Monday, June 27, 2016

God Can Use Us While We're Young

Topic: God Can Use Us While We’re Young

Introduction: Even though we’re young, God can still use us.  

1 Timothy 4:12 says, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example of the believers in the word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

Despise means to think little or nothing of.  So don’t let anyone think little or nothing of you because you’re young. 

There’s a story in the Bible that I'd like to share with you.  It’s about how God used a young girl to tell someone about Him. 

2 Kings 5:1-14 says

Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.” And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.”Then the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said,Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.”So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” 11 But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lordhis God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ 12 Are not the Abanah[a] and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

So Naaman, who was the captain of the Syrian army, had a skin disease.  But God used a young girl, like us, who Naaman had captured to be a servant to his wife.  The young girl, told Naaman’s wife about the prophet who knew about the one true God, who could heal him.  And then Naaman’s wife told her husband about it.  So even though this young girl was taken from her own home, she was bold and had faith. 

Verse 15 at the end of the story explains that Naaman realizes Who the one true God is.  And that all started because of the young girl. 

So even though we might think we’re just kids or seem unimportant, God can still use us to do His work, just like the young girl we read about.  Maybe he’ll use us to be friends with someone who doesn’t have any friends.  Maybe he’ll use us to be a light to our unsaved relatives and show love to them.  Or maybe he’ll use us to encourage our family and friends. 

But no matter how unimportant we think we are, (using a quote from the author Tolkien) “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

So if we’re wanting to do something bigger, when we’re young, and we’re not satisfied with where we are and we want to do more for Jesus; we just need to remember that God has placed us where we are in this very moment for a reason.  We just have to remember that and trust that He is working everything out! 

Which reminds me of a verse in Luke.  Luke 16:10a, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much...”

So God wants us to be faithful in the things that He gives us to do when we’re young so that He can give us bigger things to be faithful in when we’re adults. 

This summer, God has given me, and several others from our church, the opportunity to get to do five-day-clubs.  We get to share the gospel with neighborhood children and that’s an example of God using young people. 

Read Jeremiah 1:6-8

Then said I:“Ah, Lord God!Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”But the Lord said to me:“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’For you shall go to all to whom I send you,And whatever I command you, you shall speak.Do not be afraid of their faces,For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
God doesn’t want us to use our youth as an excuse for not serving Him.  He will provide opportunities for us. 

The most important thing God wants us to do, when we’re young, is to trust in Christ as our Saviour.  Then once we’ve given our lives to Him, we can be praying for opportunities to serve Him. 

I bet some of you have the opportunity to play kindly with your younger siblings or help your mom out in the kitchen.  Those are all ways to serve God when we’re young. 

Conclusion: God has a purpose for our lives, even when we’re young, and He has us right where He wants us.