“For Thou art my hope, O Lord God: Thou art my trust from my youth…O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth” (Psalm 71:5, 17).
There is a great blessing in giving the Lord the best days of our lives.
In your youth give yourself to God for His service and honor. In your youth be out and out for Christ, be a good soldier for Him. Do not say in your heart, “Why shouldn’t I enjoy the world and its joys (pleasures) as others do?” Jesus, the Son of God beckons you to a nobler, more fulfilled life; He call us to self-sacrifice and devotion, in which you shall have joys beyond all that this world ever gave its servants.
Dear young Christian, the truly happy life is the one that is given to the Lord. There are more joys found in the service of Christ than in all the pleasures of the world. The appeal is to you now in your youth to devote yourself to Him. The Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy in this regard when he said, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
“I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth” (1 Kings 18:12).
What a wonderful statement by Obadiah! Solomon said: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). If we start our Christian life with this realization our path will be a happy one in serving Him.
A brother in Christ once said to a group of young believers: “You dear young people, in all the freshness and bloom of youth remind me of a very beautiful bouquet of flowers. Suppose you desire to present a very beautiful bouquet to a good friend. You purchase it, and it is so beautiful that you wish to keep it. But the third day you notice it is beginning to wither, and you hasten to give the faded bouquet to your friend. Do you treat the Lord this way? Give yourselves to Him while in your vigor and strength. Serve Him with your whole heart. Remember what He has done for you.”
How little do Christian young men and women appreciate the blessing of giving God their young—their best days—the strongest and heartiest time of their short life.
While speaking in a school in the Bahamas I noticed a large text hanging in the auditorium; this is what it said:
“I have more understanding than all my teachers:
for Thy testimonies are my meditation”
Interesting isn’t it, that the administration of a public school realizes that there is something more important than the learning acquired through the textbooks of men.
What is really going to make us wise, and give us the understanding for living in this world, is to read, meditate on, and obey the Bible. It is God’s guide book for the Christian life. Education is necessary and has its place, and we can, and should do our school studies for the Lord, and to the best of our ability. But don’t forget the most important study of all. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God…rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
The Lord Jesus “took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). There is much to meditate on as to His person and work as a man, both past and present. Here are just a few Scriptures to get you started on this Lord’s day, as we remember what He has done for us and the wonderful results of the work of Calvary.
“THIS MAN receiveth sinners” (Luke 15:2).
“Truly THIS MAN was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39).
“I find no fault in THIS MAN” (Luke 23:4).
“Away with THIS MAN” (Luke 23:18).
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through THIS MAN is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 13:38).
“THIS MAN, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood” (Hebrews 7:24).
“THIS MAN, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12).
One night a preacher said to an old man who had come several times to the gospel meetings, “Isn’t it time you turned to Christ for salvation?”
“I did tonight,” he replied. “I’m saved now.”
He then asked him how he knew this; was it because he had determined to give up his sinful habits and live a decent life?
He said, “No, it was while you were preaching I thought I saw God holding out His hand to me and saying, ‘I will receive you just as you are,’ And I just came.”
The old man came to God who is stretching out His hands to all, young and old, all day long. The Bible tells us, “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:3-6).
When we know God as our Father and Christ as our Savior we find that there are many things that we have been given, many spiritual blessings and resources. Here are just a few of them. Do some research through your Bible and you will find many more.
Redemption: “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
Eternal life: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
Peace: “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
An inheritance: “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance” (Ephesians 1:11).
A High Priest: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest” (Hebrews 4:14).
An Advocate: “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).
Hope: “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19).
An intimate friend of Lord Alfred Tennyson, British Poet Laureate, (August 6, 1809-October 6, 1892) was walking with him one day through the beautiful grounds and gardens of his estate. He was anxious to know, after all the beautiful things that the poet had written about Christ, how far he had a personal interest in the Savior. So he said: “What is the Lord Jesus to you?”
The poet carefully plucked a daisy from the lawn, and said, “All that the sun is to this flower, giving it life, strength, beauty and fragrance, the Lord Jesus is to me.”
What would you answer to a question like that? Would you be able to quote the words of the Old Testament bride: “Yea, He is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my Friend” (Song of Solomon 5:16). The Apostle Paul, said, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:8). He also said, “Christ is all (everything)” (Colossians 3:11). Can you say that?
There are four scenes where Mary, the mother of the Lord, is present but does not speak.
1. At the manger with the shepherds, she stands in silent wonder. “And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:18-19).
2. In the house with the wise men she stands silent in worship. “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him” (Matthew 2:11).
3. In the temple court with Simeon, she stands silent in contemplation as he prophesies. “And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against” (Luke 2:34).
4. Thirty-three years later at Golgotha she stands silent in sorrow. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother” (John 19:25).
It is the eloquence of golden silence that springs from a heart in tune with the mind and will of God the Father.
I recently noted an article on one of the great 19th century French painters, Anne-Louis Girodet, (January 5th, 1767-December 9th, 1824). In his later years he seemed to think that he worked best at night, and so to provide for light, he wore a wide-brim hat and positioned candles around the brim. Forty candles was the maximum illumination he needed. He also based his fees for commissioned work on the number of candles used during his work.
This made me think what the Lord Jesus said to His disciples while here on earth. “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:15-16). Just as the artist worked by letting the light of the candles shine on his canvas, so we are to shine for the Lord while in the spiritually dark night that envelops this world. “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).