Today I am addressing the leadership of a youth group called Arena. Last night I addressed all the Arena youth and I think it went well. The title of my message was "Pay Attention" and my text was Acts 23:11-22. This is the story of how Paul's young nephew saved his uncle by overhearing about a plot to kill Paul. The nephew then came and told Paul, who in turn sent the young man to the commander. The commander then assembled a protective force and ushered Paul to a safe place.
I pointed out three things about what this young man did:
1. He told someone what he heard. Often young people don't know the value of what they know and hear. That is why they must learn to share it with others.
2. He followed someone's instructions of how to act on what he heard. Paul sent his nephew to the commander because the young man didn't know what the next step was. Young people need to share what they hear not because what they are hearing isn't correct, but because they often lack the experience to know what to do.
3. He had faith in what he heard. The young man had faith in Paul, the commander and the word or message he was carrying. The commander saved the day, to his credit, by taking orders from a young man who had neither his experience or authority. But the real hero of the story is the nephew who changed the course of history because he did something with what he was hearing.
I told the Arena youth that they are hearing things, things about their purpose and the direction that they and others need to take. I urged them to take what they are hearing and sensing seriously. Furthermore, I encouraged them to follow the three steps that Paul's nephew took in order to see what they are hearing come to pass.
Can you use this same advice at this point in your life? Do you know a young person who could be encouraged by this message? If the answer is yes in either case, I suggest that you act and do something to apply these truths today.