The Longman Modern English Dictionary defines youth as “the state or quality of being young, the period from childhood to maturity; young people of both sexes”. A youth is characterized by features such as youngness, restlessness, strength, independence, curiosity; search fro greatness, vigor good, health etc. Pope John Paul II during his visit to Nigeria in 1982, addressed the youths in these words “Youth is the age of hope, of promise, of enthusiasm, of plans and of ideas. Youth does not want to give up in the face of difficulties… Youth believes in a better world and is determined to do something to help bring it about”.
ROLE OF THE YOUTH IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD
The youth has great strength, vigour, good health etc. These features should be channeled towards the propagation of the gospel. Let the children come to me, do not hinder them, for such belongs the kingdom of God (Lk. 18:16). In the church, the youths have the responsibility of evangelizing. It is their duty to witness Christ to their peers and to the remotest areas where Christ has not been preached. Anthony Aja, quoting the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II wrote: “The Church needs your energies, your enthusiasm; your youthful ideas in order to make the Gospel of life penetrate the fabric of the society”. “Besides, the Pope re-emphasized the part that youth can play in the call to evangelize the world as he addressed them in these words. “Dear young people, with the spirit of generous self giving recognize that you are directly involved in the new evangelization, proclaim Christ who died for all”. Where are our Youths today? Out there in search of worldly pleasure or working for the Lord. (Ref. to the past).
To be good evangelizer, witnessing must be accompanied by good example, being like Christ in all ramification. The bible recorded many dynamic youths worthy of emulation. Two of such youths will be considered in this text. They are Joseph and David.
Joseph had an encounter with God. He reverenced God. The fear of God was in his heart. Portipher’s household prospered because of the presence of Joseph. How about you? He hated sin. He successfully resisted the temptation from his master’s wife. To the sin-laden wife of his master Portipha, he asked, “how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God”? (Gen. 39:9). To escape the wrath that might befall him as a result of this great sin, he ran and fled from this great evil, sin of fornication. Godless youth would take advantage of this immoral opportunity and yield to the temptation. It takes a heart that has been washed by the Blood of The Lamb, a youth who has experienced the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ, a sanctified person and Holy Ghost filled to overcome such temptation. For the bible says “for the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world”. Titus 2:11-12.
David the son of Jesse, the youngest of the eight sons of Jesse, rose and worked marvels for god right from his youth. He killed a lion, a bear and conquered the veteran warrior Goliath. He overcame the evil spirits that tormented Saul by his anointed fingers on the musical instruments. He was able to do all these exploits for God because of his personal knowledge of God and the power of the Holy Ghost that was upon him. Through the youngest of Jesse’ sons, his fear of the lord and his close relationship with God, made him to do the chosen one of God. |”Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and the spirit of the Lord came mighty upon David from that day forward (1Samuel 16:13). Above all learn from Jesus Christ, who from childhood went about doing the father’ business, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other citizens also, for I was sent for this purpose? Make yourself available for...