Skepticism is not abnormal. In fact, it puts you in some pretty hefty company in the Old Testament. Among the doubters – Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, King Saul, Isaiah, Ezekiel…and the one that used his age as an excuse, Jeremiah.
Now, I will give it to Jeremiah – he was young. In Jeremiah, the Hebrew usage of this word child in Jeremiah chapter one referred to boys or youths. I read several commentaries – and since there is no age given – the estimations range from a young boy to age 21.
There could very well be skepticism in your families, in our schools, and in our churches. It could be in the mind of children or teenagers. These ideas could have been put there by other adults that couldn’t see their potential. Or they may simply have little confidence or are underestimating the special ways God can use them.
Adults often underestimate children and teens as well. They may excuse their skepticism by saying they are looking out for their feelings or safety. Underestimating is sometimes a lack of faith or a failure to see the special gifts of the youth of today. Don’t underestimate what children and teens can do for the kingdom of God.
Parents – we cannot doubt what God can do in our children’s lives and what can be accomplished through them. Kids & Teens – listening here and online – God can do amazing things in your life…NOW!
Let me give you some examples of what kids can do:
Alexandra “Alex” Scott was only 4 years old when she opened her front yard lemonade stand to help raise money for children with cancer. A cancer patient herself, Alex has seen her small stand grow from a curbside staple to a national fundraising revolution, boasting supporters, benefits, and events all across the country. Sadly, she passed away at the age of 8, but her foundation (Alex’s Lemonade Stand) lives on and has raised more than $120 million and funded over 550 research projects towards the goal of putting an end to childhood cancer.
Shortly after basketball enthusiast Austin Gutwein turned 9, he saw a video that changed his life: a movie about children who had lost their parents to AIDS. Moved to make a change, Gutwein began Hoops of Hope, the world’s largest free-throw marathon, dedicated to raising money for orphaned children from across the globe and providing them with food, shelter, education, and health care. By doing something as simple as shooting free throws, Hoops of Hope participants have raised over $2.5 million.
It all started when a 9-year-old saw another student on the playground without a coat. Since then, Maddy Beckmann made it her mission to keep kids warm in her native St. Louis, and her charity, Coat-A-Kid has coated over 10,000 children since its inception.
Why can’t our children and teens do that in our church, our community, and our country…they can and they are! In our church, this is what has been happening because we have learned to not underestimate our youth:
Over 200 kids came to the Easter Egg Hunt to hear the Gospel & eat loads of candy…and the entire event was planned by teenagers. Over 40 meals were delivered last October…by teens. Two Bible studies were formed in the public schools…and were started by a 13-year-old and 15-year-old. A community garden was planted in the local middle school…by teenagers. 2 years ago 3 teens were serving impoverished kids in Nicaragua This summer, a team of teenagers are going to witness on the streets of New York.
Sorry Jeremiah, age is NOT an excuse. God does not want to hear the excuses…He wants obedience.
(If you want to hear the entire message on “The Time is Now” click here)