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Thoughts for Young Men Paperback – May 27, 2013
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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There is a lot packed into this little booklet by J.C. Ryle, and though most of it is geared towards the wandering young man--men of all walks of life will find it beneficial. I found great wisdom in the final chapter regarding something that is not spoke much of today: idleness. "He that would be safe from the acts of evil, must widely avoid the occasions." How often do we young men fall into all kinds of sin simply because in our doing nothing we give opportunity to the Devil.
Ryle then goes to show how worldly entertainment is often objectionable because it "sows seeds of an earthly frame of mind." This is not legalism. This is wisdom. I fear that much of my generation has let its guard down primarily through idleness and entertainment (It is not THAT bad, right?)--and we wonder why temptation is so strong?! We must heed the warning: "Do not always be trying to see how near you can allow the enemy of souls to come, and yet escape him."
There are a bunch more tidbits in this booklet (you can read it all in one sitting). Ryle has a great closing section on the importance of prayer. "It is the only strength of this (prayer) that you will get onward towards the mountain of God." People rarely talk like this anymore. In Ryle's book we see desperation and a real faith based pursuit of holiness. May we young men take heed!
These messages pull no punches and the unflinching condemnation of Sin -- yes, some preachers still use that word in its original Biblical context -- will no doubt disturb those readers not accustomed to straight talk about the teachings of Jesus on choosing a life of purity and full obedience to God. Our discussion of this book over 4 or 5 weekly studies engendered some serious but lively discussions on the differences between what the World calls a "good" life and the behaviors that our society tolerates today, in contrast to what the Word of God commands for Followers of the Way. There are many challenging statements in these chapters, some of which may sound "Puritanical" or "judgmental" at first, but are quickly revealed to come directly from Scripture.
If your church is not accustomed to hearing the Gospel proclaimed boldly, without apology, this will be a tough slog for many of you; but if you're willing to be challenged, and to face your own shortcomings honestly, without guilt, these teachings will prove very valuable to you and the younger men in your life. Some sections will seem repetitive at first; that's how the writer emphasizes his key points. But if you picture the words actually being preached to a large gathering it soon becomes obvious that Brother Ryle is entreating his audience, especially its younger members, to treat these admonitions seriously, and to act on them without further delay.
For this speaker, "sooner" means NOW. Highly recommended.