The Character Heaven Approves
no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word,
in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Tim. 4:12.
Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, has left an example for the youth. He toiled
in the workshop at Nazareth for His daily bread. He was subject to His parents,
and sought not to control His own time or to follow His own will. By a life
of easy indulgence a youth can never attain to real excellence as a man or
as a Christian. God does not promise us ease, honor, or wealth in His service;
but He assures us that all needed blessings will be ours, "with persecutions,"
and in the world to come "life everlasting." Nothing less than entire
consecration to His service will Christ accept. This is the lesson which every
one of us must learn....
We have marked illustrations of the sustaining
power of firm, religious principle.... The gaping lions' den could not keep
Daniel from his daily prayers, nor could the fiery furnace induce Shadrach
and his companions to fall down before the idol which Nebuchadnezzar set up.
Young men who have firm principles will eschew pleasure, defy pain, and brave
even the lions' den and the heated fiery furnace rather than be found untrue
to God. Mark the character of Joseph. Virtue was severely tested, but its
triumph was complete. At every point the noble youth endured the test. The
same lofty, unbending principle appeared at every trial. The Lord was with
him, and His word was law.
Those who study the Bible, counsel with God,
and rely upon Christ will be enabled to act wisely at all times and under
all circumstances. Good principles will be illustrated in actual life. Only
let the truth for this time be cordially received and become the basis of
character, and it will produce steadfastness of purpose, which the allurements
of pleasure, the fickleness of custom, the contempt of the world-loving, and
the heart's own clamors for self-indulgence are powerless to influence. Conscience
must be first enlightened, the will must be brought into subjection. The love
of truth and righteousness must reign in the soul, and a character will appear
which heaven can approve.
From Maranatha - Page 84