There is no doubt that there are challenges in reaching our young people. Never before in the history of the world have there been so many ways to invite sinful practices into your living space! The internet has opened up a worlld that in previous generations our imagination could not have even taken us there!
So what do we tell our young people about the dangers of sin. The twelfth chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes is a good place to start – but is there more that can speak their language:
How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted. I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt Psalm 119:14 (MSG)
I love the way that Eugene Peterson gets to the essence of the message in words that anyone living today can understand. This passage does not come with hellfire and damnation, but it is a practical word to anyone who wants to live a clean and a holy life. In a few words it captures what you need to do – read the map of God’s Word; be single-minded in pursuit of Him; and watch for all the road signs that God posts. Yet, there is one more admonition here that I think is key. Young people need motivation – truth be told, we all need motivation – the last option of the verse explains why you do the first few -for there are promises in living for the Lord. By storing those promises in the “vault of (one’s) heart” – it is a reminder that will keep sin from bankrupting your life!
The astute take note. They become as Moses:
By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. He chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. He valued suffering in the Messiah’s camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff. Hebrews 11:24 (MSG)
Yes, there it is. We tell our young people that there is a payoff – a great payoff – not only in this life – houses and land – but in the next a royal kingdom! Give them some motivation!