Speaking the Truth in Love
Heart Lessons: Good Deeds of Young People
Tonight we would like to focus on young people and the good deeds that they can do. These deeds only happen when a young person's heart is set on pleasing God and doing His will.
Things Young People Can Do: We have many young people in our congregation who do wonderful things. These young people are a great encouragement to us. Let’s look at some examples of good deeds that young people can do.
1. Be thankful. Sometimes simply showing appreciation to someone for something they have done is a wonderful thing (Luke 17:12-19). Unfortunately we do not have many young people who take the time to say thank you, or who really appreciate things others do for them. We have a generation that can be related to 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Saying things like, "thank you mom for making supper, thank you Dad for picking me up, thank you for helping me, thank you for taking care of me, thank you for my clothes," etc. etc.
2. Telling your parents you love them. Little children usually are the best at showing sincere feelings for the ones they love (Mark 10:13-16, Luke 7:44-47, Acts 20:36-38, 21:5, 1 Corinthians 14:20). Just as some are not thankful, some are unloving (Romans 1:30-31).
3. Minister to the needy. Visit, call, bring food, or visit those who cannot get out or who need encouragement (James 1:26-27). Take time out from things that usually occupy your time and redeem the time by thinking of and doing things for others (Ephesians 5:15-16, Philippians 2:1-4). We have a young lady who spends a lot of time preparing cards to send to older people who are in need. One of our young men drew a beautiful picture of a truck because he knew I would like it. That picture is now a permanent part of my office at home. Yet another is always quick to visit someone in the hospital or see them at their house if they are sick.
6. Look to help before someone asks you. Look for good things you can do to help your family around the house, or to help your teachers at school, or to help your neighbors who are in need, or to simply give someone a break. The term “good” is found 258 times in the New Testament. Do not wait for someone to tell you to do something to help, make it a habit and way of life of simply doing good things that help others (Acts 9:36, Romans 2:7, 16:1-2, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:15, 2 Thessalonians 3:13, Philemon 14).
7. Young Christians can use the power of prayer. First of all, be thankful to God for the blessings He has showered on you (Acts 27:33-36). If you have a friend who has not obeyed the gospel by repenting of their sins and being baptized for the remission of their sins, you can pray for them. Jesus did that in John 17:20-23 and Paul in Romans 10:1-3. If someone has been hurt or had tragedy in their life, pray for them. If you know someone going through a tough time or struggling with temptation, you can pray (Colossians 1:3, 9-11, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Young Daniel made it a habit to pray at specific times of the day no matter what (Daniel 6:10). James tells about the power of prayer in James 5:13-18. Young people can also pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
8. Convert your friends. Your friends have many around them who can influence them for good or for evil. The first step in converting them is to make sure you are in a saved condition yourself. Ask yourself the question, "Have I been baptized for the remission of my sins?" Many in our audience believe that they are in saved condition because they were saved before baptism and then baptized later as an outward sign of their salvation. If you were baptized after you think you were saved, you have not had your sins washed away and have not put on Christ in baptism (Galations 3:26-29). As Peter said in Acts 2:38 when people ask what they should do, he said,"Repent, and let every one of you be baptized for the remission (forgiveness) of sins; and you shall received the gift of the Holy Spirit." Then he went on in Acts 2:40 saving, "Be saved from this perverse (crooked) generation." In Acts 2:41 we see what being saved meant. "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized." If you were not baptized for the remission (or forgiveness) of your sins, you need to do so you can have your sins washed away! Maybe you were sprinkled as baby, or baptized after you thought you were saved, or were not baptized at all. If you want to be right with God, you need to be converted the way God has shown in His Word. God has shown that to become a Christian you need to repent of your sins and be baptized (immersed in water) in order to be born again (Romans 6:3-5).
Once you are a Christian, you can be an influence toward God. If you truly love your friends, there is no better way to show that love than to teach them how to become a Christian. That is how you can be a good friend. Then they will have their sins forgiven, the Lord in their life through thick and thin, and Heaven to look forward to (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 22:16). This process can start by an invitation for them to come to Bible study, or to sit down and read the Bible together. Maybe you can tell them how and why you became a Christian, or just introduce them to Jesus and His Word like examples we see in the New Testament (John 1:35-49, 4:25-29, 39-42, Acts 10:24-33, 11:11-14).
9. Respect Authority. Young people today often think it is "cool" to rebel against authority. God’s Word teaches that we are to respect authority (Romans 13:1-7, 1 Timothy 2:1-4, 1 Peter 2:13-17). If you do this you will have a good influence on the world around you.
10. Do all the good deeds that Jesus has commanded. Many times young people will do things that sound good to them, but when you look at God’s Word you do not find those deeds there. Or maybe we do some of the deeds that Jesus wants us to do and leave others out that we may think are not important or we do not like (Mark 10:17-22). We need to do all the things that Jesus wants us to do (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 20:27). And we need to make sure the things we do are exactly what Jesus wants (Matthew 7:21-24, Ephesians 2:10, James 1:21-25).
Young people: We want to challenge you to keep doing good deeds and to add more good deeds to them. Make sure your heart is set on doing the things that will be pleasing to God! Be thankful, love your parents, minister to the needy, honor your parents and older people, be a good friend and neighbor, help when you see a need, pray without ceasing, convert your friends to Christ, respect authority, and be active doing exactly what Jesus commands.
Young people, you can do so many things for the Lord! Let’s look at what Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12 in three different translations:
NCV - Do not let anyone treat you as if you are unimportant because you are young. Instead, be an example to the believers with your words, your actions, your love, your faith, and your pure life.
NNAS - Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
NKJV - Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Young people: focus on doing good things for the Lord and you will make the world a better place and the light of Jesus will shine brightly. You will also have a hand in converting your friends who are lost in their sin to Christ. Notice what Paul instructed young Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:15-16. “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take head to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you”.
If you are not a Christian tonight, we encourage you as Peter encouraged the audience in Acts 2:38, “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins”. Notice that baptism is not after you have been saved. The point of salvation is baptism. At baptism your sins will be forgiven and you will have the hope of eternal life in Heaven. We hope to see you in three weeks on, “Speaking The Truth In Love”.