What is the meaning of the apostle Paul’s words “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)? This article will tell you the answer and how to pray without ceasing.
Only God Can Save the Youngsters Who Are Squandering Their Youth
By Jin Ming
At 5:30 in the morning, my husband, who works as a taxi driver, came back home after the shift as usual. Noticing our daughter cooking in the kitchen, he smiled and said, “My baby girl is making breakfast today?” “Yeah. Mom isn’t feeling well, so it’s my responsibility to cook for you,” answered my daughter with an elfish smile.
At these words, my husband’s face was wreathed in smiles and he said, “Compared to others, my girl is much more considerate.”
“Whom do you mean by ‘others’?” I asked in confusion.
“Ah! Forget it,” said my husband as he took off his coat. “Last night when I was waiting for passengers outside a KTV, several drunk kids who are 17 or 18 hailed my cab. After they stuffed a boy who was drunk as a skunk into the car, they fumbled in their pockets and could only find some coins. Then they used that boy’s phone to call his mom and asked her to pay the taxi fare. When I drove him home, his mother was already there waiting in the doorway. As it was midnight then and the temperature was pretty low, she was shaking with cold. You know what? When she tried to get her son out of the cab, he still held to the handle and didn’t want to get off, yelling ‘I’m not drunk! Bring me more beer!’ You can imagine how mad his mom got. She scolded him and cried, yet it didn’t have any effect on him. In the end, I gave her a hand and helped her get that boy out of the cab.”
My husband then let out a sigh and continued, “Kids these days are really a headache for their parents. They should be positive and full of vitality at this age, but most of them are squandering away the springtime of their youth in karaoke venues, nightclubs, bars and internet cafes, spending the hard-earned money from their parents in eating, drinking and having fun, seeking excitement and fleshly enjoyments. Because of this, they no longer want to study and throw away their education.”
What my husband said threw me into a whirlwind of thought. Nowadays, the whole society is getting worse and worse by the day, and many young people, even students, treat things like eating, drinking and seeking pleasure as symbols of being fashionable. It seems to them that youth should be spent indulging the flesh because it will be too late to enjoy life when they get old, and as for other stuff in life, there is no hurry for that. This has already become a social problem which neither school education nor parents’ exhortations can resolve. There are many parents living in agony because of the depravity of their children, on whom they have tried many ways, but all to no avail. So why do kids these days enjoy such dissipated lifestyles?
A passage of God’s words then occurred to me, “One after another, all these trends carry an evil influence that continually degenerates man, causing them to continually lose conscience, humanity and reason, and that lowers their morals and their quality of character more and more, to the extent that we can even say the majority of people now have no integrity, no humanity, neither do they have any conscience, much less any reason. So what are these trends? You cannot see these trends with the naked eye. When the wind of a trend blows through, perhaps only a small number of people will become the trendsetters. They start off doing this kind of thing, accepting this kind of idea or this kind of perspective. The majority of people, however, in the midst of their unawareness, will still be continually infected, assimilated and attracted by this kind of trend, until they all unknowingly and involuntarily accept it, and are all submerged in and controlled by it. For man who is not of sound body and mind, who never knows what is truth, who cannot tell the difference between positive and negative things, these kinds of trends one after another make them all willingly accept these trends, the life view and values that come from Satan. They accept what Satan tells them on how to approach life and the way to live that Satan ‘bestows’ on them. They have not the strength, neither do they have the ability, much less the awareness to resist.”
God’s words make it clear that the growing evil practices in society are caused by Satan’s evil trends. As people who do not possess the truth, we cannot distinguish right and wrong, positive and negative things without the leadership of God’s words, much less do we know what the right outlook on life and values is, so we are vulnerable to Satan’s evil trends and can even become inextricably trapped in them. For example, under the influence of some popular ideas and views like “Seize the day for pleasure, for life is short,” “Enjoy yourself today,” “Go wild while you are still young,” “If you do not enjoy now, you will regret when you get older,” “Youth should be spent seeking pleasure,” and “Don’t waste the time of youth,” the young generation believes that they must seek the enjoyment of flesh when they are young and that life without going to KTV, carousing, puppy love, rebelling, hanging out in the nightclubs and internet cafes, or staying out all night is dull. Corroded by these satanic ideas, these young people, on whom their parents pin great hopes, lose the desire to make progress and throw away their entire education or career, squandering their parents’ hard-earned money on indulgence. Not only are they damaging their own bodies, but they also cause a lot of harm to their families. Aren’t these the consequences of Satan’s corruption of man?
“Mom, breakfast is ready.” My daughter’s soft voice interrupted my meditation.
“Dad, try my eggplant. How is it?”
My husband took a bite and nodded. “Hmm, it is so delicious. You are a better cook than your mom,” said he, eyes full of love.
Seeing how sensible and obedient my daughter was, I couldn’t help thinking back to the past when she had been a stroppy little princess who always had the words “Go wild while you are still young” on her lips. She once had her ears pierced with 4 holes in each just to be stylish, and when I criticized her, she even retorted me by saying, “My classmates all do this.” Not only that, she often spent the days playing online games in the internet cafes, and wouldn’t listen to me no matter how I urged her. Because of this, I had cried many times and tried every way possible to stop her from following the evil trends, but it was all to no avail. Just when I was at my wits’ end, I thought of God—God is omnipotent; only if I bring my daughter before God and let her accept the salvation of His words will she have the hope to escape the harm of evil trends. So afterward, I shared thewith my daughter, and gradually, she saw through Satan’s wicked schemes of corrupting man through reading God’s words, and began to actively pray to and rely on God, and attend meetings. In the end, she successfully broke away from Satan’s evil trends and began to live protected under God’s watchful eye. Seeing how considerate my daughter was now, I was overcome with emotion: It was the guidance of God’s words that protected her from the harm of evil trends. Thanks be to God!
Then these words of God appeared in my mind, “I have done much work among man, and the words I have expressed during this time have been many. These words are for the sake of man’s salvation, and were expressed so that man might become compatible with Me.” “Man has seen the word, heard the word, and become aware of the existence of the word. As a result, he believes in the existence of God, in the omnipotence and wisdom of God, as well as in God’s love for man and His desire to save man. Though the word ‘word’ is simple and ordinary, the word from the mouth of the incarnate God shakes up the entire universe; it transforms man’s heart, notions, and old disposition, and the way the whole world used to appear.”
God’s words made me more aware that none of the speeches spoken by those great or famous people, or sociologists can save the young people who are poisoned by the evil trends, much less can they change this diseased society. Only God’s words are capable of changing and cleansing us and making us live out the likeness of man. Before, when my daughter was following the social trends, I failed to help her no matter how hard I tried. It was God’s words that changed her, taught her to distinguish good from evil and beauty from ugliness, and enabled her to see clearly that evil trends could only cause people to degenerate and lose humanity, so that she finally abandoned those bad habits. It was God who saved my daughter from the whirlpool of evil and guided her back into His embrace. Now my daughter often reads God’s words, sings hymns of praising God, and lives a normal church life. As she often interacts with the brothers and sisters in the church, the humanity she lives out has become more and more normal.
The Lord, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). It’s true. All things impossible for us mankind can be done by God. God’s words are capable of changing our hearts, keeping us from the harm of evil trends, and helping us live out the likeness of a real man. If it hadn’t been for God’s salvation, my daughter wouldn’t be so sensible today.
“Mom, you too have a taste,” said my daughter as she added some eggplant to my bowl, which brought my mind back to the reality.
“Hmm,” I chewed and said, “you really are a better cook than I.”
At that moment, what I was tasting was not just food, but the blessings bestowed by God.
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