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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Then I said, ‘Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.’ But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am a youth,” because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak.’”—Jeremiah 1:6-7 (NASB)
Hudson Taylor, at the age of 17, professed his faith in Christ. At the age of 21, he embarked on his first missionary trip to China. He endured resistance and struggled through poverty, but at the time of his death at 73, China had become rich in missionaries and in the fullness of Christ. Taylor lived by his statement that, “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered, but a command to be obeyed.”
At 17, Joseph was cast out of his family by his jealous brothers (Genesis 37). He spent a good portion of his young life serving the Lord with integrity, morality, and vision—some of that time from a prison cell. His obedience did not hinge on any benefit he was given at the time, for his young life was wrought with suffering. Yet, at the age of 30, he became co-regent of Egypt, the most powerful nation in the world at the time.
King David came on the scene as a young shepherd boy. Anointed at a tender age, the future king spent the first part of his service as a musician for King Saul. His unshakeable faith later led him to defend the nation against the Philistines, slaying Goliath and earning a place as commander in the Israel army; later he served as king. Through his line came Jesus, the “Root and the Offspring of David” (Revelation 22:16 NKJV).
Timothy served as a protégé of the apostle Paul, and his reputation preceded him. They journeyed together spreading the Gospel of Christ. Paul told Timothy, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness . . .” (1 Timothy 4:12 NASB).
All these men had one thing in common: They were called when they were young. If you are young and you feel God calling you to service, then listen, seek, and go. If you are old, build up the child you see who confesses and stands for Jesus, whose faith is unshakeable, and who is strong in His Word.
A pastor once said, “If you give your life to the Lord when young, you will never regret it.” While each man encountered resistance, each man overcame. For the Lord declares, “Do not be afraid . . . I am with you to deliver you . . .” (Jeremiah 1:8 NASB).
DIG: Search the Scriptures for other instances of young people called to serve.
DISCOVER: Consider how God equipped each one to fulfill His purpose for their lives.
DISPLAY: How has the Holy Spirit equipped you to either serve or encourage the youth in your community or family?
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.