Spiritually Strong Young Men – I John 2:14

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Every parent knows the frustration of not being able to make wise decisions for their children. Especially as they grow into teens. I remember one teen boy who was continually rebellious and totally disinterested in the spiritual influence of his Christian parents and church. One day his mother excused these tendencies by blaming struggles in school and bad experiences. I remember thinking that a parent is only going to get as much spiritual responsiveness and maturity out of their children as they expect from them. Therefore, expecting more spiritual responsiveness from this young man, rather than making excuses, could have made a difference.

When John wrote to Jewish believers anticipating the Tribulation days, he said something significant about young people; “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the Word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one” (I John 2:14). John’s reference to these young men being strong had nothing to do with their physical capabilities. He was describing their strong spiritual interest and walk with the Lord. Like Joseph, who as a youth, demonstrated godly strength before Potiphar’s wife and Pharaoh, like Daniel, before a nation of idol worshippers, or like Timothy when he dedicated himself to minister with Paul, these young Jewish men were strong spiritually. The source of their spiritual strength was spending ample time in the Word of God and allowing it to dwell within them in abundance. We can find this to likewise be true of Joseph, Daniel, and Timothy when we study their lives in Scripture. The result of being strong students of God’s Word and being spiritually strong generally produces the power of God to “overcome the wicked one.” Apparently, due to their faith in Christ and time in God’s Word, these young men had not been deterred by the ridicule and threats of unbelieving Jews. They were standing strong in their faith. For that, the Apostle John acknowledged and praised them.

High spiritual expectations for ones teen doesn’t insure success because they can choose to rebel. But it does appear to be true from Scripture that one gets a better outcome from young people when they know genuine spirituality is expected of them. This is exactly why Paul wrote to Timothy: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (I Timothy 4:12). Parents, let your children know you expect spiritual interest and responsiveness.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."