by: Matt Crouch
2 Timothy 4:3-4 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”
When my friend Paul and I were thirteen, we found a stolen motorcycle in the woods near my house. We knew we needed to report the motorcycle to the police, but we did not want to take the time to walk back home to do so. Instead, we decided to enjoy a morning of exploring the woods before calling the police. Later that day we made the call and returned to the woods to meet the police. On our way back, we met our friend Eric who was obviously excited. Eric was just leaving the woods where he had led the police to the stolen motorcycle. When we asked why he was so happy, he reached into his pocket and showed us the two-hundred dollar reward from the dirt bike owners. Seeing all that cash, we learned what the Apostle Paul was trying to teach Timothy in our key verse: Opportunities are limited!
Teenager, it would serve you well to learn that the opportunities that God gives you are limited. I want to share some very important opportunities that you have in life – and I encourage you to embrace them now.
- The opportunity to know God in your youth – Ecclesiastes 12:1 states, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…” Your teen years are quickly passing, and they are a wonderful time to get to know God. I encourage you to develop a quality relationship with your Heavenly Father now.
- The opportunity to spend time with your mom and dad – Friends are important, and I understand your desire to be with them, but the truth is that in most cases you will lose contact with most, if not all, of your friends after high school. It is a fact of life that your life and the lives of your friends will go in separate ways soon after graduation. I do not suggest that you abandon your friendships; I’m simply explaining that your time to spend with mom and dad is a limited opportunity, and you need to invest in your relationships with them. You will never have this thought at you mom or dad’s funeral, “I wish I would have spent more time with my friends.” Spend valuable time with your parents now.
- The opportunity to develop a good relationship with siblings – Most of you are thinking, “My brother and/or sister drives me crazy!” Realize that God gave you your siblings for a reason. One of my dearest friends in this world is my sister, Terri, and one of my wisest counselors is my older brother, Bryan. I thank God for my relationship with my siblings. Since I have become an adult, it has been my brother and sister who have stood by me on my best and worst days – not my friends from high school. The time to spend quality time with your siblings is now.
I also challenge you to realize that today is a limited opportunity. Proverbs 27:1 says, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Please realize that today, or any other day, could be your last day to take advantage of the opportunities that God has given you. Make the most of every God-given day now, and do not waste the opportunities to make the most of your relationships with the family God has given you.
Grace Baptist Church
Flower Mound, TX