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While there are certainly good things about every stage of life, it is true that youth is an especially good time to enjoy and be grateful for. Solomon said, "Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, 'I have no pleasure in them'" (Eccl. 12:1). Later in life, when the difficult days have come and the years have drawn near when we have no pleasure in them, it is gratifying to be able to recall the days of youth and remember not only that we enjoyed them, but that we were mindful of our Creator in those days and enjoyed our youth within His will. A godly youth is a great storehouse of pleasant memories.
Let's spend some time this week considering the importance of youth as a time of dedication to God. Indeed, youth is a time to love God and be faithful to Him. If there is a sense in which youth is the "prime" of life, there is a good argument that can be made for giving those premium years to the Lord -- rather than spending them on our selfish indulgence and then giving the Lord whatever years are left over. The song "Give of Your Best to the Master" has some good advice: "Give of your best to the Master, give of the strength of youth; throw your soul's fresh, glowing ardor into the battle for truth" (Howard B. Grose). In whatever ways youth is the "best" time of life, shouldn't we give that "best" to the Lord?
Youth is a time when unique contributions can be made to the Lord's work. There are things our young people can help us with in the local congregation that they can do better than anybody else. We need the things they can do so well, just as they need the wisdom of their elders. Our congregations will be better able to carry out the Lord's work when we fully employ the energies and skills of our younger ones.
Let's be positive about our young people -- and encourage the highest and best that is in them. Let's make sure they know how important they are to the Lord and to us. And let's meditate on the qualities of youth -- such as zeal and vigor -- that the rest of us should determine to hold on to. Let's be thankful for youth!
Monday: Psalm 119:9-16
Key Idea: When we are young, God's word can keep us in the right path.
Questions for Family Growth: In v.9, what does it mean for a young person to "cleanse his way" (KJV)? According to v.9, how can a young person do that? What does v.11 suggest that we should do with God's word?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 11:14.
Tuesday: 1 Samuel 16:1-13
Key Idea: Faithful young people are valuable to God.
Questions for Family Growth: Out of all of Jesse's sons, why might he not have thought of David as a possibility for the new king? Even though David was still young, what was special about him? In regard to David's character, what is said about him in 1 Sam. 13:14.
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 11:15.
Wednesday: 2 Timothy 2:22
Key Idea: When we are young, we should stay away from certain kinds of temptation.
Questions for Family Growth: What kinds of temptation might be called "youthful passions"? How does one "flee" from them? What does this verse say we should pursue? With what kind of heart should we call on God?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 11:16-21.
Thursday: 2 Timothy 1:3-7; 3:14-17
Key Idea: It is important to remember what we have been taught from God's word.
Questions for Family Growth: Where had Paul first met Timothy? See Ac. 16:1,2. What kind of reputation did Timothy have? What kind of training had he had? How does one "continue" in the things he has learned?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 11:22.
Friday: Ecclesiastes 11:9,10; 12:1,13,14
Key Idea: We should remember our Creator in the days of our youth.
Questions for Family Growth: What are some things about youth that we should rejoice in? What does it mean to "remember" God in our youth? According to 12:13,14, what should be the main object in our lives?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 11:23.