Verse of the Day

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

~Jeremiah 29:11

Today's Devotional Thought

September 05, 2013 by Rachel Piferi


Guide Our Youth

My husband and I lead the youth group at our church. We have been in this position for just 2 years now and we have grown to love these teens more than we can even express.

I can remember in our first year taking our youth to a local youth conference. And at that conference, the speaker shared how we all, as adults, have a responsibility to guide, mentor, and disciple the youth of America.

Because, someone will guide them.

And if we, as a body of believers, do not guide them, then the world will. And then they will be lost.

One of our goals when we began leading the Youth Group was to help each teen recognize their unique gifts and value and special place in God's kingdom. At this very vulnerable time of life, the media, their friends, and others are subtly telling them that they aren't good-looking enough, they aren't athletic enough, they aren't smart enough, and ultimately that they aren't good enough. And, one of the ways that they try to become "enough" is by succumbing to the many peer pressured activities that they are bombarded with daily. And, they are bombarded with both good and bad activities. Drug use, sexual activity, and athletic and/or academic achievement are among the many ways that I have seen young people try to become "enough." And, even if some of these activities are "good" activities, these activities will never fulfill the soul the way a relationship with Jesus Christ will.

At this conference a couple of years ago, the speakers focused their talks on realizing how uniquely created we all are. And how God has something unique for each one of us to do and that fulfilling our unique callings is what will bring us ultimate fulfillment on this earth. As I had the opportunity to pray with some of our teens there, I realized how important it is that we all speak truth into them as often as we can. Because the world is constantly speaking lies to them!

I believe our teenagers are the most vulnerable age group in the entire lifespan because they are constantly being bombarded by lies without a lot of the spiritual or psychological maturity necessary to recognize those lies. And that is why it is so important for the adults in their lives to be guiding, mentoring, and teaching them about the subtle lies the world is selling.

As I have gotten to know the youth in our group, I can see the unique gifts in each one. And, I know that many of them {like many teenagers} don't see themselves as special, as gifted, or as usable by God. And I want so badly for them to believe in their value. Believe in their uniqueness. Believe in their ability to be used mightily by God. And believe that being used by him is where their ultimate fulfillment will come from.

Sweet friends, it is so important for us to guide our young people. We all have a responsibility to speak truth into them every chance we get. Even if you are not a parent or grandparent of a teenager or a youth leader, you have a responsibility to speak truth into our developing Christians. And one of those truths that they need to hear so desperately is that you believe in them. You believe in God's love for them. You believe in God's unique gifting of them. And you believe that God wants to use them mightily.

Tell a teenager today that you believe in God's love for and plan for them. Because if you believe in them, then they just might start believing too.

Memorize this verse today:

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
~Jeremiah 29:11

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