Monday, October 22, 2012

Young Men - Death Pursues like a Hungry Wolf

Young men, you must face the inevitable truth that you will die one day. Death pursues all men like a hungry wolf after its lame prey. Death is one of the few guarantees of life. You most certainly will face it. Whether young or old it does not matter. I have stood beside the graves of old men and young men. Death is no respecter of age.

Do you think you will worry about death tomorrow? Tomorrow is guaranteed to no man! The Bible tells you today is the day of salvation, you must never assume you will awake to a new day.

Am I being morbid and frightening to you? Good, these are things you must ponder and not only ponder but decide today what your conviction will be regarding death. "Today is Gods day, tomorrow is the devils." It is your duty, young man, to seek after the Lord Jesus. For it is only in Him that you will find life eternal. Just as sure as death is, so is the potential of salvation thru Jesus. You must not neglect this great salvation available to you.

Death is only a step away, only one final breath away, only one fatal car crash away. Of all the amazing things in life none is as amazing as a heart of unbelief. One of the most powerful prophecies begins with, "Who has believed our message?" Young man, you must consider what I have told you. You must not be complacent, death is quite active; neither lazy, for death is a diligent workman; neither indifferent, for death has already marked you out for its prey. You cannot stop death, but you can be prepared to face it. You can face death confidently if you have confidence in the Lord Jesus and His salvation of your life.

(A modern re-telling of Ryle's "Thoughts for Young Men)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Young Man, Are You Bored?

Young man, aged 12-29, is something missing in your heart? Is there a boredom that lives in you? Do you find your only excitement in movies and video games? Do you wonder if this world truly has a place for you?

Young man, there is a strength hiding inside you that needs to be experienced. There are people in this world who need you. God has placed you on this earth for just this moment in history! Out there in the world will be people who need your help, protection, wisdom, comfort, leadership, and most importantly your love.

Look at our jails and court rooms: Full of men with misguided strength, full of men who misapplied their strength and brought pain to others instead bringing protection, healing, and love.

Look at our schools. Full of young men who instead of looking for and using truth have simply swallowed every philosophy and idea without considering its true consequences. There are truths that guide and lies that are too good to be true. Which are you listening too? Are you doing the hard work of learning?

Look at our homes. Full of hurt, remorse and emptiness. Do-overs at marriages. Men raising other men's children. Sons and daughters struggling to become future husbands and wives and all the while being led by dads and moms not their own.

Our young men need to be challenged and encouraged. There is so much they have to offer to humanity, not only in the future, but now. May we adults take up the mantle placed upon us and lead these young men to the glories that can be theirs'. They can have a meaningful life full of joy, satisfaction, and love. May we be inclined to guide and may the young men be so bold as to listen and heed the advice to come.

(A modern day re-telling inspired by J.C. Ryle's "Thoughts for Young Men").

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Salvation is Not For Me - 1 Peter 1:3-9

As I read this passage, and you must too, I am entranced by the wonder of Gods salvation He has granted to His elect. I am reminded again that salvation is not for my ultimate benefit, but for Jesus'. Yes, we do receive a benefit-we are eternally saved! But it's not really about us, but about Him!!

Read the entire passage several times if you haven't already, 1 Peter 1:3-9:

 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

First, notice the three benefits we receive listed in verses 3-5.
1) we are born again to a living hope, v.3
2) we obtain an inheritance,v.4
3) and we are protected by the power of God, v.5

This should cause us, as Peter aptly puts it in verse six, "you rejoice in this...." If those three descriptors don't light your fire, your wood is wet! Although we live under trials we can and have no reason not to rejoice in His salvation over us.

Now, notice verse seven. Read it thoroughly. Do you see it? Do you see how our salvation ultimately benefits Jesus? The last portion of that verse says, "(your faith) may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ...." In the grand scheme of it all there will come that day when we will stand before Jesus as His trophies and He will receive great praise, glory, and honor. The cross He bore will be a fruitful endeavor for him.

You must read Isaiah 53, in particular, pay attention to verses 11, 12. Jesus is prophecied as being in great anguish, and was He not in great anguish on the cross?! Yes! He was and is satisfied by this knowledge - that many believers would make up His portion. This tells us that people will be saved and it also tells us Jesus will most definitely make sure His elect are truly saved!

Praise Him for His satisfactory work on the cross!

Continue to plead for the salvation of your beloved unbeliever.

Thank Him that your faith will result in His honor on that Day.