Summary: Our kids today need heroes – Men and women of faith who imitate Christ in their daily walk.
“How to be a Hero”
1st Corinthians 11:1
OJECTIVE: To encourage the people of God to be examples for young people to follow, as Paul was an example to the early church
INTRODUCTION: We are seeing a surge in rebellion among our young people today.
Illustration: “The answer” A son, angry with his father’s discipline yelled out, “I didn’t ask to be born!” to which the father replied, “If you had, the answer would have been, ‘NO’!”
But rebellion is really nothing new. Every generation has some sort of rebellion; in fact according to scripture we have all rebelled against God at some time in our lives.
Surprising Quote: “Have children really changed?” “Our youth love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders, and love to chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when their elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers” – Socrates, 400 BC
***The Corinthian church in Paul’s day was showing some rebellion to God’s way, and Paul offered himself up as an example. He literally said, “Imitate me” – The word for ‘follow’ is better translated as ‘imitate’
Paul said, “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ”. Even though he wasn’t perfect, Paul said that he would try to live a life that could be observed as an example of the Christian life.
I think much of the rebellion today stems from a lack of good role models available for young people.
***But young people today have very few people they can look up to.
Our politicians, movie stars and even fictional characters have gone from standing for “truth, justice and the American way” to falling into “dishonesty, greed and the way to make me happy no matter what it costs others”
Our young people need serious men and women of God to stand for what is right, be examples of Christ and give them some people they can look up to!
***I want to give you some insight into what our children need from adults, which may discourage dissension and close the generation gap a little. If you’re interested in being a ‘hero’ for a young person, listen to these truths…
I. Children need love
a. Did you realize that the bible is a love story?
i. The whole bible is about God’s love for man
ii. Many people say, “well these kids today don’t act right, so I can’t put up with them” or “I’ll love the kids, I just don’t want them around”
iii. Aren’t you glad God doesn’t do you the same way?
b. God loves us so much, that even though we rebel against Him, He is willing to take us in and teach us (like a loving parent) rather than just wash His hands of us and say, “no more”
i. God loves us enough to draw us in to be saved
1. John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
ii. When we accept Him, He continues to love us, even though we are still not perfect
1. Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
c. When was the last time you showed love to a child, and drew that child to yourself so that you could be an example of God’s love?
II. Children need to be recognized as individuals
a. 1st Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity”
i. Paul was saying to Timothy, don’t let anyone put you down because you are younger
ii. Even though Timothy was young, he still had much to contribute according to this verse
b. How much of a contribution could our young people make if we stopped despising their youth and start recognizing them as individuals with intellects, emotions and wills?
III. Children need to be trusted – to a point
a. Ephesians 6:4 “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
b. Many parents go out of their way to make their children’s life hard because of a lack of trust
i. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am in no way saying that you shouldn’t keep tabs on who your child hangs out with, and what they are doing
ii. That is simply responsible parenting
iii. That is why I said, ‘trust – to a point’
c. But many people don’t allow their children to grow up and assume responsibilities, because of a lack of trust