While the future is one that is filled with hope and promise, it is also filled with much work and will require a persevering spirit in order to succeed. To assist you in your journey we have the following challenges for you to strive to master in the upcoming months and years:
First, seek the Lord, His wisdom, and His righteousness above all else. God should be the foundation of everything in life and each of us should pursue our relationship with Him as our first and irreplaceable priority. It is by the fear of the Lord that we can grow in knowledge and in wisdom. God desires that we focus our lives on His kingdom and not wear ourselves out in the pursuit of the temporal things of this world.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33, KJV)
Second, develop the fruit of the Spirit, which should be manifested in all that you say, do, and think. We want you to dedicate yourself to living a life that demonstrates this fruit and may you keep in the forefront of your mind the verses of Galatians 5:22-23 that outline these vital characteristics:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (KJV)
Third, seek to place others before yourself. Pride and selfishness are a sinful disease that spreads and causes many problems in life. God specifically gives us the following warning in regard to pride:
God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6, KJV)
On the subject of selfishness, God has very direct and specific counsel:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
How much better it is to be resting in God’s grace by following His perfect direction than struggling against His opposition by self-centered and self-seeking pursuits.
Fourth, seek to be generous and not greedy. Greed is another pitfall that besets many a man and the older you are prior to getting rid of this unhealthy and ungodly attitude the more difficult it becomes. The Bible has great wisdom on this subject, as it does on every matter pertaining to life since we know that God’s Word is an all-sufficient guide for every area of how we are to live. It states:
He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live. (Proverbs 15:27, KJV)
Fifth, seek to have a gentle and sensitive disposition, eliminating all bitterness, rage, and anger. In order to achieve victory in this area, you must not only win the battle of the outward actions being free from anger, but you must also triumph in the war that is in the mind over the very spirit of anger. You must be willing to live in accordance with the exhortation that we receive from Scripture:
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 5:31-32, KJV)
In order to meet these challenges, you need not, and in fact you best not, attempt to do so alone. You have God’s Word as the ultimate standard by which to live, the Holy Spirit to lead you into all manner of godliness, and loving parents who are seeking to prepare you for your life journey.