It is worth highlighting the importance of soberness in contemporary society. Many young people are succumbing to substance abuse which disables them from sober lives. Many as well are tempted by greed and then pursue lifestyles through which they want to get quickly. The Bible
clearly warns about the dangers of this.
The rise of gambling in the Kenyan society raises questions about our morality as a nation. Gambling goes against biblical principles like hard work, honesty, and self-control. It also is most likely fuelled by covetousness, greed, and love for money which the Bible teaches is the root of all evil. Those who fall into gambling easily become addicted that leads numerous other vices. Gambling leads to exaggerated and speculative imagination of you can get more money and is contrary to a life of sobriety.
Another major concern among young people is sexual immorality. As society develops laxer moral values, we as Christians must learn to control our sexual feelings. This can only happen as we lead lives informed by the Scriptures and infilled by the Holy Spirit making sure we don’t allow ourselves to compromising relationships or situations. We must learn to relate to the opposite gender with integrity by growing friendships that honour each other. Sleeping with someone who is not your spouse is sin and dishonours the other person. The passion that leads to fornication and adultery soon turns to hatred because it is lust that most drives people to that point.
In regards to having a passion for God, a believer in Christ may fall, but they must nevertheless have a growing yearn for a constant connection with God, being right with His and doing the things God desires of us. As you come to a realisation of your own sin before our Holy God, you may think that you are such a depraved you can’t make it? Perhaps all you need is hibernating away to reform? But that is not what Jesus is asking right now. Jesus is asking us to acknowledge your sin before him and seek his forgiveness. Today is your day for salvation. The grace of God helps us then to say ‘no’ to a sinful lifestyle and to live a self-controlled life that is no longer enslaved by sin such as sexual immorality.
The third important aspect is to cultivate the right perspective renewed by the Holy Spirit. Paul writes while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (Tit 2:13-14).
A child of God should have a heavenly goal and expectation of the Lord’s return. With the Lord’s return is an expectation of judgment. To understand God’s wrath and judgment you need to think of the most horrible thing you have faced or been terrified of. Now, judgment day will be infinitely worse for those who have not received Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
God’s power begins to work in your life by His Spirit to bring forth good fruit, to make you eager to do good and to have a renewed perspective of what life and eternity is all about. It is only Jesus who can redeem us from wickedness, the height of which is to imagine that you can live without Christ and escape God’s coming judgment. A renewed perspective reminds you that Jesus will return, and you want to be among those who will be
ushered into his presence for eternity when he returns. Therefore, how you live now matters.
Some practical steps for personal renewal are the following: First, cultivate prayerful obedience to Scripture. This demands regular studying, meditating on & practicing the word of God. In other words, love the Word.
Secondly, guard against temptations – sexual sin, greed, covetousness, compromising pathways and ungodly ambitions and addictions.
Thirdly, be accountable to godly Christians. Critical areas to seek accountability are when making significant decisions, understanding God’s call, and vocational challenges. Having a good mentor is a key way to ensure that one keeps a clear focus in life and learns from those who have more experience than them.
Fourthly, plan your life. Take time to retreat, rest and reflect. It is also helpful to cultivate a habit of advance decision-making so that you are not
impulsive in your relationships, the way you spend money and the way you engage in social media. Think carefully about your purpose in life and vocation.
Fifthly, be an ongoing learner. Learn from failures, others, life experiences, and God’s word. The Scripture says, ‘How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.’ (Psalm 119:9, 11). We have all the resources, encouragement, truth and help from God to be totally sold out for God and to experience daily personal renewal and to sustain your spiritual passion following Christ in obedience.
May you purpose today to live a life in which you are penitent before God when you sin, in which you are filled with passion for the things that honour God and others, and in which you have the right perspective of the plan that God has for your life.