OceanSide church of Christ
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THE BENEFITS OF YOUTH
Victor M. Eskew
A. Many times the Scriptures delineate between young and old.
1. David’s words (Ps. 37:25)
I have been young, and now am old…
2. Rehoboam erred because he submitted to the advice of the young men instead of giving heed to the advice of the older men (I Kings 12:8).
3. In Titus 2:1-6, Paul gives instructions to “the aged men” (v. 2), “the aged women (v. 3), “the younger women” (vs. 4-5), and the “young men” (v. 6).
B. There are benefits that belong to both the young and the old. This morning, we want to examine some of “The Benefits of Youth.”
I. YOUTH HAVE TIME TO LEARN
A. The Bible admonishes us to get wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
1. Proverbs 4:7
Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get under-standing.
2. Proverbs 16:16
How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
B. Some things take much time to learn:
1. Intricate things take time to learn. One must begin with the basics and then acquire the intricate details (Ex., Holy Spirit).
2. Difficult things take time to learn. These require rigorous discipline over extended periods of time (Ex., The Revelation).
3. Some things are simple to learn, but the more they are studied, the more they are appreciated by the learner (Ex., baptism).
C. NOTE: Youth have time to learn from others.
1. Timothy learned from others.
a. He learned from his grandmother and his mother (II Tim. 1:5).
When I call to remembrance the unfeign faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grand-mother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
b. He also learned from his “father in the faith,” Paul (II Tim. 2:2).
2. Youth should heed Solomon’s instructions (Prov. 1:8).
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.
II. THE ABILITY TO DEVELOP AND BE USEFUL IN THE LORD’S SERVICE
A. Ecclesiastes 12:1
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.
B. There have been many older individuals who obeyed the gospel late and wished they had begun earlier.
1. Their fears will not allow them to lead in public worship.
2. Their lack of knowledge causes them to be hesitant to teach.
3. Their mistakes of the past will not allow them to take positions of leader-ship in the Lord’s church.
C. Starting young enables on to grow, mature, and mold self into a model Christian, a diligent worker, a humble servant, and a courageous leader for the Lord’s cause.
III. THE ABILITY TO MAKE SOME MISTAKES WITH MUCH ASSISTANCE
A. Youth usually have a lot of zeal, but they do not always possess the knowledge they need. Thus, they make mistakes: say things wrong, teach things wrong, do some wrong things, and display youthful lusts.
B. Youth can be easily led by others and sometimes they are led astray by others.
C. John Mark was a young man who made a mistake (Acts 13:13.
Now when Paul
and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to
1. Barnabas committed himself to John Mark (Acts 15:37, 39b).
determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark…and so Barnabas took
John Mark and sailed unto
2. This young man developed well in the Lord’s service. Eventually, Paul desired for him to be with him because he was profitable unto me for the ministry (II Tim. 4:11).
D. When youth make mistakes, someone needs to be ready to come to their aid, like Barnabas, to teach them and encourage them. Paul was there for Timothy and Titus (See II Timothy 1-2).
1. Don’t be fearful (1:7).
2. Don’t be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord (1:8).
3. Hold fast the form of sound words (1:13).
4. Be strong (2:1).
5. Endure hardness (2:3).
6. Study (2:15).
7. Shun profane and vain babblings (2:16).
8. Flee youthful lusts (2:22).
9. Avoid foolish and unlearned questions (2:23).
10. II Timothy 2:24-25a
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves…
III. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF YOUTH
A. No major commitments to others.
1. As one gets older, he makes major commitments to others: marriage, children, elderly parents, business associates. These things can and do demand time and attention that keeps one from focusing upon greater spiritual matters (I Cor. 7:32-34).
But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: but he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
2. Youth do not have these ties. They can come and go and do as those with commitments cannot: teaching, missionary trips, study, etc.
B. The ability to start adult life properly caring for their physical body.
1. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost. They are to be used to glorify God (I Cor. 6:19-20).
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
2. It is sad to see someone in their 50s and 60s suffering from health and emotional issues because they failed to take care of self: smoking, drinking, drugs, late nights, little exercise, fornication, and hard-living.
C. They have the ability to save money that can have a major impact for good upon the cause of Christ.
1. The trend of the younger generation is not to give to churches.
a. Baby Boomers (ages 35-55) are generous givers but do not tend to give to churches.
b. Baby Busters (ages 20-35) give very little money but tend to donate time.
c. Only 3 out of 10 “twentysomethings” donated to a church in the past year.
d. Middle-class Americans give away 1.2 % to 1.4% of their annual incomes.
2. Having money to give is an important element in the giving-process. Saving early can assist one in having money to contribute.
3. Two truths will always ring clear:
a. God loves a cheerful giver (II Cor. 9:7).
b. It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
A. Yes, youth has its benefits. Youth should cherish these benefits for they quickly pass.
B. There are many of us who are older or who are getting older who wish we could go back to our youth with some of this advice. We would do many things differently.
C. We exhort all of our young people to make it their goal to be as the psalmist who said (Ps. 71:5).
For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.
1. Boomers and Busters: As of 2001, Baby Boomers (ages 35-55) are generous donors but do not tend to give to churches. Baby Busters (ages 20-35) give very little money at all but tend to give volunteer time.30
George Barna, Churches Lose Financial Ground in 2000, news release by Barna Research Group, June 5, 2001.
2. Twentysomethings Give Less: “Only 3 out of 10 twentysomethings donated to a church in the past year, which is half the proportion of older adults (30 percent to 61 percent). (While twentysomethings generally have smaller income levels than their older counterparts, this measure has nothing to do with how much the person donates, but whether they contribute financially at all to churches).”40
George Barna, Twentysomethings Struggle to Find Their Place in Christian Churches, News release by Barna Research Group, September 24, 2003.
3. Giving from Childhood: People who do not give philanthropically as youngsters are less likely to do so as they mature and age.5
AAFRC Trust for
Philanthropy, Giving USA 2002: The Annual Report
on Philanthropy for the Year 2001,
researched and written at the Center on Philanthropy at
4. Charitable Giving (American Middle Class)
Ronsvalle, John L. and Sylvia. The
11 Tim Stafford, The Anatomy of a Giver: American Christians Are the Nation’s Most Generous Givers, but We Aren’t Exactly Sacrificing, Christianity Today, May 19, 1997.
21 George Barna, Evangelicals Are the Most Generous Givers, But Fewer than 10 Percent of Born Again Christians Give 10 Percent to Their Church, news release by Barna Research Group, April 5, 2000.