Daily Devotional for Sunday April 15, 2007
A Message for You Children and Young Adults
(Matthew 6:24; Deuteronomy 26:16; Acts 5:29)
By now, most have heard about the tragic story from November 2005 of the two Pennsylvania teens, David Ludwig and Kara Borden. Ludwig, 18, and Kara, 14, were secretly dating and had spent a Saturday night together. Kara was confronted by her parents when she arrived home at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning, and Ludwig was contacted to come over to speak with her parents at that time.
After talking for over an hour, Kara's father Michael Borden was escorting Ludwig to the door when Ludwig pulled a handgun and shot Michael Borden in the head killing him. He then found Cathryn Borden, Kara's mother and shot her in the head killing her. Ludwig then took Kara and the two teens began to flee across country.
A few days later, the car Ludwig was driving was spotted by state police in Indiana. After a high-speed chase, Ludwig crashed his car and both teens were taken into custody. Kara was a solid Christian girl, very upfront about her relationship with Christ, active in her church's youth group, and was actually wearing a sweatshirt with the name of Pillar, a popular Christian rock band.
Kara was FOURTEEN YEARS OLD! She was a child and had as much business "dating" anyone as she did performing brain surgery. Ludwig will be spending the rest of his life in prison, and Kara and her siblings will now grow up not only without their parents, but carry the incredible scar of this horrific tragedy with them the rest of their lives.
The reality is, a parent slowly loses control over the lives of their children the older they get. Their children spend more time away from home. They make more and more decisions each day on their own. It is all part of that process of becoming an adult. This is why I hammer home so often how CRITICAL it is for parents to do their job when their children are babies and young children. To lay that foundation of faith in their lives so that as they start to mature, as they start to make their own decisions, they are making wise, God-honoring decisions.
It appears that the Borden parents did a great job in raising their children in the faith, laying a Christian foundation in their lives. Moms and dads, that is all you can do. At some point, you have to begin to trust God with your child's life and that your child will choose each day to follow the Lord and not this world.
A NOTE TO MOMS AND DADS! You are NOT responsible for the choices your children make. Please, hear me clearly. You are NOT responsible for the choices your child makes. You are responsible to raise them in the admonition of the Lord, to shape their lives according to God's Word. You are responsible for their protection and care while they live with you. But please understand, just like God gave you the free will to make your own choices, God has given your child that same free will. Pray for them, love them, help them as you are able, and stand on God's promise in Proverbs 22:6, "train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
OK, let me talk directly to you children and young adults. I am speaking now to those who are 10-18. You can be foolish and tune out all I am about to tell you, or you can open your heart and know that it is not me speaking to you, but God Himself. This is no accident you are reading these words today. God is speaking to you, I pray you listen. What I am going to share with you, comes from dealing every day with thousands of children and young adults from 10 up.
There is NOTHING that you are facing or going through that I don't have to deal with every single day. So trust me, this is not a lecture "from some old guy" on how to live. I am simply going to tell you the way it really is and pray for you to open your heart and let God guide you. Lastly, please don't fall into the trap that "this will never happened to me." Nobody ever thinks it will. Kara Borden was probably one of the last people you would expect to be involved in such a tragedy like this, but she was. IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!
There are obviously lots of traps out there that satan can use to try and destroy your life. But the biggest ones for children and young adults are alcohol, drugs, and sex. Please listen to this fact carefully. Jesus told us in John 10 what satan's goal is. It is to "kill, steal, and destroy." That means YOU! Don't think for a moment that satan is not real. He is very real and wants to see you destroyed.
Again, there are many traps satan can use to hurt you, but by far the three biggest ones are alcohol, drugs and sex. Listen, nobody starts out to be an alcoholic. Nobody starts out to be a drug addict. Most every alcoholic and drug addict started out experimenting with booze and drugs in their teen years. There is NOTHING great or special about getting drunk or getting high, NOTHING!
Most kids start experimenting with alcohol and drugs to be part of the group, to not be left out. Everybody else is doing it so you don't want to feel like you don't fit in. Never forget this. It is YOUR LIFE, nobody else's. At the end of the day, nobody else has to live your life, you do. You, and nobody else is responsible for the choices you make. You, and nobody else has got to deal with the consequences of your choices.
There is absolutely nothing positive about drinking and drugging. Not one thing! As a matter of fact, there is nothing but negative consequences from drinking and drugging. So knowing this fact, knowing that it is a trap of satan to try and destroy you, why would you even consider drinking or taking drugs? Just to fit in and be part of a group of people that really don't care about you? That is just stupid.
The other big trap for young adults is sex. Sex is usually the natural by-product of these teen relationships. I have done numerous Devotionals in the past on young adults and dating. My position is that it is NOT something a young adult should even think about until after high school. I deal every day with 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 year olds "in love." Kara Borden was probably "in love" with Ludwig. The reality is you haven't got a CLUE what "love" is.
You are confusing the unbridled new feelings of lust and passion for "love." You are getting involved in "relationships" when you don't even know what life is all about. This is NOT something to "experiment" with. Relationships are serious and something even mature adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s have trouble with. Deciding to get involved in a relationship, to date someone while in your early teen years is a FOOLISH choice.
Trust me, I know the pressure is on. Everyone else has a boy friend or girlfriend, so you feel you need to just to fit in. TV and movies glorify teen relationships and sex in a totally unrealistic way, again, encouraging you to get involved in something you simply aren't ready for. Sex is sold by the world as this wonderful experience that has no downside. The truth is, it is a special gift from God for men and women in the bonds of marriage, PERIOD!
All sex outside of marriage is a sin, and for good reason. It is a special physical act that should only be shared by two people who have made a lifetime commitment to each other. Babies come from two people having sex. Diseases comes from two people having sex. Tremendous emotional issues come from two people having sex. That is why God designed sex STRICTLY for men and women in the bonds of marriage.
Here is the bottom line. It is your life. God gave you the free will to make your own choices. God isn't going to force you to choose Him, you have to do that yourself. Your parents can't force you to make Godly choices, you have to do that yourself. In the end, YOU, and YOU ALONE are responsible for the choices you make in your life. The one thing I want you to really hear today is that your choices have consequences.
If you want God's blessings, you have to be wiling to follow God and obey Him. If you choose to live in rebellion to God, know that there will always be consequences for that rebellion. Sadly, some of those consequences can change your life forever, or like in the case of Kara Borden and David Ludwig, destroy your life before you even had a chance to live it!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I don't believe in "preaching" to adults, and I certainly don't believe in "preaching" to children and young adults. All I can really do is share with you the Truth of God's Word and the hope there is in Christ, share with you the clear choices you have to make and pray for you. I can't make your choices for you, your parents can't make your choices for you, even God won't make your choice for you, YOU have to make your own choices.
Know that as you make those choices each day, you are either unlocking God's blessings in your life, or opening the door for whatever consequences that come with your choices in rebellion to God and His Word. That really becomes your choice. Blessing for obedience, consequences for rebellion.
I will be praying for you moms and dads out there. Do the best job you can as you raise your children to follow the Lord and how to make Christ-like choices. That will help guide them as they begin to make their own choices. I will be praying for you children and young adults out there. God has trusted you with the ability to make choices. He loves you and only wants the best for your life. God has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life if you will simply obey Him and follow Him.
But that is the choice you make over and over each day, to follow Christ or satan. Never forget that satan is out there to try and destroy you, so be on guard. Also, your friends may like you but they don't really love you. They aren't the ones who have to live your life, you do. If you need to follow someone, follow JESUS! He DOES love you and will help you to live a life of peace, joy, and abundance.
Life is not easy. Especially for you young children and young adults growing up in this world where every kind of sin and evil is promoted as wonderful and in your face literally 24/7 everywhere you turn. That is why now more than ever you need to trust your life to the Lord and follow HIM and His Word. God will guide you through the landmines that are out there waiting to destroy your life. There is safety in the Lord. There are blessings in the Lord. Satan is roaming like a hungry lion seeking to devour you, while God is there to watch over you, protect you, and bless you.
The bottom line, in the end it is your choice. You can choose this world and live your life in rebellion to God and His Word and deal with the consequences that come from your rebellion, or, you can choose to follow Christ and let Him guide you through this life. You can't do both. You can't follow the world and Christ. You have to choose. Jesus said you can't serve two masters. You have to choose to follow this world that wants to destroy you, or Jesus who wants to give you life and life more abundantly. I am praying for you to choose JESUS and follow Him!