magazine, and Satan's advertisements are bold and clear: (1) To rip up all other foundations, let them first forget that God created the heaven and the earth; (2) Forget that your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost and that physical relationships, which are biblical, are between a man and a woman, and that after marriage; (3) Forget that you will reap what you sow, there are really no consequences to your actions; (4) Forget to pray. You are the master of your own destiny. Whatever you want to be, you can obtain by your own might and wisdom. You do not need God's smiling approval; (5) Forget to read your Bible, God does not expect the youth of the 20th century to do that any more, after all, televisions think for you; (6) Forget that Sunday is the Lord's day. The world calls you and demands your undivided attention; (7) Forget that every blessing that you have enjoyed came down from the Father of lights; (8) Forget to respect your parents and the elderly, the universe revolves around you; (9) Forget that Satan is real, a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Make his job as easy as possible; (10) Pattern your life after rock stars and movie stars rather than Jesus Christ. Popularity is more important than joy in the Lord; (11) Forget that this life has an end, not only for yourself, but also for those that you love. Your day is coming. What will be said about you when you are gone? Dear youth, can you remember these things?
Let me give you six quick reasons why the Lord should be remembered early in life, "in the days of thy youth." (1) God tells you to in His word. If you believe God, that is the best reason; (2) Youth are the prime target of Satan, especially if he sees something good in them. The best time to ruin a tree is when it is a sapling; (3) What you do in your youth can keep you awake later in life and disturb your peace; (4) What you do in your youth has lifetime implications. One wrong decision can affect your whole life; (5) What you do in your youth, most times, will become a habitual way of life; (6) God notices children and the youth. His eye is upon you as well as your parents.
Remember these things and you will be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season, your leaf will not wither and whatsoever you do will prosper.
Come to worship with us at HARMONY PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday morning. Phone 501-337-1115.
Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor.