Summary: A message about taking a stand for Christ...
Dakota Community Church
February 15, 2009 pm
I didn’t become a Christian until I was finished school and in University but many of my Christian friends over the years have expressed regrets about being cowardly where faith is concerned in their school years.
How do you think you will feel about the type of Christianity you display to your friends and school mates in the future? Will you be able to say you took a solid stand, or will you feel ashamed?
What does God really want from us in these difficult years?
Surely He must be understanding of the pressures that come with this time of life.
Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."
"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?" But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
We often think of the late teens and early twenties as a searching time of life.
Don’t laugh at a youth for his affectations; he is only trying on one face after another to find his own. -- Logan Pearsall Smith
Three things I believe God is calling you to do in this time of life:
1. Find yourself … quickly!
I have a special gift for each person under 20 here this evening. (Hand out wrapped mirrors)
Many of you have been coming to KOZ for years but you never make the big decision.
You listen to Pastor Chris, you hear the Word of God, but you withhold your heart.
Why is that, especially those of you who really know the truth?
Look into that mirror – find yourself tonight!
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
Maybe you don’t like what you see.
That’s not a bad thing.
I know that I am supposed to build you up here, to tell you that you are alright, to try to help you come out of your shell, shake off the insecurities and feel good about who you are and how God made you. I’m not going to do that.
Don’t misunderstand me… I don’t want to hurt your self esteem tonight… I want to obliterate it!
You don’t need your self esteem built up tonight; you need to discover the horrible truth about who you really are!
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
This is the man who wrote two thirds of the New Testament!
The quicker you find yourself, really find yourself, the quicker you can admit that you are no good, there is nothing good about you, you are lost and hopeless and you haven’t got a prayer on your own.