Summary: Learning how to fix our eyes on Jesus as the author and perfecter of our faith. (Heb. 12:1,2)
Christ as the Ideal Model for Youth (Heb. 12:1-3)
Young people are bombarded with a continuous stream of morally degrading images in our television age. Only 12% of young people are attending church on a regular basis. There is a crisis going on in our youth’s spiritual development in America and little seems to be done to rectify the problem.
In summary, here is the solution. "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, not minding the shame, and is not set down on the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such sufferings less you be wearied and faint in your mind." (Heb. 12:1-3)
Quote: Daniel Webster, the famous American who developed our modern dictionary once predicted, "If truth be not diffused, error will be. If God and His word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy? If the power of the gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, corruption and darkness will reign." (1782-1852)
We must hold up Jesus Christ as the model for young people or they will fall into the traps of insidious temptations that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. The following are several ways that Christ can be held up as a role model for today’s youth.
1. Jesus taught and lived the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." He initiated friendships without waiting for someone to show kindness to Him. Jesus knew what it took to initiate good to others instead of waiting for others to serve Him.
Illustration:Often I have heard people say, "How good God is! We prayed that it would not rain for our church picnic, and look at the lovely weather!’" Yes, God is good when He sends good weather. But God was also good when He allowed my sister, Betsie, to starve to death before my eyes in a German concentration camp. I remember one occasion when I was very discouraged there. Everything around us was dark, and there was darkness in my heart. I remember telling Betsie that I thought God had forgotten us. "No, Corrie," said Betsie, "He has not forgotten us. Remember His Word: ’For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.’" Corrie concludes, "There is an ocean of God’s love available--there is plenty for everyone. May God grant you never to doubt that victorious love--whatever the circumstances."
Corrie Ten Boom.
2. Jesus did not allow Himself to become distracted with temptations. He filled His mind with the word of God using it as a sword to fight the enticements of the world and the flesh and the devil. (I John 2:15,16) Love not the world, nor the things in the world, for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world."
Illustration:Addressing a national seminar of Southern Baptist leaders, George Gallup said, "We find there is very little difference in ethical behavior between churchgoers and those who are not active religiously...The levels of lying, cheating, and stealing are remarkable similar in both groups. Eight out of ten Americans consider themselves Christians, Gallup said, yet only about half of them could identify the person who gave the Sermon on the Mount, and fewer still could recall five of the Ten Commandments. Only two in ten said they would be willing to suffer for their faith.
Erwin Lutzer, Pastor to Pastor, p. 76
3. Jesus continually refreshed His soul with worship and communion with His heavenly Father through prayer. The Lord Jesus did not allow His soul to become dry from neglect of His spiritual disciplines. Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and went out to a lonely place and there He prayed. (Mark 1:35)
4. Jesus did not allow the religious authorities to discourage Him from gaining His strength, guidance and blessings from His heavenly Father. He did not grow dependent on human sources of inspiration. Jesus said,
You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your heart. For that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God." (Luke 15:16)
5. Jesus focused on spiritual goals of advancing the growth of the kingdom of God in qualitative (Increasing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control) as well as qualitative means (Bringing more people to saving faith).
6. Jesus constantly gave glory to the Lord in His speech, conduct, love, relationships, and purity. His perspectives were directed completely by things above instead of on things of temporal concerns. "Whatever you do in word or deed do all for the glory of God." (I Cor. 10:31) Can we say that about our relationships , activities and personal lives?