SCRIPTURE: Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Now, let’s think back to our youth! I am not that old but my body does not react like it used to, and if you ask Amanda about my memory, well, that is going also! The constant factor in youth is lack of understanding. Maybe while we are still young in faith, we say I’ll get straight with God tomorrow. To build spiritually, God gives us the direction!
1. Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
3.Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.
Church is one of those places for the youthful spirit where you can stay out of trouble. Keep your mind busy for Jesus! “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop” is an English proverb. If we allow our minds to be idle with our faith, we will drift away from God.
Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how can we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard.
Let’s take a look at Rural America. It was not difficult for a child to find his usefulness. Historically, children worked in the fields. They would help plow the fields, milk the cows, carry the wood, and pick the vegetables. If they did not help out around the farm, there was no food or heat. Now I order the groceries and they are delivered to my house. Now, I prefer that! I am NOT a farmer, but the analogy is there. I feel that we are always youthful in our faith. We are always learning and helping others by praying for them. We can view our spiritual lives through the eyes of the farmer. We have to work hard at developing our faith and never take a day off. Sometimes we don’t truly grow out of our youthful faith because it is hard work! Farming is hard work! Farmers work 365 days a year regardless of the weather. Animals have to be fed. The crops need to be fertilized and watered. It doesn’t matter how the farmer feels on a particular day, the work still needs to be done. In the same way, most of us don’t understand how hard life is. We seem to be surprised by the hard work required by life. Building a good life is hard work. Every day, we have to show up and do the work that it takes. Everyday, relationships need to be tended. Relationships, like crops, need to be fertilized and watered. Neglect a relationship and just like a field left unplowed, weeds will overrun everything and whatever was planted will die. The farmer knows the importance of good soil. Rocks are removed from the fields. Soil has to be turned over, and sometimes fields need to rest. The farmer knows how to look at the soil, and maybe run some tests to make sure that the soil is ready to grow crops.
I am not sure that any of us spend enough time checking the quality of the soil in our own lives. When Jesus told the parable of the soils, it didn’t take long for His listeners to understand all of the soils were in the same field. Grudges, like rocks, have to be carried out of the field. Weeds of resentment and disobedience have to be pulled out. There are parts of our lives that are not ready to be planted. There are fields that aren’t quite ready to be cultivated. Our lives, like the farmers’ fields, need a little work before the seeds are planted and take root.
Even while mature Christians are growing in faith and holiness, they do not grow more dependent on themselves, because they know that their growth comes through abiding in Christ, dependency in Christ alone, and obedience to His command to love God and one another. Mature Christians don’t take credit for themselves. They humbly follow Jesus and acknowledge that he is in control of our lives.