By His Grace: Re-ignite the fire for God in our young
Today's families are under an assault launched by the enemy of this world.
And our children and young adults have become the target.
I recently spoke with a friend regarding the church's struggles with youth participation. And it got me to thinking: What are the core issues to the absence of youths in attendance and leadership in the body of Christ. Studies show 70 percent of those 18-22 stop attending church. This is a pivotal time in our youth where they are searching for meaning in life. And if we are not careful, the enemy can and will step in to show them another way, which ultimately leads to lies and destruction.
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
Remember the saying, "Families that pray together stay together?"
Is there any biblical basis to its meaning? Yes.
"How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!"
"Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."
And where God is there is peace.
I can recall a time when families joined together regularly in in-home Bible studies. We were taught through our parents or perhaps grandparents the meaning of prayer, praise and worship. As children we witnessed the generation before us interact with Christ. It was through these moments a solid foundation was laid that eventually validated our relationship with him. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
The breakdown in today's society begins at home, which has our youth seeing the value of following Christ less important.
Bible study has been replaced with gadgets and electronics. We must be careful what our young engage in, because the enemy will distort the view of our young through violence and lies.
Fellowship in the family has been replaced by texting. How easy it has become for the enemy to use this tool to disengage our young from reading the word along with others to gain wisdom and knowledge.
And youth participation at church seemingly lost its appeal because it is no longer exciting and outgoing. What happened to vacation Bible school or exciting Sunday school? I can remember a time when I looked forward to Sunday school. The message of the teacher came alive.
What do we do to re-ignite the fire and rekindle the love of God in our youth?
We begin be setting the example God has set before us through Christ. Growing up in my household there was no negotiable discussion when we were to serve the lord. It was part of our DNA. There is danger for those who are left to their own accord and unwilling to serve God. It is not only mortal death, the separation of the soul from the body, but more importantly spiritual death, the separation of the soul from God.
As parents or custodians of children, we must take a stand against the enemy and do an unplug of all electronics. It is not abuse to encourage and instruct a child to read the Bible and hold a dialogue afterward. Rearing a child early on to respect and honor the sovereignty of God creates an unshakable foundation. Our family is to be taught through daily illustration by the head of the household the importance of prayer and dependence on the lord, to receive his love, to give love and become humble and righteous before him.
"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."
You may ask how to urge 70 percent to become great leaders in the church. Consider with an open mind stepping away from tradition and consider changes that appeal to the youth while staying in line with God's principles and truth. Do not be afraid of change. It brings growth.
Remember that God holds both parents and children accountable for their actions. Parents are held responsible to ensure their children are reared in godly ways, meaning conforming to the will of God and never by force but in love. And children are accountable to be obedient toward their parents. The word of God commands, "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you."
Until next week, go in peace and be blessed. Shalom.
Bible references: Psalm 133:1, Matthew 18:19-20, Proverbs 22:6, John 10:10, Exodus 20:12, Joshua 24:15. To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse.
Contributing Writer Edith Nevis can be reached at 985-857-2200 or at email@example.com. She just hit a four-year mark for her column and would like to hear from you if her messages have encouraged you in any way, so she may share your experiences.