By: Tim Sader
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
During my time recovering from back surgery I learned that the Lord helps us in our troubles. One way He provided for me was through the people that helped me and saw to the needs of our family. We attended a small church at that time called Clover Christian Fellowship; they made meals and ran errands for us while my parents were busy seeing to my care. I was one of the few teens who hadn’t graduated out of youth group and would start college in the fall. My older friends from youth group visited me in the hospital. Our leader Mike brought me a scripture book so I could more easily find verses concerning whatever topic I needed to know about. Every night of the week different ladies would drop of delicious meals at our house. Mom’s good friend Sabrina would go shopping for stuff I needed like Jello, soup and juices. While at our house she got to know the neighborhood kids and she talked with my friend Joseph about coming to church with me. Finally he agreed to come when she bribed him with buying a video game that he wanted. He and I were basically leaders on our street so after a couple weeks there were a half dozen of us coming on Sunday nights. After Mike stepped down there was no youth leader for the teens so we helped Sabrina with the smaller kids. Every Wednesday and Sunday night the group of teens grew until different members of the leadership and youth alumni would oversee this next generation. After several months of confusion Pastor Dorning was taking classes with an aspiring youth minister that he recruited. The church requested that all of us teens would come on a Sunday morning because they were doing something special for us. Most of us showed up early; the special guest that day was Steve Liscum and after he preached a captivating message they announced him as our youth pastor. We were his first youth group so he wasn’t much older than I was. Everyone knew he was in charge but we also felt that he was a best friend or older brother with whom we could tell anything and know that we would be safe.
Many in this Clover youth group were unfamiliar with Christianity and hadn’t grown up in the church. Steve knew to start with basic lessons from the bible so everyone could understand about the Lord and so he would know what we knew. He made it so that we wanted to put our hope in the Lord and be confident in our faith for the rest of our lives (Ps. 71:5). Each of us formed a special bond with Steve, he learned what we liked and would encourage us to reach for our greatest potential. He saw a vision for our future that I am not certain we could always see for ourselves. We had a lot of fun in youth group and as we grew closer the Spirit would show up and all of our lives were impacted by these moments with the Lord. As He impacted us bad relationships improved and we truly helped one another through many hard times (Acts 2:17-18). At that time we would turn from evil desires to pursue faith, love and keep the peace so we would be pleasing to the Lord. We stopped using bad language and avoided arguments instead of looking for them. We wanted to grow as a group so we learned and would accept others without resentment toward them (2 Tim. 2:22-24). Every year we would go to Acquire the Fire youth confrence where we would be challenged to live radical christian lives and to be World Changers. We wanted to demonstrate our faith in action, love and purity. Many of us gave up our worldly interests and possessions to devote more of our lives to the Lord. Steve was never harsh to us even if we deserved him to be at times; we were like younger brothers and sisters to him (1 Tim. 5:1). We were humbled to our fearless leader because we trusted him to lead us to the Lord so we would look to Him and be lifted up (1 Pt. 5:5-6). This group changed the direction of many lives and in the midst of our thirties, though we’ve been shaken we haven’t departed from our faith.
Have we honored those who sacrifice their lives to help us find the Lord? They have given us a priceless gift that cannot be taken from us unless we let it go on our own. We need to first think about our general life path before the Lord and be thankful for those moments that changed our way, pointing us in the right direction. Not every good thing ends the way we think it should but if we hold on to the lessons we learned the only place to go is forward. The only real gift we get to give is the Lord so all of us can be more like Him and so we can be World Changers.
Lord I thank you for the times I have humbled myself to godly leadership so that I could continue to grow in my faith. Help me to let go of things that keep me from living a life where I can demonstrate my faith to others. Help me to always hope in You Lord so that I can make You my confidece and point the world to You. No matter my age Lord help me to feel your Spirit and to fearlessly do whatever You would want from me. In Jesus name, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16