“for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” –Luke 19:10
As a teen, there are a lot of questions going on in my head on a daily basis. Do I want to graduate high school a year early and what am I going to do after high school? Do I go to trade school or college? What do I really want to do with my life? How do I navigate the dating world? Am I growing spiritually? Am I striving to be Christ like?
I know those may not be the exact questions or problems you have, but I am pretty sure that as a teen, we have some of the same things in common anyway. Church, family, dating, school— sometimes it’s a lot of pressure. But, talking with my mom and to different women from all generations, I have realized that this is nothing new and that I will eventually get it all figured out. The best advice I have ever been given is to “put God first and everything else will work itself out.” So, when I start feeling pretty anxious, I take a deep breath and just remember that I’m not the only person going through this. Many others already have, and I won’t be the last.
It helps to remember what my purpose on this earth is in the first place. I am a child of God, and my purpose is to be an ambassador of Christ. My most important goal in life, no matter what I decide about school, or who I date, or if I decide to graduate high school a year early, will ALWAYS be to go to heaven and take as many people as I can with me. That is true success in life! My parents have asked my brothers and I that question everyday since we were small. They also ask us what is true failure, what is our Hope and who should we marry when we grow up— among many other things in our Family Bible Time. Those questions during Family Bible Time and reflections in my personal Bible Study help remind me of the importance of my own soul, and I pray I never neglect it.
When we seek to become more like Christ, we become more interested in souls. True success in life (thank you, Glenn and Cindy Colley) means that I am striving everyday to not miss heaven and to take as many people as I can with me. This means that I earnestly care about the state of someone’s salvation.
Caring about souls, to me, means going to someone and telling them that Jesus has died for them and that they can come into Christ by His plan for salvation. He loves them so much that no matter what they have done, they can become as clean as snow.
Caring for souls is the work of the Christian and the church, and we should make it our life mission to tell as many people as we can about the Good News.
Whenever I see someone in need, I pray for them and whatever they’re going through. I pray for their spiritual needs, physical needs, and emotional needs, and that they’ll come into Christ (if they have not) before it is everlastingly too late.
When I was little, I can remember whenever we were driving down the road and came upon a wreck, my mother would teach us to pray for the victims, their families, the rescue workers, and the doctors and nurses helping them. She taught us to pray that they would have the opportunity to become a Christian, if they were not, before it was everlastingly too late. We did this together every time, and it taught me and my brothers to care for those who were hurting.
The Great Commission says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
If we don’t tell people or teach people about Jesus, they won’t have the opportunity to hear about Him and His Word and believe in Him. (Romans 10: 13-17, Acts 16:31). By hearing the Word of God and believing in Him, we have the opportunity to repent (Acts 2:28), and confess Jesus (Matthew 10:32-33), and be baptized for remission of our sins (Acts 22:16). By living a faithful Christian life (Revelation 2:10) and being an obedient child of God (Galatians 4:7, John 3:10), caring about souls becomes a very important part of my Christian walk.
As a teen, there are things that I can do on a regular basis to care for souls. I don’t want people to miss eternity.
- I CAN look for the lost.
- I CAN look for the friendless.
- I CAN look for those who need to be encouraged.
- I CAN look for those who can encourage me.
- I CAN be a good example by not missing church and Bible study.
- I CAN participate in worship.
- I CAN be willing to do a Bible study with a friend.
- I CAN stand up to peer pressure when a friend suggests that we do a certain activity that I know isn’t right.
- I CAN invite someone to church.
- I CAN always be kind and a good example to those around me.
- I CAN help those in need.
- I CAN always stand up for the truth.
- I CAN be a good listener.
- I CAN honor my parents.
- I CAN grow in my faith by praying and not neglecting personal Bible study.
- I CAN teach a Bible class.
- I CAN volunteer at VBS.
- I CAN pray for my preacher, elders and missionaries.
- I CAN remember that people are watching me and that I may be the only Gospel that they ever see.
- I CAN remember that, although I am certainly not perfect and have many faults, I wouldn’t want to do anything that would cause the Word of God to be blasphemed or bring harm to the church, the body of Christ.
- I CAN remember that everyone has a soul that is precious and worthy, carrying the HOPE of eternity.