We have discussed many challenges that young people face in our current sermon series. So far, the main emphasis has been the challenges that our young people face out in the world. But what about the challenges that young people face among God’s people? Are there ways we can drive young people away?
The answer to these questions is: YES!
It is interesting that when you study surveys of young people who turn away from their faith, the many of the responses that young people give as the reason why are things like:
Jesus says, "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to fall away—it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42, CSB)
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
Our media and our culture here in the United States has tried to fill our minds with pictures of what the ideal person should look like. The person that is attractive and beautiful is one who is "skinny" and not overweight. This has led to a lot of problems. People (especially women) who feel like they are not meeting the ideal picture that our culture gives them of how they should look, start to feel too self-conscious, and this leads them to starving themselves and developing eating disorders so they can get back to the ideal weight. These eating disorders are dangerous.
We looked at anorexia and its spiritual counterpart last week. Today looks look at bulimia.
Bulimia (The Physical Disorder)
Bulimia is an illness with recurrent, compulsive episodes of binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting and/or purging with laxatives. This disorder is also very dangerous. It can lead to stomach and esophagus problems, dental problems, and death in about 1% of cases.
This disorder is caused by not using the most important bible translation. Let me explain. Do you know what translation is the most important one? The best, most important bible translation that we must have is the translation from the written page into your life!
You may not be spiritually anorexic. You may read and study the bible every day. You may be a scholar. But if you are not applying it, you have spiritual bulimia. You may feed yourself full of scripture to your hearts content, only to vomit it up a short time later by doing things that are contrary to what you studied. You completely waste all of the knowledge that you gain of God's word if you do not apply it.
There are Christians that hear about how we need to have our minds and bodies holy and pure at worship, and then in their spare time fill their minds with most obscene things (ex. secular music, and improper movies and television shows) and compromise their purity physically by doing things with the opposite sex that are sinful.
We feed ourselves with the scriptures that say we need to be patient and not let our anger lead us to sin, only to go home, vomit up the word of God, and then act impatiently and sin in anger. This does not please the Lord.
We need to realize that gaining bible knowledge is not our goal as Christians. We should NEVER stop there. We need to obey the word.
James says that we need to not only be hearers of the word, but DOERS of the word! If we do not obey the word of God, we are deluding ourselves into thinking that God is pleased with us! We need the heart like Ezra. Probably the most well known verses in Ezra: "For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it" (Ezra 7.10)
Both of these "Spiritual Eating Disorders", just as their physical counterparts, have serious consequences. If you are not getting the spiritual nutrients that you need from God's word, and not applying it's truths, you will develop (if you don't them already), heart problems. Only when we let God's word penetrate our hearts and lead us to action can this be prevented. In all cases (100%) if these disorders go unchecked in our spiritual lives, they will kill us!!
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