Nathaniel, Age 16
Youth services is always one of my favorites, and I don’t know why—sure I do, I’m in it! I really like it and I was feeling pretty good about this one, until Dwayne came up to me and said, “Hey, Nate, we need a 30-minute sermon.” (This will not be 30 minutes.)
Let’s start with “attitude.” Job 1:2-3, Seven sons and three daughters were born to him [Job]. His possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east. So Job has a lot of “stuff”—he was a very blessed man.
Job 1:13-19, Now on the day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, a messenger came to Job and said, 'The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans attacked and took them. They also slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.' While he was still speaking, another also came and said, 'The fire of Yahweh fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.' While he was still speaking, another also came and said, 'The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.' While he was still speaking, another also came and said, 'Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.' Okay, Job is having a very bad day. There’s not much more you can say than that.
Job 2:7, Then Satan went out from the presence of Yahweh and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes. Then his wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse Yahweh and die!' But he said to her, 'You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from Yahweh and not accept adversity?' In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Now this guy is incredible. He’s got everything going wrong for him; nothing is going right and he still manages to serve Yahweh. HalleluYah!
Let’s now look at Chapter 38. Most of Job is about these guys coming to him, saying, “Job, we know why you are suffering, you sinned.” They’re just talking to Job in most of the chapter.
Job 38:1, Then Yahweh answered Job out of the whirlwind and said... Now, if a tornado starts talking to me, I’m going to listen! Most of this chapter and the following chapter is Yahweh asking Job question after question after question—I think there’s 72, but I didn't count them. Yahweh is not asking these questions because He wants an answer. Yahweh knows the answers to these questions. He’s asking these questions to change Job’s attitude, and it worked.
Now the NASB is pretty nice because it has a nice little chart and I’m going to read it:
“Before Testing and After Testing”
Before testing, he had 7 sons, 3 daughters, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 1,000 oxen, and 500 donkeys. After testing, he had 7 sons, 3 daughters, 14,000 sheep [that doubles], 6,000 camels [that doubles], 2,000 oxen [that doubles] and 1,000 donkeys [that doubles]—that’s pretty cool.
Depending on what kind of attitude you have, it can hurt yourself and others. Genesis 4 is a rather extreme example. This is the story of Cain and Abel which most know, but we’ll quote it here:
Genesis 4:3-8, So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to Yahweh of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And Yahweh had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then Yahweh said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Now, we can all say Cain had a pretty bad attitude. It’s not really his fault that Abel had a better offering, but… That’s a pretty extreme example of how a bad attitude can effect others.
Proverbs 17:22, A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. So, if you have a bad spirit, your bones will dry up although I’m sure that is more a poetic thing, but you can see where it’s going.
So, what kind of attitude should we have? That’s what we should talk about next. Romans 12:10, Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor… That’s important.
Proverbs 22:4, The reward of humility and the fear of Yahweh are riches, honor and life. So if you want riches, honor and life, fear Yahweh and be humble.
Luke 14:11, For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. This is like the “he who is last is first and he who is first is last” type of thing.
James 4:10, Humble yourselves in the presence of Yahweh, and He will exalt you.
Conclusion: What can we get from this “’Tude”; “attitude?” Your attitude is very important. You usually want to have a good attitude and some very wise words I have heard are, “Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?”
All right. Let’s move on to our second ‘tude. This is going to be “gratitude.”
Hebrews 12:28, Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to Yahweh an acceptable service with reverence and awe; Now, if I was more biblically-inclined, I’m sure I could provide a whole sermon from this verse, but I won’t—we’ll leave that to Elder George. He can do that sometime for you. But, this verse talks about gratitude and it is very important.
Romans 8:28, And we know that Yahweh causes all things to work together for good to those who love Yahweh, to those who are called according to His purpose. Now, notice this verse does not say “all things ARE good,” because we know there are very evil things that happen in this world. But, it does say all things work “together” for good.
1 Timothy 4:4, For everything created by Yahweh is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude...
Let’s talk about some things we are grateful for. Who is grateful for their legs? You can walk, we can walk in here—we’re grateful for our legs, right? Arms? We all have five senses. Most of us in here are blessed with all five senses. I can see y’all; you all can hear me. Okay? I can feel that, I can taste that, smell that. So, how do we show what we’re grateful for?
Psalms 9:11, Sing praises to Yahweh, Who dwells in Zion; declare among the peoples His deeds. Yahweh loves it when we sing to Him! That’s why we do it. So let’s sing to Yahweh more.
Matthew 21:22, And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive. Talk to Yahweh, pray to Him, Yahweh loves it when we talk to Him. Most of us, including me, are guilty of not talking to Him enough. We should do it at least three times a day, like Daniel did. Three times a day should be the minimum.
Gratitude—We need to be more grateful. If you are running late for work and you get a green light and another green light and another green light, you don’t say anything. But the moment you hit a red light, you’re just totally ungrateful for that. You take the green lights for granted and you’re mad when you get the red lights. You shouldn’t thank Yahweh for the green light, then get mad at Yahweh for the red light. You need to thank Yahweh for the green light and when the red light comes, be like, “All right, it happens to all of us.” Boo-hoo, get over it. So, gratitude—be more grateful, pray to Yahweh, sing to Him—he loves that kind of stuff. Do it more often.
Now, the third “’Tude” I’d like to talk about and this is one I came upon on my own, but it’s called “Magnitude.” Do we know how big Yahweh is? Quick answer is “No, we don’t.” I’m going to give an example real quick—I’ll call it the “circle example” because it has to do with circles.
Let’s say I have Mr. and Mrs. Flat. Now, Mr. and Mrs. Flat are only two dimensional—they can have length and width, but they have no sense of depth whatsoever; they’re two dimensional. Let’s say I would like to introduce myself to Mr. and Mrs. Flat, so I go over to where Mrs. Flat is, I stick one finger through the paper. Now, she can walk over and be like—she can see the cross-section, it’s a circle, right? I go over here to Mr. Flat, stick three fingers through the paper. He walks over, “Hmmm, three circles.” So they get together and Mrs. Flat is like, “I’ve seen Nathaniel and he’s a circle,” and Mr. Flat is like, “What are you talking about, Dude, I saw him—he’s three circles,” but really neither of them have any idea what I am. I have more dimensions than them so therefore, they cannot fully understand me whatsoever.
Ephesians 3:18, ...may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth... Well, hold on, I’m no mathematician, but I can count to four and there are four dimensions listed right there. I’m familiar with length, width and depth, but that said four. If Yahweh was introducing Himself to us, that would be the equivalent of Mr. and Mrs. Flat. Yahweh is there sticking His finger through the paper. We see the circle, but we have no idea how big Yahweh is. We can get a pretty good idea, but our 3-pound brain just cannot comprehend how big Yahweh is. Yahweh is so much bigger than we can even begin to imagine.