Author: Yolanda Watt | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2021-22
Estimated Reading Time: 6 min.
Mr. Kenneth Frank opened his lecture to the Living Education students by stating that the Bible is a very big book and has many instructions in it that are geared toward young people.
Throughout this lecture we focused on God’s imperative to young people on how to seek Him. Mr. Frank quoted from a brief article in McClintock and Strong: Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, by John McClintock and James Strong which states “the ancients considered youth in a much more extended view than we do. They regarded it relatively with strength, activity, vigor; and while a man retained those attributes he was reckoned a young man, or a youth, without reference to the number of his years.”
Mr. Frank then gave examples of men who were referred to as youth or a young man, regardless of his age such as Benjamin who was in his thirties and Joshua who was in his forties. The young lack the wisdom and experience of the elders and therefore they are repeatedly considered in the book of Proverbs as “sons”. There are times that the Proverbs describe the young as being simple. This is not meant to be an insult but is used to describe one who is inexperienced. God gives many instructions to young people throughout Scripture, as Mr. Frank explained. In the remainder of the presentation, he highlighted fourteen of these “imperatives” in the following list:
Fourteen Imperatives for Young People from the Bible
1. Study God’s Word
We are told in Psalm 119:9-16, that in order to cleanse our way and not sin we must study the Word. The cleansing here is a spiritual one which cleanses the mind and heart. It is vitally important for us to know God’s word in our hearts so we can strive to overcome sin. The more we know of God’s instruction, the less likely we are to stray away from it.
We must also meditate on God’s word. When we meditate, we do not empty our minds like in Eastern meditation, but we fill our minds with God’s instructions. We see examples of this in Psalm 71:17-18 and Job 29:1-5.
2. Praise God
In Psalm 148:1-6, 12, is the admonition to praise the Lord—beginning with the angelic host, the creation, and finally young men and women. All people, regardless of social status, are united in that we should all praise God. In the model prayer of Matthew 6:9-13, Christ set the example that even our prayers should begin with praising God, followed by our request, and end with praising God again.
3. Honor your parents
This is a command listed in Exodus 20:12. We are to always honor our parents, regardless of our age. However, as young people we should especially consider that parents have given us much, and God expects us to honor and respect them.
4. Obey your parents in the Lord
Ephesians 6:1-3 commands us to obey our parents, and as Mr. Frank explained, this applies as long as we are under our parent’s roof. When we are married and move away the relationship with our parents changes, because now we are bound to a new family with our spouse. To obey means that we recognize the authority of those who are over us.
5. Fear God
We are commanded in Psalm 34:11-14 to fear God. Fear involves revering, and being in awe of God, but it also involves being afraid to disobey God and break His commands. There is a danger in not fearing God and that should motivate us to fear Him. He has the power of life and death over us. The fear of God is also defined as the beginning of wisdom in Proverbs 9:10 and in Proverbs 8:13 it is defined as hating evil.
6. Trust in God
In Psalm 71:5-6, we see the psalmist was loyal to God from his youth. God should be our trust as it was for this psalmist.
7. Seek God
In Proverbs 8:1-2, 12-17, wisdom is depicted as a lady who extends an invitation to the inexperienced to learn from her. She promises life and not death, and she is very public and spiritual.
8. Rejoice in your youth
Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 admonishes us to rejoice in our youth, while we are yet physically able to gain a variety of experiences.
9. Put evil away
We are also admonished of this in Ecclesiastes 11:9-10. We are to let the timely recollection of God’s judgment and the fleeting nature of youth influence our conduct, and to stay away from that which will cause lifelong sorrow and regret.
10. Forget the shame of your youth
In Isaiah 54:1-5, God is telling Jerusalem that when she repents and returns to Him, He will have mercy on her and help her forget the shame of your youth. If we have made mistakes in our past, we can turn to God with a repentant heart and put those things behind us to we can move forward in our lives.
11. Bear the yoke of responsibility in your youth
In Lamentations 3:25-27, we are admonished to accept responsibility and work hard in our youth.
12. Be sober minded
In Titus 2:1-8, we see that we are to be sober or wise. This admonition is geared towards the older men and women in teaching the younger to be sober.
13. Submit to spiritual elders
In 1 Peter 5:1, the apostle urges his audience to submit to their spiritual elders. The elders have the responsibility to feed the flock and to set good examples. The young must submit to elders, which could be either the physical elderly or it could be the spiritual elders, our ministers.
14. Overcome Satan, the devil
1 Peter 5:8 warns us to be sober and vigilant because our enemy is always looking for a way to accuse the brethren. We also read 1 John 2:12-14, where John as an elder writes to the church encouraging the young to be strong because they have overcome the wicked one. As Mr. Frank brought out, this instruction also connects to his first point—to study God’s Word.
God provides directions and instructions for young people. We, as young adults, have the potential to achieve great things for God in our years of service to Him by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Work of God’s Church depends on the next generation being properly trained. The students were encouraged by Mr. Frank to enjoy the special time we have and to make the most of our fleeting youth, as it will serve well for the rest of our lives in our service to God and to His Church.