The Young Christian - Living for God Despite The Challenge of Being Young

My generation thinks it's too hard to be a "Christian"....

The truth is, being a Christian in general is hard. But over the past 5 years of my life walking with Jesus, I've noticed that many of the young people that I have met have walked away from a true relationship they could have had because they said it was too hard. I've preached, and I've watched: many have heard the gospel, and became on fire instantly, but soon enough the fire dwindled and was no longer. Many heard the great news and denied it because they didn't want to give away their idols -(Sexually immoral relationships, drugs, and other worldly desires). Many have simply just placed their worldly and fleshly desires over God, saying that they love Jesus, showing off their good deeds and ministry activities, but with their hearts, they crucify him all over again. I'm reminded of the parable of the sower Jesus shared in the gospels:

1. On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
— Jesus Christ, Matthew 13:1-9
 My brother & cousins

My brother & cousins

I grew up in a loving family - we were predominantly Catholic. Out of all of my cousins (and my brother), I've always been the youngest of our age group (80s & 90s babies). We grew up in a time where social media and the internet became a huge place to learn. We also grew up in a time where Juvenille was taking over for the 99' and the 2000s'. That being said, we (although, Catholic) had different thoughts. None of us were serious about God, but we did honor him by going to Church on Sundays.. (or so we thought we honored him). We wore chains and necklaces with a cross, we'd let the world know we believed in God when they asked, would occasionally share some bible verses as our Facebook status, and would say prayers before eating our meals. All of that did not excuse us from all of the sin that we had committed from the moment we were born out of our mothers wombs. We did not understand due to a lack of knowledge, and a lack of wanting to know who Jesus really was. 

For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.
— Romans 6:23
For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord] is not judged [for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation]; but the one who does not believe [and has decided to reject Him as personal Savior and Lord] is judged already [that one has been convicted and sentenced], because [b]he has not believed and trusted in the name of the [One and] only begotten Son of God [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, the One who alone can save him].
— John 3:16-19

At this point, you're probably thinking "Yeah! I've seen those scriptures, they are extremely popular!" Those are the same words that came out of my mouth for years. Even when I had my first true encounter with God when I was 17, these were the same scriptures often repeated; but the true question is what did it really mean to believe? And how in the world was I going to do it?

A reoccurring theme I hear when sharing the gospel is that people fear losing something they love. The something they love tends to be the very thing drawing them away from God. That's how it was for me - when I first met Christ, I was put into such a tough position, that I wasted about 2 years of my life that I could've spent in true relationship with the Lord. At the time, I was 17 and becoming very successful in the club scene / party industry. Growing up in Miami, It wasn't too hard to get your feet in the industry, and with the fact that my dad was famous in Miami for being a Radio Host for years, I got places I would've never imagined. I could go on with my story, but so you get the jist, I was making hundreds every week. It also included compensation with drugs, alcohol, popularity, and being with any girl I really wanted. Jesus met me at my lowest, and still chose me. Many of you may be reading this thinking "What a show-off" or "He had it good", but I'm thinking that Jesus is a true lover to have chosen to speak to me when I was so far away from him. I had to leave what I thought would be my lifelong career and profession - something I spent years crafting my skills in, in order to follow Jesus. When I thought that I would be done with music and the years I spent working to become something, I made the sacrifice for Jesus and he replaced my worldly desires for a desire to use my talents to glorify him. That picture you see above was an opportunity I was given just a few years into my walk to share with people how amazing Jesus really is, and the only reason God gave it to me is because he asked me to do one thing when I came to him: believe. I believe that he can do anything he wants. God used someone like me. Shortly after, the Lord blessed me in business. He rose me up as an entrepreneur, speaker, and salesman. It all came together quickly the more I let my personal desires get out of the way, and continued to trust his plan, and remove every bit of worldy and fleshly desire I had for myself. Not my will, but your will Lord, be done.


If you have decided to believe (because you do not accept Christ, Christ has to accept you.) in Jesus as Lord, but are still struggling to let go of your desires, I want to share with you how dangerous it is to live a life of sin. Not only will you not hear God, know and walk with him, you will not make it to Heaven. If you don't believe me, read Matthew 7:21-22. Repentance is the key to his heart.

Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of [the kingdom of] God, 15 and saying, “The [appointed period of] time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life] and believe [with a deep, abiding trust] in the good news [regarding salvation].”
— Mark 1:15

As you already know, I had spent a lot of time 'believing' in God, but when I read the first words out of the mouth of Jesus in Mark, I began to understand what believing meant; not just in the fact that Jesus was God, but in the fullness of the Gospel: That God sent his only son to die as a sacrifice for the sins of the entire world so that those who would live for him would be pardoned from the judgement coming for their sins. AND that Jesus rose again proving himself as Lord, but also sending a helper (the Holy Spirit) so that we may overcome. I began to understand that God did not die in vain; he didn't die so we would continue to sin. I immediately knew that believing and repenting were hand in hand, and without doing both, I could not know who he was. Believing is exactly as the scripture above states -- that we would believe that through Jesus we are forgiven and made new. Repentance has never been a popular topic, but without turning from your sin, you will never know God. 

 

When I fully believed the Gospel and chose to live a life of repentance; when I chose to live to battle my flesh and walk in the Spirit of God that I was given, was when I was truly able to become successful in my walk as a young Christian. When I look at other young Christians who are living a Holy and fully given over lifestyle, those are the same qualities I find: believing and repenting. The more I believed and surrendered, the more God would reveal himself and move through me. He literally says in the Word that you could move a mountain if you believe. Well I believe it.. do you? Repentance is when I started to feel God in me. The more time I spent in repentance before the Lord, he would show me his hearts desires and chisel the disgusting areas of my heart and life.  This led to me living a life that was pleasant to him, allowing me to walk filled with the Holy Spirit of God, where he would do miracles in my life as well as the life of others such as healing, prophecy, deliverance, and many more things.

 

So now you're probably wondering, what am I supposed to do now?

  1. Repent
  2. Believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  3. Do what Jesus did (Matthew 28:19-20), and don't let anyone stop you
  4. Live every day of your life believing and humbling yourself towards God
Let no one look down on [you because of] your youth, but be an example and set a pattern for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in [moral] purity.
— 1st Timothy 4

I encourage you to continue to read this chapter in the book of 1st Timothy. Timothy was a young evangelist, someone who I see when I look at myself. Timothy was constantly being encouraged and poured into by Apostle Paul, and it's no wonder why: he had a fire and zeal for the Lord Jesus and turned his city upside down for the glory of God, living in a pleasing way unto the Lord.

 

 

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.
— Jeremiah 1:4-8

Jeremiah doubted his ability to move for the glory of God because of his age; but know that no matter how old you are, God can do anything. All you have to do is believe.

 

 

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
— 2nd Timothy 2:22
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
— Psalm 119:9

Lastly,

Never ever ever ever ever EVER, let ANYONE stop you from following Jesus. The worst thing that could ever happen is walking away from Jesus because of someone else or their opinion. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. You can fight the good fight, and finish the race. The world WILL try to stop you, and will try to tell you that you are wrong; that you are a fool, an idiot, and religious. But there is nothing better in the world than knowing who your creator is; the person who has loved you perfectly since the beginning of time. You are loved.

God bless you,

Hyram

CEO of Excellence

 

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Hyram Bautista