Date written: April 16th, 2006
Scripture ref: Ecclesiastes 12:1
TITLE: In The Days of Thy Youth
PROPOSITION: In the days of thy youth, 1) learn what it means to be principled, 2) listen to your parents, 3) treasure every moment you have.
Objectives: To teach and encourage our youth to live lives of wisdom.
1. Read: Ecclesiastes 12:1
2. About the Text:
1) It is good to remember God in our youth.
2) This sets the whole "tone" for our entire life.
3) Psalm 71:17 states, "O God, thou hast taught me from my youth; And hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works."
4) There are some things that we need to know from our youth.
5) These things are beneficial for our youth, but also for our aged as well.
3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: In the days of thy youth . . .
I. Learn what it means to be principled.
1. Being principled means that you decide to do what is right for the mere fact that it is right.
2. It means not being influenced to do the wrong thing based upon emotions.
1) It is important to learn how to make non-emotional decisions.
2) So many in our society today make decisions based upon emotion.
3) "If it feels good then do it" is their philosophy.
4) "Drink, smoke, do drugs, fornicate, lie, cheat, steal – as long as you don't get caught!"
5) Many do these things because it makes them feels good.
6) Hebrews 11:25 teaches us that Moses was a principled man.
3. It means not being influenced to do the wrong thing because of friends.
1) We all need and want friends.
2) We want to be accepted by our friends.
3) Friends can be a good influence on our life.
4) But friends can also influence us for the wrong.
5) It is important that we influence our friends for good, but not allow them to influence us for evil.
6) 1 Corinthians 15:33 in ASV "Be not deceived, evil companionships corrupt good morals."
4. It means not being influenced to do the wrong thing because of one's environment.
1) There are all kinds of troubles in the world.
2) Each one of you will experience your share of suffering, pain, and difficulties.
3) It is quite tempting to let the storms of life sweep you away from your moorings.
4) Losing faith or giving in to some temptation to do wrong won't solve any of these problems.
5) It is only resolute endurance, steadfastness, patience, and longsuffering that will see you through.
6) Consider the example of Job.
7) James 5:10-11 "Take, brethren, for an example of suffering and of patience, the prophets who spake in the name of the Lord. Behold, we call them blessed that endured: ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, how that the Lord is full of pity, and merciful."
II. Listen to your parents and grandparents.
1. They know where you've been.
1) It is thrilling to be young and alive; to have energy and want to go places and do things.
2) One wants to experience all of the riches of life; take in all of the experiences; see the sights.
3) Your parents know this feeling; they were once your age; they know what you are thinking right now.
4) There is not a desire that you have that they didn't have.
5) This is a hard concept to understand until you have experienced it.
6) There is a reason why your parents may tell you "no" or limit your activities and experiences.
7) Colossians 3:20 "Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord."
2. They know the consequences of poor choices.
1) It is very important to consider the consequences of our choices.
2) It's not easy to know the consequences of our choices if we've never made that choice.
3) God gives us parents, in part, so that they can tell us what will happen as a result of our choices.
4) Perhaps your parents have made some poor choices.
5) I don't know of anyone who hasn't.
6) Consider Proverbs 3:1-4 "My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man."
3. They have wisdom that comes from experience and observation.
1) Parents and grandparents have experienced and seen more life and people than have you.
2) As you grow older, you learn how other people think and react to life.
3) Consider Proverbs 6:20-23 "My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life."
III. Treasure the moments that you have.
1. You can't go back.
1) There are certain points in life where you step over a threshold that you won't cross again.
2) Getting your first job. Getting married. Having children.
3) And even the passing years move your life onward to a point where you will never return.
4) Friends you now know will move away; brothers and sisters will grow up and move out.
5) You will never quite be able to recapture the experiences of your youth.
6) James 4:14 "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
2. Don't wish your life away.
1) When I was in school, my friends and I would always say, "I wish this" and "I wish that."
2) I had a teacher who used to tell us, "Don't wish your life away."
3) There is something to be said about treasuring the moment you have right now.
4) Philippians 4:11 "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content."
5) Matthew 6:34 "Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
3. Make the most of your opportunities.
1) It is said that opportunity only knocks once.
2) Sometimes it is hard to see opportunities.
3) Some opportunities are inconsequential; others, however, only come once in a lifetime.
4) Turning down a good opportunity will result in regret and there will be some.
5) Perhaps most importantly are the opportunities we have to do what is right.
6) Galatians 6:10 "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
7) You will never regret having done something good for another.
1. In the days of your youth . . .
1) Learn what it means to be principled.
2) Listen to your parents and grandparents.
3) Treasure the moments that you have.
1) We spoke about opportunity.
2) God has given us another day and another opportunity to repent.
3) Jesus told several parables about opportunity.
4) There is the parable of the Great Feast in Luke 14:16ff.
5) Many were invited, but did not come. They didn't take advantage of their opportunities.
6) Why not take advantage of the opportunity God offers for salvation tonight?