Last month, I discussed the true pandemic facing our young adults today, as well as the solution to it. This month, I want to address the people who are the target of this pandemic. Young adults who love Jesus with their whole hearts, minds and souls.
To the young adult Church in Darke County:
I see you, but even better yet, God sees you. He sees you, wants to be with you and wants to hear from you. Now, before we continue, let’s make sure we understand one thing: yes, God loves you, but this article is not going to be sunshine and rainbows. I’m not here just to give you a pat on the head and tell you, “God loves you no matter what, and He doesn’t care what you do.” Yes, we serve a God of love, but He’s more than that. He’s more than we can ever fathom. Some of it good, some of it amazing, and some of it…well, let’s just say complex.
God is a God of love, but He’s also the God of justice and righteousness (John 4:7-11; Psalm 116:5, Zephaniah 3:5, Deuteronomy 32:4). Just as your loved ones look out for you, tell you the truth when you need to hear it and go against your wishes if it means protecting you, so will God the Father (Luke 11:11-13). But with God, it will be infinitely greater and above all things, good (Romans 8:28).
Okay, now that we have that established, we can continue.
As a young believer (or disciple, for we are all disciples), God sees you and the passion you have for Him. He sees that this world hasn’t tightened its grip on you and warped your perception of Him. He sees that you’re not afraid to ask the big questions nor question what’s always been done. He sees your availability and your boldness to follow Him to the ends of the earth. He sees you trying to make a place for yourself at the table, only to be cast away because you’re too young, you’ve had your doubts or your past is a little muddled.
He sees that you're not afraid to ask the big questions nor question what's always been done.
He sees you and is preparing a place for you in Heaven (John 14:2-3). And He’s doing it right now. Not in a few years down the road, not even 50 years from now, but this very moment. He’s calling you to sit next to Him at the table and tell Him what’s on your mind (1 Peter 5:7, Hebrews 14:6, 1 John 5:14). He’s also asking you to listen to what’s on His.
You see, Jesus, just like God, is about the heart (Hosea 6:6). He’s relational. Why else would He have temporarily given up His place at the right hand of the Father to take on human form, suffer pain and persecution, be tempted by Satan himself, face separation from His Father and die a painful, humiliating death if He didn’t love you (Isaiah 53:1-12, John 3:16, Philippians 2:6-8, Hebrews 12:2)? A person doesn’t just do that without a solid reason. Most people wouldn’t even do one of those things for someone else, let alone all of them. Especially for someone who has hurt them or won’t even acknowledge their existence.
Yet, Jesus did. He did it for you. He did it for me. He did it for the person in front of you at the grocery store. He did it for all of us, but He still would have done it had it only been for you (Mark 10:45, John 15:13, 1 John 2:2). Jesus cares that much about you and wants a relationship with you so much, He willingly did all of those things for you.
And now that it’s all said and done, you can count on Him to stick with you and take note of all you’re doing for Him and with Him (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25). It might not always seem like it and other times the drawbacks may seem to outweigh the benefits, but Jesus does see you and His heart is filled with joy. So take heart. Whatever you are doing in the name of Jesus, it’s worth it (John 16:33). It’s worth it for you, the people around you and your—our—future. Because let’s be honest, there aren’t many of us. And if there’s not many of us, what about those who are coming after us?
The future of the Church depends on us. Yes, the church as an institution (a physical, designated building and all of its rituals), but more importantly, the Church, also known as the body of Christ.
We're doing all of this because Jesus loves us, we love Him and we love our family. Blood family and God's family. And we want to see it grow.
We’re told to go out to all the ends of the earth and share the Gospel (Matthew 28:19). We’re told to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). We’re told to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and we will be blessed immeasurably more (Matthew 6:33, 2 Corinthians 9:8). We’re doing all of this because Jesus loves us, we love Him and we love our family. Blood family and God’s family. And we want to see it grow.
I mean, think about it. Think of all God has done for you since you gave Him your “yes.” Now think of all He’ll do for you in the future. Pretty awesome, right? So if it’s that amazing, how can we not tell someone? How can we let our generation go down in history as the loneliest generation? The generation whose faith—and interest—in God is at a record low? I don’t want to see that, and as a fellow disciple yourself, I can’t imagine you want to either.
So what are you going to do about it?
English Standard Version Bible. (2001). Crossway Bibles.
This post originally appeared on County News Online.