Dave's Newsletter Devotion - March 5th Edition

Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 2:31 PM

"Remember your Creator in the days of your youth." Ecclesiastes 12:1a

Last night I had the privilege of listening to a sermon from one of my former youth group members, Blake Bowman, at our Wednsday night service. I couldn't have been prouder of Blake if I tried. He has the heart of a missionary, planning to go wherever God calls him, with the zeal of a new believer at age 21.

As I listened to Blake, God gently began to take me back to that same point in time in my life. Self-examination is good but also painful at times. I remembered my particular zeal, energy, and optimism about where God was going to use me. At that time I just knew that I was going to be a youth evangelist and maybe a pastor. Now as i approach the big 4-0 (that's right I'm not embarrassed to own it!) I wonder "What happened?" By the way, I'm only 38! Just wanted to be sure you know that I still have another year and a half before I hit that milestone. I'm not old yet but I'm no longer the proverbial spring chicken either.

I firmly believe that God is using me where I am so I have no dissatisfaction in that regard. But, oh, to be like Blake and Jordan (another young man from church with the same passion) and to have youth on my side. I think the adult me would tell the younger version to watch out for snares and traps that come along to distract you and to steal your joy as you get older. For me that happened in the form of destructive relationships which led me away, not from the faith but from being firmly in the center of God's will. Because of a couple of these bad relationships, God has had to restore me time and time again in my own heart and many years have been wasted along the way.

Thankfully, God in Christ is full of mercy. Every time I've fallen, He has picked me up, dusted me off, and reaffirmed His great love multiple times over. Had I listened to the wisdom of Psalm 19:7-8 as a younger man, I would have been spared a great amount of heartache. It reads, "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radian, giving light to the eyes." It goes on to say in verse 10, "They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold. They are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb."

See, to walk with the Lord and to place your faith in Him is to have all you'll ever need. I know you've probably heard this all the time from your parents but I'll say it again. Don't make the same mistakes I made! Don't let sin crouch at your doorstep and prevent you from being who and what God has called you to be. I know enough now to know that I probably wouldn't have made a great youth evangelist or pastor. My gifts are found in other areas. But I also know that if I had taken heed to the Psalm or to the verse in Ecclesiastes listed above, I'd have less to regret now.

So I'm challenging you to be a Blake. The world needs more people like him. Young people who are ready to set the standard for being sold out to Christ and committing to it even through the difficult challenges still ahead. I've given you only the first part of the Ecclesiastes verse. Trust me, it gets pretty bleak in that chapter. If not, the consequences could be dire. God doesn't want it that way. Commit your heart and your life to Him today.

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