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Welcome to the Pastor's Desk of
Senior Pastor Frank Douglas


 


Youth In Pursuit of God’s Will

(Luke 9:23-26; 57-62; Romans 12:1-2)

 

It is that time of the academic school year when children and youth embark on the quest for knowledge, which will increase their skills.  The school supplies and clothing have been purchased, waiting to be utilized.  The question is:  Are parents aware of what our children, and especially our youth will face throughout this school year? 

We are living in a world which embraces atheistic and humanistic theories and ideologies.  Our youth are constantly bombarded by sordid and salacious images in the visual media such as television and Internet.  These images are a clarion reflection of the immorality which has permeated all sectors of our society.  Our institutions of higher learning have been negatively impacted by the immoral and anti-God sentiments which are being taught and without restraint, espoused by many students and faculties.  Several of our students are presently and will be entering these institutions of learning.  Some of the ideologies and theories which are being taught in high schools and universities are based on these questions:  Does God exist? Is the Bible true or is it a book of legends?  How did the universe come into being?  What is evolution?  What is Darwinism? What is intelligent design?  In the midst of all these esoteric questions which are ubiquitous, there is one fundamental question which all youth must ask:  How do I live my life in a world that is anti-God?

This article is fundamentally geared towards teens and young adults.  However, it is applicable to all us.  Pursuing life according to God’s will requires us to renounce our selfish ambitions and purposefully prioritize a deep passion for our Sovereign God.  There are three significant truths which I will be exploring in this article.  These truths are: (1) Youth must renounce selfish ambitions and follow Jesus Christ; (2) Youth must understand discipleship is costly and (3) Youth must live their life according to God’s will.  So, join me as I examine these truths as gleaned from the text:

1.        Youth must renounce selfish ambitions and follow Jesus Christ (Luke 9:23-26).

Jesus asked two very ground-breaking questions that have echoed throughout the annals of Biblical and human history, and is still relevant today.  The two questions can be found in Luke 9: 18 and 20:  (1) “Who do the crowds say that I am?” (vs. 18b, NKJV) and (2) “Who do you say that I am?” (vs. 20a, NKJV)  Peter’s response inspired by the Holy Spirit was:  “The Christ of God.” (vs. 20b, NKJV)  Peter’s response illustrates that in order to follow Jesus Christ we must have a Holy Spirit’s inspired revelation from the Word of God, who Jesus Christ is and what is the true essence of Jesus’ relationship with God the Father.  Jesus confirmed His true identity and ensured His disciples were certain of His deity.  Jesus taught not only the reward of a relationship with Him, but the fellowship of following Him.  Jesus clearly outlines the requirements of following Him.  Like His disciples, youth must renounce selfish ambitions and follow Jesus Christ.  The question is:  How do you renounce selfish ambitions and follow Jesus Christ?  From the passage we can glean three lessons which Jesus taught His disciples:  (a) through self-denial (vs. 23); (b) through self-danger (vs. 24) and (c) through self-discipline (vs. 23).  Following Jesus requires youth to deny certain pleasures and enticement.  But this is not the extent.  There may be potential dangers in following Jesus Christ.  In addition, it requires discipline of time spent in the studying God’s Word, prayer and fasting.  These disciplines are essential for spiritual growth and development. 

2.        Youth must understand that discipleship is costly (Luke 9:57-62).

From the passage, Jesus makes the clarion call for disciples.  However, His pre-requisites are very direct.  Following Jesus Christ is only on His terms, not ours.  Discipleship is not always about the follower’s comfort but his commitment and consistency.  There are costs specifically attached to following Jesus Christ.  Youth, you may ask:  What are the costs to following Jesus Christ?  Let me highlight three costs to consider: (a) your personal decision (vs. 57b); (b) your personal destitution (vs. 58) and (c) your personal destiny (vs. 62).  Youth must understand that discipleship is costly.  Youth, there are some personal decisions that you must make now, in order to become an effective disciple of Jesus Christ.  These decisions may lead to a life of destitution.  These decisions may cause you great financial loss and sever some familial and friendship bonds.  But Jesus requires your complete commitment to Him.  Your personal destiny is not determined by your popularity in your social circle, but by your obedience to God’s principles as outlined within Scripture - His Word. 

3.        Youth must pursue life according to God’s will (Romans 12: 1-2).

Paul’s request to the Roman church is that through God’s mercies they are required to present their bodies in a specified way to God.  Youth, the culture in which you exist, should not dictate how you will live your life.  What deceptions should you look out for within the culture?  I will suggest three:  (a) this culture will entreat you to pursue a life devoid of the beauty of sexual purity and purposeful living, in a committed marital relationship; (b) this culture evasively presents the façade of true happiness being derived from drug use, but fails to show you drug addicted teens dying from drug overdose and (c) this culture will not worship, glorify and exalt God to His rightful place but will one day be judged by Almighty God.  Youth, God is not expecting conformity to culture but transformation by His Holy Spirit.  God is expecting youth to pursue their life according to His will.

So, what does all of this mean to me?  How do I apply these Biblical truths to my life?  As you are poised to begin a new school year, let me answer the question:   How do I pursue life according to God’s Will?  Let me suggest six ways:  (1) Youth must make a resolution to commit their life to God; (2) Youth must consult God in all of their decision-making process; (3) Youth must be consistent in their relationship with God; (4) Youth must not compromise their faith in God for the pleasures of this culture; (5) Youth must consider the Kingdom of God ahead of any life-long career choices; (6) Youth must learn how to counteract the culture by feeding on the Word of God and applying God’s eternal truths to their lives. 

Now we see that youth must pursue life according to God’s will requires renouncing selfish ambitions and purposefully prioritize a deep passion for a Sovereign God.  Finally, let me close by reminding us of a very familiar passage of Scripture:  “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, NKJV)

                    Pastor Frank Douglas

    


Pastor Frank Douglas

Lead Pastor






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