“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth . . . remember Him before the silver cord is severed . . . and the dust returns to the ground it came from and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”
From Ecclesiastes 12:1,6 and 7, NIV
Life is full of many temptations and unless we have good reason to resist them, we will fall into the same traps that countless human beings have fallen into previously, from which it is difficult to escape. In the eighteenth century Robert Raikes became interested in prison reform, specifically with the conditions in Gloucester gaol, and saw that vice would be better prevented than cured. He saw schooling as the best means of training up young minds and the Bible as the best text book. And so Sunday Schools were birthed into the UK. By 1830 there were over a million children regularly in Sunday School and by the beginning of the twentieth century that number had risen to over five million!
The impact on the lives of these children of being introduced to the Lord at an early age must have been dramatic. It was in my early youth that I invited Jesus into my life and I knew from those first days in the Kingdom of God that He had a calling on my life and that His Word would need to be a straight edge on my life. In common with the rest of humanity, I faced many temptations through my growing and then adult years. If I hadn’t come to know Who had made me and Who had died to save me, I would have been one of those crying out to God on a healing retreat many years later after falling into many traps.
We should never underestimate the preciousness of leading children to faith in their early years, for it is this coming to the Lord in the years of youth which provides a future defence against the inroads of the enemy. Sadly in today’s world Sunday Schools have declined almost to extinction. As a result we have generations of children now growing up without an inkling of who the Lord really is and the reality of the fact that there will come a day when whether or not we know Him is the only question that matters, when the silver cord of our lives is severed and our spirit returns to God.
Praying for, and with, our children, grand-children and great-grandchildren could be the most important service we could ever give to the future generations. If they remember their Creator in the days of their youth the doors of fruitfulness in their lives will open wide and who knows what works for the Kingdom of God they will fulfil, which will have amazing ramifications in both time and eternity.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for all those who impacted our own lives, especially when we were young. Help me, Lord, never to forget my responsibility to pray for the children and young people I know, that they will come to know their Saviour while their hearts are still tender and have not yet been corrupted by the ways of the world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.