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Push On With Jesus

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I get the privilege of preaching today at a combined youth service from various areas of the ministry, which I enjoy doing so much, as I see it as a serious investment into the lives and futures of the young people, but also an investment into the future of the ministry.

For those of us who did not grow up in an impoverished nation, we probably don’t understand the immense and continual pressure on the young people to just “pull back and conform, to what their parents idea of normality is”.

I was speaking to one of our youth this morning and his parents really want him to stop school and go to work, as the cost of school is a constant burden upon the parents, but as most of us understand, “you either pay now or you will pay later”, the cost today is nowhere near the cost you will pay in the future if you stop school now. The challenge here is that it is not the parents who pay the future cost, it’s the young people who will get married, have children and have no real way of providing for them, so unfortunately the viewpoint of the parents is an understandably “selfish one”.

I was praying last night, before this conversation this morning and God gave me a great little word for the youth today on Peter.

He was one of the first disciples to be called, had very much an up and down walk with Jesus, but none the less he walked with Jesus. A number of firsts were done by Peter, first to walk on water, first to sink, first to realise Jesus was Lord, first to be rebuked by Jesus, first to deny Jesus publicly. Jesus gets crucified, so Jesus has now left them by the understanding that the disciples had at that stage…so Peter goes back to fishing. Almost every success Peter had was followed up by a very quick failure.

The point is this, if you stop, what do you go back to, for Peter it was fishing, but for these young people it’s poverty, few opportunities, living in mud, rubbish, squatters areas and struggling in so many areas of life for the rest of their life. At least when Peter was with Jesus he was learning, growing and actually “going some where”. The message for the youth today, is to just keep on going, keep the walk with Jesus close, keep the eyes up and firmly fixed upon Jesus – He knows what He is doing and He knows where He is going, He is taking us all some where.

If you stop, what are you going back to you and how long might you have to stay there?

There’s nothing wrong with fishing, but if you are going to fish, at least do that with Jesus. The only time Peter fished while he was with Jesus, he caught a fish with a gold coin in it’s mouth, now that’s fishing the way Jesus does it.

At all costs, stay close.

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It’s constant motivation to keep moving forward, when the weight of the world here, says “it’s too hard, stop and settle for whatever you can get right now”. Short term thinking verses long term thinking.

We have great young people, who are going to become awesome adults, free from poverty, free from small mindedness and their generation is going to lay a path to freedom for the younger ones around them.

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