The Young Ones

Friday, August 31, 2018
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James 5:19-20 – My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (NIV)

There is hope for everyone, even the worst of sinners. I know this to be true, for I am part of that category. We all make ill-advised choices, especially when we are young adults, some of which can ruin our lives entirely. We follow our own path and determine our own future. We hate being wrong and don't want to repent of or admit our foolish ways. Some of us would rather keep making the same sinful choices rather than say that we are wrong. Being ornery and stubborn, mule-headed and strong-minded comes with the territory of growing up. What we eventually become is largely based on how willing we are to change direction, especially if we are following a self-centred and self-destructive path.

When I was addicted to alcohol, I never needed anyone's advice. My mother wept over me; my father gave up on me, and my friends began to abandon me. I stubbornly refused to concede that I had a problem. I believed that I was right and everybody else was totally wrong. I wouldn't seek help and almost got myself into a lot of serious trouble. If I hadn't met Christ on the road that I was on, I probably would be dead by now. It took His presence in my life and the candid words of His followers, who were my peers, to turn my life around. Their love convinced me to repent. Their understanding and faith saved me from my sinful addiction.

Sometimes, I worry about our young folk at church, college, or in their new careers. Some of them are making foolish choices just like I did, so I pray for them on a regular basis. I want them to know that the lessons of faith that they learned as children or teenagers are still relevant in their lives today. I want them to know that when all else fails, Jesus will never let them down. I want them to have a place of acceptance and love, renewal and hope in their lives. They are still, and always will be, children of God's grace. My frequent prayer is that they will personally experience this for themselves in the most crucial times of their beautiful lives.

Points to ponder: Who are the young people in my church? How often do I think about and pray for them?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You personally know the young people in our lives who are an important part of our family, church, and community. Please be with them each day and bless them with Your guidance. Let them know that they are fully loved by You, as well as by Your people. Help them to make good choices which will bring positive benefits to their entire lives. May all of them experience Your loving embrace. In Your holy name, we earnestly pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Praise God for your deliverance.

    Been there, done that, John. Good message.

    That’s a wonderful testimony John
    I am the daughter of an alcoholic who died as he had lived.

    A BIG AMEN to that prayer John.
    Thank you for sharing

    A great message and reminder to us all. So many of our young people don’t have church or Sunday School training to guide them anymore so it is very important that we pray and look out for them. Thanks for sharing!

    Thank you, John, for sharing your journey to faith with us. Yes, let us pray for the young people in our lives and in the world that they not be deceived, but find the abundant life that accepting Jesus Christ gives all who come to him. Blessings.

    Thank you, John, for today’s devotional how we need to pray for our youth.
    It touches my heart in a very special way because I know how vitally important our young people are and how vulnerable they are. Thank you for exhorting us to pray more on their behalf. God bless you!

    Dear John Stuart,
    Thank you for a truly gospel message. I would like to share it unedited with some Christian universities and youth centers.
    I will notify them that it must be used unchanged and with your name as author.
    I look forward to your permission.

    Greetings John,
    A very good and most important devotional this morning. Our youth are the future adults of our society and therefore our prayers for them are truly needed. Thank you for writing this poignant devotional. Prayers of thanks to our Lord that you were guided on the right path and realized the destruction that alcohol causes to life.

    Good morning John! Thank you for “The Young Ones” I have been reading your inspirational devotions since the creation of PresbyCan and the start of your contributions and have received inspiration and enlightenment. The prayer for the return of Bible Camp youth that followed your devotion and to take time to pray for the youth in our Church are very important. Thank you for your dedication, your commitment and thank you to all the PresbyCan staff.

    HI John,
    As Presbyterian churches around us are closing, it makes me reflect on how we tell young people about the message of Jesus Christ when we use a reformed worship service, which I appreciate and with which I grew up. So many young people want the “relaxed, informal” style of Bible churches with which I am sure you are familiar. We have a small church but it is very vibrant….not many young people. Somehow, we keep growing but it is the 50 and above crowd.
    Erin seems to be doing a good job with their young people.
    Hope you and Evelyn can relax a bit this holiday weekend.

    Great one. I can relate to it for sure. It is true about our young people. There was one boy I had in Sunday School, and then in Young peoples, who graduated, played piano in church and went on to college. All is well until he got with the wrong ones or was tempted and he fell for it and ended up taking drugs but one time was too much and ended up in hospital in a coma for a while. He was moved back home and once he was able to be out of the hospital, recovered at his parents and eventually got playing piano again. He now goes to a smaller college and closer to home. He has a great brain and though quiet has a lot to offer. The devil sure likes to prowl around to destroy.
    God bless.

    Hi John,
    I really appreciate your honesty about your past, and I really appreciate your devotionals.
    As a matter of fact I am preaching about Christ being the Light of this world, and I mention that we are living in dark times for sure and that there has to be a change in people’s hearts, then I refer to your devotional as follows:
    “Last Friday the writer of the PresbyCan devotional for that day, I’m sure some of you read it, said he was on the wrong road of life when he was a youth. But when he met Christ his life changed. He is a Minister of the Gospel now.”


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