March 18, 2021 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Ted N.C. Wilson, President, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Hello, friends! Today I’m happy to share with you some exciting things happening this coming week involving our young people around the world.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 12, verse 1, the wise man tells us, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth . . .” and I am so thankful for the dedicated youth leaders around the world who take this counsel to heart and help our young people remember their Creator and encourage them to form a life-long relationship with Him.
Whole armies of children may come under Christ’s banner as missionaries, even in their childhood years. Never repulse the desire of children to do something for Jesus. Never quench their ardor for working in some way for the Master. (Letters and Manuscripts, Volume 10)
Through their motto, “Pass it on,” youth leaders are encouraged to instill three essential values in the hearts of young people: 1) Identity in Christ; 2) Mission as Seventh-day Adventists; and 3) Leadership in the local church.
One important way this is encouraged is through the annual Global Youth Day—which is happening this Sabbath, March 20. This is a special day when young people around the world become the hands and feet of Jesus, bringing God’s last-day message of love and hope to a world in desperate need.
Coinciding with Global Youth Day is the launch of the Youth Week of Prayer, focusing on the exciting I Will Go theme. Written by Dr. Yeury Ferreira who is currently serving as director of Hispanic ministries in New York City, these presentations written especially for youth cover how to be ready to go wherever God may send. You can download this material and more at the url shown at the bottom of the screen [youth.adventist.org/Resources/Week-of-Prayer].
You know, friends, it’s exciting to realize that the idea of I Will Go was initiated by young people in the South American Division and it is now the official strategic plan of the Seventh-day Adventist Church! This is just one example of the positive influence and impact young people can have in reaching others for Christ!
The Bible is filled with examples of young people who were encouraged to give their all for God and who made a big difference in world around them.
In 2 Kings, chapter 5, we see a brave young girl—taken captive and forced to work as a slave in a foreign country. And yet, rather than being bitter, she had compassion on those she served and shared her faith, leading to the healing of Naaman, commander of the Syrian army.
When the youthful Jeremiah was approached by the Lord for service, he was afraid because he was young, but God told him, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you. . .’” (Jeremiah 1:7,8, NKJV).
God approached Isaiah when he was young, giving him an incredible vision that brought him to his knees in confession. After being cleansed by the figurative coal from the altar, Isaiah was then ready to answer God’s call when asked “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” “Here am I! Send me!” was the young man’s eager response.
In 2 Timothy 4:12, Paul tells Timothy, “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.”
Down through the centuries, God has used many young people to keep faith alive and moving forward. In the establishment of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, God worked through young people, helping to establish this movement on solid ground and move it forward with energy, dedication, and enthusiasm.
And He is still calling and using youth today. He has amazing plans for your life! I encourage every young person—every young woman, every young man, every girl, every boy—to say “Yes!” to the Lord. Say, “Yes Lord, I Will Go wherever you send me, I Will Go!”
Let’s pray together just now. Father in heaven, in a very special way I pray for our young people, children, youth, individuals who are so impressionable, but youth and young people and children who are willing when introduced to Jesus to say, yes Lord, I will go, I wanna follow you and I will share your message everywhere. Lord, bless our young people and bless older ones as they mentor and nurture and encourage young people, bless our children and young people on this global youth day, may be a blessing to all those who come in contact with these precious young people. Thank you for hearing us and thank you for the promise of your son coming, want to go home with you, so today Lord, we say: “I will go” and share this word, because I want to be with you forever. In Jesus name we ask it, amen.