July 21

Last week I made these statements to our older, more spiritually mature members:

Central to the growth and maturing of these young people, young Christians, and young adults, are loving, caring, unselfish, mature Christians who see their ministry as reaching out to others who are less mature in the faith to help them connect with Christ and with His church.  I am so thankful for the many, many mature saints we have here at South Fork, and appreciate so much your willingness to put your own needs and preferences aside for the sake of others who are at more vulnerable times in their faith journey.

This week I’d like to address some things to the younger ones among us.

Scripture acknowledges the important place young adults, even children, have in the eyes of the Lord and should have in the life of the church.  Jesus called on children to be brought to Him and used them to illustrate principles of the kingdom (Matt. 19:13-15; etc.)  The Old Testament called on young people to seek the Lord and serve Him even in their youth (Psalm 119:9-16; Eccl. 12:17; etc.)  The familiar passage from Paul calls on Timothy and others to refuse to let people look down on them because they are young but rather to be faithful examples to all (1 Tim. 4:12).

While this calls on those of us who are older to recognize the importance of younger Christians and to seek their growth and welfare before our own, it is also a call to those who are young in the faith.  The message is simple:

Don’t wait until you’re older to be faithful!

Sunday night in our lesson we spoke of a few people whose lives Jesus engaged and transformed.  We made some applications to ourselves, among them these two:

  • People should be transformed by how we live, just as they were transformed by how Jesus lived.
  • People should be transformed by who we are, just as they were transformed by who Jesus was.

What did you think of that lesson?  Oh wait, you probably didn’t hear it.  Very few did.  Some were involved in other good works of ministry.  Some were away.  Some were ill or for other reasons unable to be present.  Some just didn’t put priority on assembling with other Christians to praise the Lord, encourage and be encouraged, and study and apply God’s Word.

Which of those is it for you on most Sunday evenings?

Today we are focusing on our children, and the great opportunities and amazing work being put into our children’s education plans for this fall and beyond.  With all of our good intentions and efforts, are your children seeing and hearing a different message at home?  One that by your priorities, actions and choices says that God and His work and His church are really not nearly as important as other things?

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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