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A Tip About Our Youth

Bible Reading: Proverbs 22:1-9
Key Verse: Verse 6 – ”Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Key Words: Train up a child

As parents, it’s our responsibility to train up our children in “The Way” (God’s way) that they should go. But it is their responsibility to go in the way they are trained.
The following survey was taken in the 80’s by Bruce Wilkinson. I believe they are fairly accurate for today.

70% of high school grads leave the church, never to return

65% of evangelical teens never read their Bibles

33% believe religion is out of date and out of touch

40% of all teens believe in astrology

30% read astrology column daily

93% know their sign

58% of protestant teens believe students should have access to contraceptives

25% of high school students contract some form of STD

42% of protestant teens say there are many ways to God

60% question that miracles are possible

28% feel the contents of the Bible are not accurate.

According to surveys in the 90’s:

65% of all H.S. Christian students are sexually active

75% of all H.S. students cheat regularly

30% of all H.S. students have shoplifted in the past 30 days

45-50% of all teen pregnancies are aborted

3.3 million teens are alcoholics

1000 teens try to commit suicide daily

10% of H.S. students have experimented with or are involved in a homosexual lifestyle.
If children are going in the way they are trained, then what does that say about our training?

What to do:
✞  Train up your children in the way they should go.

A Tip About Worldliness

Bible Reading: Titus, Chapter 2
Key Verse: Verse 12 – “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world”
Key Words: we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.

There is none so blind as those who will not see; none so deaf as those who will not hear; and I might add, none so worldly as those who “love the world.”
The problem is so many believers have been brought up worldly that they see nothing wrong with their lives. Some years ago, musicians noted that errand boys in a certain part of London all whistled out of tune as they went about their work. It was talked about and someone suggested that it was because the bells of Westminster were slightly out of tune. Something had gone wrong with the chimes and they were discordant. The boys did not know there was anything wrong, and quite unconsciously they had copied their pitch. So we tend to copy the people with whom we associate; we borrow thoughts from the books we read and the programs to which we listen, almost without knowing it. God has given us His Word, which is the absolute pitch of life and living. If we learn to sing by it, we shall easily detect the false in the world.

What to do:
✞  Make sure you are whistling on key with the Bible.

A Tip About Understanding

Bible Reading: Acts 8:26-32
Key Verse: Verse 30 – “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?”
Key Words: Understandest thou what thou readest

The story is told of General Douglas MacArthur, famed American general, who faced a difficult class at West Point when he studied there. As he tells it, “The first section was studying the time-space relationship later formulated by Einstein as his Theory of Relativity. The text was complex and, being unable to comprehend it, I committed the pages to memory. When I was called upon to recite, I solemnly reeled off almost word for word what the book said. Our instructor, Colonel Fieberger, looked at me somewhat quizzically and asked, ‘Do you understand this theory?’ It was a bad moment for me, but I did not hesitate in replying, ‘No, sir.’ You could have heard a pin drop. I braced myself and waited. And then the slow words of the professor: ‘Neither do I, Mr. MacArthur. Section dismissed.'”

The problem is not in our lack of understanding, the problem is when we refuse to understand. The story in Acts 8 with the eunuch reminds us that it’s our responsibility to make salvation “understandable.” But it is the lost person’s responsibility to “want” to understand.

 

What to do:
✞  Our responsibility is to make the Gospel clear and understandable.

A Tip About Time

Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:6-16
Key Verse: Verse 16 – “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Key Words: Redeeming the time

How we spend our time tells us as much about ourselves as how we spend our money.

When as a child I laughed and wept, time crept.
When as a youth I dreamed and talked, time walked.
When I became a full-grown man, time ran.
And later as I older grew, time flew.
Soon I shall find while traveling on, time gone.

If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,000 that carried over no balance from day to day, allowed you to keep no cash in your account, and every evening cancelled whatever part of the amount you failed to use during the day, what would you do?
You would draw out every cent every day, of course, and use it to your advantage! Well, you have such a bank, and its name is TIME! Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it rules off as lost whatever of time you failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balances and allows no overdrafts. Each day it opens a new account with you. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against tomorrow.

What to do:
✞  We are always complaining that our days are few, but we live as though there is no end to life. Remember, the testimony of your life is found in how you spend your time.

A Tip About Surrender

Bible Reading: Matthew 11:20-30
Key Verse: Verse 28 – “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Key Words: Come unto me

Have you ever considered that Jesus is saying to those who are laden with heavy burdens, “Give up on yourselves. Surrender yourselves to me and I will give you rest”?
Surrender is hard for us. I understand that in many cases, surrender is not an option; but when it comes to our will or God’s will, we need to surrender. When the burdens we carry are too heavy, the road of life is too difficult, we need to surrender, not quit! Surrender is our way to God’s way.
Bruce Larson writes:  “For many years I worked in New York City and counseled at my office any number of people who were wrestling with this yes-or-no decision. Often I would suggest they walk with me from my office down to the RCA Building on Fifth Avenue. In the entrance of that building is a gigantic statue of Atlas, a beautifully proportioned man who, with all his muscles straining, is holding the world upon his shoulders. There he is, the most powerfully built man in the world, and he can barely stand up under this burden. ‘Now that’s one way to live,’ I would point out to my companion, ‘trying to carry the world on your shoulders. But now come across the street with me.’
“On the other side of Fifth Avenue is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and there behind the high altar is a little shrine of the boy Jesus, perhaps eight or nine years old, and with no effort he is holding the world in one hand. My point was illustrated graphically.
“‘We have a choice. We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, ‘I give up, Lord; here’s my life. I give you my world, the whole world.’”

What to do:
✞  Surrendering to God is never a bad thing. It’s a peaceful thing.

A Tip About One’s Reputation

Bible Reading: Matthew 5:31-42
Key Verse: Verse 37 – “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
Key Words: But let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay

The principle is that we should be true to our word. Words are easy to say but often hard to fulfill. But our reputation is built or destroyed by how we carry out or fail to carry out our promises.
During the early days of the Salvation Army, William Booth and his associates were bitterly attacked in the press by religious leaders and government leaders alike. Whenever his son, Bramwell, showed Booth a newspaper attack, the General would reply, “Bramwell, fifty years hence it will matter very little indeed how these people treated us; it will matter a great deal how we dealt with the work of God.”
The kings of Italy and Bohemia both promised safe transport and safe custody to the great pre-Reformation Bohemian reformer, John Hus. Both, however, broke their promises, leading to Hus’s martyrdom in 1415. Earlier, Thomas Wentworth had carried a document signed by King Charles I which read, “Upon the word of a king you shall not suffer in life, honor, or fortune.” It was not long, however, before Wentworth’s death warrant was signed by the same monarch!

What to do:
✞  Always strive to keep your reputation above reproach.

A Tip About Quitting

Bible Reading: II Timothy 4:1-10
Key Verse: Verse 10 – “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.”
Key Words: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world

Demas quit on God because he loved the world more.  Demas was a quitter.
Let’s face reality; in life it’s easier to quit than it is to carry on. But we all have great admiration and respect for that person who, in the most trying of times, refuses to quit.
“I often wish that I could lie down and sleep without waking. But I will fight it out if I can.” So wrote one of the bravest, most inspiring men who ever lived, Sir Walter Scott.  In his 56th year, failing in health, his wife dying of an incurable disease, Scott was in debt a half million dollars. A publishing firm he had invested in had collapsed. He might have taken bankruptcy, but shrank from the stain. From his creditors he asked only time. Thus began his race with death, a valiant effort to pay off the debt before he died.
So let me encourage those of you who are contemplating quitting. Stay with it! It will be worth it in the end.

What to do:
✞  Remember, a quitter never wins and a winner never quits.

A Tip From John Newton

Bible Reading: John 3:1-8
Key Verse: Verse 4 – “Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
Key Words: How can a man be born when he is old

The word precious carries the idea of something or someone that is very special to you.
John Newton was a rough, dirty sailor with a foul mouth and an appetite for rotten living. He hated life and life hated him. He was captain of a slave ship. Then someone placed in his hands a copy of Thomas Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ. He also had the gift of a good mother who told him about the Savior when he was young. And then he was saved.  He went all over England sharing his faith.
Well past his “retirement” age, he had to have an assistant stand in the pulpit with him on Sundays. He was nearly blind and spoke in whispers, but nothing could keep him from preaching while he still had breath.
One Sunday, while delivering his message he repeated the sentence: “Jesus Christ is precious.” His helper whispered to him: “But you have already said that twice.” Newton turned to his helper and said loudly, “Yes, I’ve said it twice, and I’m going to say it again.”
The stones in the ancient sanctuary fairly shook as the grand old preacher said again: “Jesus Christ is precious!”

What to do:
✞  Answer honestly. Is Jesus truly precious to you?