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Maximizing Your Youth
Maximizing your Youth
- The period of life we call youth, maybe 13-20, maybe 13-30, is one of the most difficult of life.
- You are caught between the life of a dependent child and the independent life of an adult.
- While you have ambitions for the latter, you are not yet equipped with the wisdom for it.
- If managed well, youth can be one of the most productive and helpful times of your life.
- If managed poorly, it can and will be a very frustrating and painful period of your life.
- If managed poorly, they can cost you in many different ways over the rest of your life.
- If you blow these years, you can never have them back again. I wish I could have them back.
- David prayed in older age for God to forget sins of his youth, which you want to avoid (Ps 25:7).
- Remember the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards, which I gave you, to provoke your young spirits.
- The following points can be expanded many times to include more details, but you get the point!
- Are you committed enough, wise enough, energetic enough for success to creatively apply each?
REMEMBER YOUR CREATOR NOW (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
- Walk with God every day with prayer, confession, reading, memory, and singing.
- Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and love Him with all your heart, mind, and soul.
- The first rule for success in any life part is to obey and delight in God (Ps 37:4).
- Youth allows more opportunity to grow in grace than any other (I Cor 7:29-35).
- If you lay the foundation of a godly youth, the future is very rosy, by God’s grace.
- There are examples in the Bible like Joseph, Samuel, David, Daniel, Timothy, etc.
HATE THE WORLD (I John 2:15-17)
- You cannot love God and a worldly lifestyle, because they contradict (Matt 6:24).
- This is more than obeying parents about worldly things. Learn to hate it (Jas 4:4).
- The world is your enemy. They serve Satan, and he will use them to destroy you.
- The world is your enemy. They seduce your flesh, which will swallow your soul.
- The LORD Jehovah we love drowned and destroyed the entire place once already.
- Hate Miley Cyrus, overpaid athletes, shopping malls, movies, music, etc., etc.
LEARN THE WORD OF GOD (II Timothy 3:15)
- Timothy knew Scripture as a child, when his mother and grandmother taught him.
- It is God’s appointed means for cleansing the way of young men (Psalm 119:9).
- We have a simple Bible reading program of one chapter a day with devotional.
- There is more value in the Bible than anything you will ever own. Try Psalm 119.
- It is one of the most special assets you will ever have on many different levels.
- It can energize your soul, comfort your heart, and stretch your mind like no other.
FLEE YOUTHFUL LUSTS (II Timothy 2:22)
- Solomon warned young men to avoid youthful lusts that are vanity (Ecc 11:7-10).
- Youth creates an energetic collection of folly, pleasure, lusts, passions, boldness.
- What lusts? Fornication, debate, banquetings, envy, foolish talking, pornography, rebellion, heady, jesting, fantasies, revellings, gluttony, concupiscence, emulation, filthiness, froward, gainsaying, grudge, highminded, lasciviousness, naughtiness, railing, reviling, rioting, scorn, sobriety, self-love, superfluity, swelling, talebearing, temperance, vainglory, variance, whispering. Any more questions?
- Consider pornography briefly. Satan offers guys pictures of illusionary women to fan their lusts and he offers girls illusionary men in novels to fan theirs also.
- Flee does not mean play! Get away like Joseph! See Gen 39:12 and Prov 4:15.
- Flee does not mean think! Even the thought of foolishness is sin (Proverbs 24:9).
- Flee does not mean linger! Remember Lot’s wife (Genesis 19:16; Luke 17:32).
OBEY AND HONOR YOUR PARENTS (Ephesians 6:1-3)
- This rule will increase your peace, build your character, and prepare for marriage.
- The first authority relationship you meet in life will help you prepare for the rest.
- This simple rule has promises from God attached – a long and good life. Wow!
- This simple rule has God’s severity attached – severe judgment (Pr 30:17). Wow!
- And remember this, what goes around comes around. Be not deceived (Gal 6:7).
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PARENTS (Proverbs 29:19)
- They were once in their youth, and you better believe it. They have lived on both sides of your life; while you have lived only one side of it, and that ignorantly.
- They know more about life than you have forgotten. Experience is far above you.
- They love you more than anyone else ever will, even the perfect spouse you plan.
- Honoring your parents includes talking openly to them, or prepare for judgment.
SEX IS FOR MARRIAGE (Hebrews 13:4)
- Sex is one of God’s great gifts to humanity; but it is only for marriage, period!
- Anything leading toward sex must be rejected i.e. reading, movies, music, phone for talk or text, notes, dating, etc. Touching before marriage is totally dangerous.
- Every ounce of pleasure you steal before marriage will cost you a pound later.
- Sinful sex is one of the worst exchanges you can ever make. Read about Amnon.
- God invented love, sex, and marriage; He knows more and best over anyone else.
BUILD GOOD HABITS (Daniel 6:10)
- Daniel and David (Psalm 55:17) prayed three times a day, a very wonderful habit.
- Reading a chapter of the Bible or of Proverbs every single day is a great habit.
- Paying the Lord first and yourself second are required financial habits for success.
- Temperance, self-discipline, will make you a winner in every area (I Co 9:24-27).
- Make yourself learn to think of others instead of yourself (Phil 2:3-4; Heb 10:24).
LEARN CONTENTMENT (I Tim 6:6)
- Agur, a wise man, taught the noble goal of hating poverty and riches (Pr 30:7-9).
- The love of money or success will destroy your life in many ways (I Tim 6:7-10).
- Happiness and success are not more things, but contentment with your things.
- Fellowship with God is what will satisfy the soul (Psalm 73:25-26; Heb 13:5-6).
RULE YOUR SPIRIT (Proverbs 16:32; 25:28)
- Moods are a choice. They are a lazy, selfish, immature, hateful, and sinful choice.
- Being cast down may be allowed, but being destroyed is not (II Corinthians 4:9).
- I can list 1,000 great things about your life. Why are you down about nothing?
- Growth and perfection mean change; change requires correction. Do you love it?
- What do you know about life? Your parents have more marriage experience than you have breathing air. Listen to them. They know more and love you greatly.
CHOOSE ONLY GODLY FRIENDS (I Corinthians 15:33)
- Much of Proverbs is dedicated to avoiding foolish friends, who will destroy you.
- Successful men choose only good friends, which help you (Pr 13:20; Ps 119:63).
- This includes school, jobs, neighbors, hobbies, church, or anywhere people are.
- Read about David’s care in making sure his companions were good (Ps 101).
DEVISE YOUR WAY (Proverbs 16:9)
- Don’t wait for God to reveal His will with handwriting on the wall or sky!
- He gave you a mind and many counsellors, and you can devise your way by them.
- As long as you submit plans to Him, you can do anything you desire (Jas 4:15).
- Do you remember Ruth who chose to enter the gleaning business (Ruth 2:3)?
- It doesn’t matter as much what you do, as it does whether the Lord is with you.
TRUST IN THE LORD (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Put your complete trust in the Lord for the future, and do what you have today.
- Do not overwork or worry; He is willing to help those trusting Him (Ps 127:1-2).
- The Lord will take care of you in ways you cannot imagine, if you will seek Him.
- Do not think you have a better idea, for there have been many (Pr 12:15; 21:2).
FORGET THE PERFECT LIFE (Ecclesiastes 9:11)
- There is no perfect job, perfect spouse, perfect church, perfect pastor, etc.
- A perfect job? Never! Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.
- A perfect spouse? Never! The best you will find is a sinner saved by grace.
- What does this mean? Do not fret about finding something that does not exist.
- Learn to measure your life the Bible way, as the study, Make Your Life Count.
LEARN A TRANSFERABLE SKILL (Acts 18:1-3)
- A transferable skill is the recognized ability to do something valuable that is needed everywhere; for example, nursing for girls and truck driving for boys.
- Job success, from a natural standpoint, depends on ability, experience, education, capital, contacts, or a combination. But the real rule for success is God’s blessing.
- Do not be content with cash flow from a job, for it will deceive you from success.
AVOID ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS (Proverbs 4:23)
- Romantic relationships will cause frustration, impatience, pain, and distraction.
- You have no right or wisdom to be attracted to one your father has not approved.
- Wisdom for marriage is defining godly criteria and sticking to them regardless.
- Emotional involvement with the wrong person is one of the worst traps of youth.
IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS (I Corinthians 9:26)
- Remember how Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself (Daniel 1:8).
- Settle all matters of holiness, parental obedience, spouse selection, etc. now.
- Remember how Paul did not care about anything past in order to win the prize.
- What do you want to be? Rich? Forget it! Think of godly and noble goals.
LEARN THE BOOK OF PROVERBS (Proverbs 1:4)
- How much would it cost to have the world’s richest and wisest man as your tutor?
- Solomon wrote it for the young (son 23 times), that they may learn wisdom early.
- It is filled with wisdom for every part of your life. See study, Proverbs Is for You.
- Your pastor works each day to send out one verse of this book fully explained.
- Do you remember Solomon’s priorities by “better,” “rather,” “more,” and “than”?
STAY BUSY (Ezekiel 16:49; Lam 3:27)
- An American adage says, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And it’s true.
- A cure for many teenage and youthful blues and frustration is more activity.
- Since you have energy and very few commitments, take on more responsibilities.
- Take more classes; get another job; work extra hours; take domestic assignments.
DON’T QUIT, BUT START OVER (I John 1:9)
- God will forgive and clear you faster than any (Is 55:8-9; Job 33:27-28; Pr 28:13).
- When you fail, as all Christians do, then confess your sins and start over again.
- Any thoughts of quitting and giving up are from the devil, not from the Spirit.
- Thankfully, there are many good examples like David of starting over with God.
- A just man may fall seven times, but he gets up again to get going (Prov 24:16).
- What will you do with this study? You should see where you are deficient and make changes.
- What is the goal of this study? Young people who fear God growing into God-fearing adults!
- Each point of this lesson could be expanded into larger studies, but the reminders are enough.
- This study was first presented to the youth on August 1, 2002. Again on July 29, 2015.