Our pastor, Dr. Tony Taylor, delivered a powerful sermon a while back about our walk as Christians. His words have stayed in my thoughts. As he pointed out, we live for Christ or we live in the world, and we choose. A follower of Christ is identified by the characteristics of Christ. The world we live in offers so many viewpoints, ideologies, modalities, and philosophies, that many are blinded and distracted, even confused about morality, rightness, correctness, godliness. Yet, those who carry the name Christian know the truth and must from heart out, live in Christ. That means there is a clear distinction between Christians and all others.
Understandably, we live in a convoluted world where technology, television, and social media bombard all our waking hours. Where do our children find the correct world view, a sense of balance, a code of morality. Our pastor made it very clear that children learn from those adults they see at church, and from those who live in their neighborhood. The quandary that children and teens face is the opposition between God' s Word and how Christians live. Often what they hear and see is contrary to God's Word, thus the dilemma. They are blinded by our wrong example and distracted by the world they live in. Our children need to know Christ!
If we examine the verses below in Hebrews and in 2 Timothy, they describe exactly how the Word of God impacts lives, and to a heart open to God's direction, how lives are transformed into Christ-likeness. However, if the heart is closed, these verses fall on hardened hearts and closed ears.
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16
We all at times, myself included, fall short, refuse to obey, play deaf, or attempt to explain our lack of obedience to God, but what about those fragile souls, our children, who watch and model our actions? We blame so very much on young people, but where do they learn? God's Word sits in our homes on bedside tables, is taught in Bible Study, and preached about on Sundays. We hear it, or do we? We call ourselves Christians, but are we? God equips us to teach and live Godly lives, but the choice to do so is ours.
A young teen recently talked to me about depression and confusion. This teen was looking for answers. I am reminded of how the new churches, established after the ascension of Jesus Christ, were often distracted by false teaching. In 2 Timothy 4:3-5, Paul tells Timothy, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." We must not live confusing lives in the eyes of our youth. They must see clearly that Christ lives within us; see evidence of our living Christ-like in all our days! Our children, they watch and learn.