Author: Nathan Kroon | Student Leader, Living Education – Charlotte, 2022-23
Estimated Reading Time: 7 min.
Mr. Kenneth Frank spoke to the students of Living Education – Charlotte about something that pertains to all of them: youth.
First, he mentioned that “the Bible is big!” It contains a total of 66 books—39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. Inside, it addresses God’s commands for people of all age groups. An important thing to understand about the people of these ancient times is that they had a different idea of “youth” than we do today. It was defined by strength and vigor, rather than simply age. Benjamin, for example, was called a youth at the age of 30. Joshua was also called a young man at the age of 40. In the times of the Old Testament, you could go to war at 20, as well as be taxed. The book of Proverbs has a lot to say to young people. “Man” is the most used word in the book, and “Lord” the second most. It emphasizes heavily the relationship between man and God, making it an important read for young people. What imperatives can younger people learn from the whole of the Bible?
As we get older, we gain wisdom. Unfortunately, this means that younger people are more likely to be led astray in their morals and beliefs, especially in this day and age. Psalm 119:9 tells us, “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.” If a young person is consistent in their Bible study, they will have a better chance of staying strong in the faith. Memorizing scripture is beneficial to us, as well.
- Praise God
In the words of Psalm 148:5, “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created.” It’s important that we praise God. After all, He has provided us with countless blessings in our lives—some that we may not even think too much about. Sometimes, in our prayers, we may get too swept up in making our requests known to Him and forget to make praise to Him. We should follow the example of the model prayer found in Matthew 6. Notice how the requests (“Your kingdom come. Your will be done”) are sandwiched in between praises (“Hallowed be Your name…. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever”). Follow the structure presented to us directly from Christ!
- Honor Your Parents
To “honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12) is the Fifth Commandment, which Paul called the “first commandment with promise” (Ephesians 6:2), because God promises that our lifespan will be increased if we follow it. Mr. Frank stressed that we should especially make the effort to honor them while they are still alive, because our Creator did not intend for people to live forever physically.
- Fear God, Trust Him, and Seek Him
“Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing” (Psalm 34:9-10). If you fear God and diligently seek Him, He will make you prosper! Hopefully, you are throwing your entire life into God’s hands. If you serve God your whole life, you will understand things most people are not able to. Seek wisdom and a godly way of life. Proverbs 8:1 says, “Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice?” Notice the use of the word “her.” Wisdom is personified as one of the two prominent “women” of the book of Proverbs—the other being a crafty harlot (Proverbs 7), representing the ways of the world. Which one will we allow to influence us? Let it be godly wisdom!
- Rejoice in Your Youth and Put Evil Away
Many young people today are more likely to suffer from depression and other mental illnesses, in part because of overexposure to things like social media. As was stated earlier, younger people are more likely to turn away from a godly way of life. Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 tells us:
The earlier we diligently seek God in our lives, the more we will spend our lives rejoicing. After all, youth is temporary, so why spend it in sadness and regret?
- Forget the Shame of Your Youth
People are often deeply ashamed of the sins that they committed in their youth. The Bible tells us we are not to be ashamed of sins that we have since repented of, as is seen in Isaiah 54:4: “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth.” Those that have a hard time getting over past sins should know that God will not hold those sins against them if they repent.
- Bear the Yoke of Responsibility
God is good to those who choose to bear godly responsibilities, enduring in them until the return of His Son. As we read in Lamentations 3:25, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.”
- Be Sober-Minded
In Titus 2, we read about some of the qualities of a sound Church. Paul exhorted young men to be “sober-minded.” Some younger people fail to see the importance of taking their life seriously, and suffer the consequences because of it. A sober mind draws us closer to our Father.
- Submit to Spiritual Elders
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 5 that younger people should submit to their elders, keeping a humble mind and attitude, “for ‘God resists the proud.’” Those who still have the strength and vigor of youth should not think of themselves as greater than those who are older and have a depth of understanding younger people have not yet attained.
- Overcome Satan
In the same chapter in 1 Peter, Satan is described as “a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” He will not hesitate to corrupt anything he can get his hands on. Therefore, we have to be strong in order to fight back. How can we make ourselves stronger? Mr. Frank tied his last point back to his first: study! We should never fail to come back to our spiritual relationship with our Creator. Biblical study must be personal, so that our one-on-one relationship with Him grows stronger daily.
God did not omit certain age demographics from His instruction. If we consider ourselves young, we should take these points to heart! If they do so, young people can truly achieve great things for God.
Nathan Kroon is a Student Leader at Living Education. He originally hails from Washington State, and is a 4th generation Christian. Currently, he works at Headquarters as a Video Editor, and is the Lead Landscaper at the LivingEd dorms. His hobbies include playing guitar, listening to music, drawing, and watching movies.