“…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
(Acts 1:8 ESV)
As school is resuming here in Beulah, and as my own children are back in school, this verse has often come to mind in recent days. It comes to mind because it reminds me, and hopefully them as well, of the calling God has placed on their lives. Like the apostles, and like you and me, they have been called to be Jesus’ witnesses. And school provides them with a great outlet for this calling.
It’s a great outlet because there are many in the schools who do not know the Lord. Students and teachers alike, there are many who do not have faith in him. And they are able to share the gospel in this mission field.
As most of you know, a witness is someone who testifies to what he’s seen and heard. He testifies about something he’s experienced first-hand. And this is what young people can do in the schools. They can testify before others about the wonderful things God has done in their life. They can testify concerning Jesus, how he’s saved them, and how he’s given them the hope of eternal life.
I’ve run into many Christians over the years who’ve told me that children are not capable of carrying out this call. They’ve told me that they’re too young. They’ve told me that, instead of being a witness, they’re in the position of being corrupted by unbelievers.
We can’t deny that it’s possible for our children to be corrupted. It’s possible for us to be corrupted as adults as well. However, Jesus gave this call to all of his followers. As I search the Scriptures, I don’t see any age limit put on it.
And not only is this true, we see also how God used young people to do great things. We see that, when he was only a child, God spoke to Samuel and he became a great prophet. We see that, when David was quite young, God used him to slay Goliath. We aren’t given Mary’s age, but most scholars believe she was young when she was told that she would bear the Son of God.
God can use young people because they don’t fulfill this call by their own abilities. And neither do we. It’s not our wisdom that enables us to carry out this call. Nor is it our maturity or strength.
Jesus told his followers that, when his Spirit came upon them, they would be his witnesses. It was the Holy Spirit who enabled them to carry out this call. And, in the same way, it’s by the Holy Spirit that our children, that young people, can carry out this great work.
I was a believer throughout most of my childhood. And as I think about school, I see mostly my failure to reach out to my teachers and classmates. I was so desperate to fit in that I kept my mouth shut. I hope and pray that my own children, as well as yours, will not fail in this way. I pray that they’ll fulfill this calling. I pray that they will be the start of a revival here in Beulah. I pray that, through their witness, many will come to know the Lord and his salvation.