I recently had the privilege of speaking at Thrive and 19 North for my friends Zack and Lauren Blair. If you live in Pittsburgh and are a teenager or twenty-something, I couldn’t encourage you enough to visit these ministries! They are incredible!
In this message, I share 11 things God has taught me in the last 12 years that I wish I had known when I was younger. I hope that it adds value to your life. Enjoy!
If I knew Then what I know Now
“We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more. I was circumcised when I was 8 days old, I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin – a real Hebrew if there ever was one. I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecute the church.. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law with out fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake, I have discarded everything, counting it all as garbage, so that I can gain Christ and become one with Him. -Philippians 3:3-8
The Key Takeaway: Anything you put your confidence in outside of Christ will ultimately leave you unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and in a bad place.
1.) I wish I would have known that the season I’m in right now won’t last forever
Psalm 90:12 – “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
2.) I wish I would have known that My Friends will Determine My Future
“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future”
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. -Proverbs 13:20
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
3 You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. 4 Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. 5 But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. -I Peter 4:1-5
3.) I wish I would have known that I need Spiritual Mentors
I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith. 1 Timothy 1:2
“You need mothering and fathering in order to reach maturity. It does not have to come from biological parents….and often doesn’t. Find it!” -Henry Cloud
4.) I wish I would have known that God would use my tests and trials to be a part of my testimony.
When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect, complete, and lacking nothing. -James 1:2-4
And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. -Romans 8:28
5.) I wish I would have known that the Decisions I make Today will Determine who I Become Tomorrow
Biblically – there are two outcomes to our choices and all of our choices come from one of two desires: our sinful desires or spirit led desires.
Galatians 5:19 – When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins lie these. Let me tell you again, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
You can determine which type of decisions you’re making based on the fruit your life is producing.
There is a choice you make in everything you do so keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you. -John Wooden
6.) I wish I had Known that Yesterday Ended Last Night
21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. 23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. Colossians 1:21-23
Admit it, quit it, forget it!
7.) I wish I would have known that one Day I would be married!
Proverbs 3:5-6 -Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in ALL you do, and HE will show you which path to take.
8.)I wish I would have known that Faithfulness is the Key to Unlocking My Potential
“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ Matthew 25:23
Faithfulness: Doing the best you can with the opportunities and gifts that are in your hand right now!
9.) I wish I would have known that God expects us to be excellent – world class:
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the Word of Truth. -2 Tim 2:15
10. I wish I would have known that God can write a better story for my life than I can!
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’ masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
Psalm 5:8 – Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your path plain for me to follow!
11.) I wish I would have known that following Christ is all that Matters
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake, I have discarded everything, counting it all as garbage, so that I can gain Christ and become one with Him. -Philippians 3:3-8
You have everything you will ever need in Christ. Everything. Everything. You don’t need more friends, more money, a new job, etc. Christ is enough!
God will give you a purpose, give you self-worth, take care of all of your needs, provide a spouse for you, open doors for you, grow you up, make up for things you may not have gotten while you were growing up, mature you, surround you with awesome people, make things happen that you never dreamed possible!
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