While waiting in the checkout line in my local grocery store on one Sunday afternoon, I noticed all the candy bars lined up neatly on the shelves next to me. The temptation of the colorful wrappers hiding their scrumptious treats inside seemed to be saying to me, "Buy me!" While contemplating whether or not to get one, and then the agonizing decision of which kind to get, the idea struck me that many Christian teens are like candy bars. The Bible says, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches." Could a candy bar describe your character?
Immediately, I thought about Proverbs 14:9 that says, "Fools make a mock of sin." These are teens that laugh and snicker throughout the service and don't listen to the man of God or the Word of God. Now, Snickers is my favorite candy bar, but I sure don't want that candy bar to describe my character or attitude toward God!
Then I thought of all the teens that had the attitude of "us four and no more!" The Bible says that "a man that hath friends must shew himself friendly" (Prov. 18:24). It is important that we have no cliques in our youth groups and make everyone feel welcome.
I thought of all the ones who "forget" to bring their Bible to church. How can you hide God's word in your heart when you don't even know where your Bible is? If you truly desire to grow closer to Christ, you will daily be searching the Word of God for His perfect will for your life.
How many times do we cry because we do not get our own way? So many Christians are still sucking on their pacifiers, metaphorically speaking, instead of growing to become spiritually mature Christians who can eat the meat of God's Word. Stop acting like babies, sleeping in church and sending texts during the special music and preaching. Grow up!
After I realized where this was going, I saw some other candy bars that made me think of how our character should be.
The "100 Grand" made me think about having a good reputation!
As I heard my friend, Steve Roberson, say one time, "Reputations are chosen, should be cherished, and can be changed." I pray that we would all have a reputation that has value pleases the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then I saw the Mr. Goodbar!"
We are not saved by our good works; we are only saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ! We are not saved by doing good; we do good after we are saved! God saves us from the inside out, not the outside in. You should stand out, not as in physical matters, but spiritually. People should say that you are different and that you have something that they don't. That difference should be the Lord Jesus Christ.
And finally, I saw the "Zero!"
Be a hero for God and not a zero! Our goal in life should be to find, follow, and finish the will of God for our lives! Joshua 1:8 tells us that!
So the next time you are in the grocery store and are looking at the candy bars, ask yourself, "What candy bar am I" Choose wisely.
-Earl Sides, Youth Pastor.
Calvary Baptist Church