~* SHEPHERD OF TENDER YOUTH *~
Clement of Alexandria, C. 170-c. 220
Translated by Henry Martyn Dexter, 1821-1890

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 & 13

Someone cried,"Where must the seed be sown
To bring the most fruit when it is grown?"
The Master heard as He said and smiled,
"Go plant it for Me in the heart of a child."
~Author Unknown~

It is vitally important that our children be led to a personal relationship with Christ and instructed in His Word when they are young. What truth there is in These familiar statements: "To save a child is to save a life," or "Give me a child till he is seven, and I care not who gets him after that." D. L. Moody, the noted evangelist, once said: "If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God."

Christian nurturing of our children requires consistent discipline. Webster defines discipline as "training which corrects, strengthens, and perfects". Discipline goes far beyond merely being punitive. Discipline and training have done their job only when they result in a changed character and the desire to live with self-control. Although there may be times when our youth may rebel and react against their early Christian training, they can never get completely away from it when the instruction and correction are consistently taught and given in love (Proverbs 22:6).

"Shepherd of Tender Youth" is the oldest Christian hymn of which the authorship is known. Clement of Alexandria wrote this text in the Greek language some time between A.D. 202 and the time of his death in A.D. 220. It was evidently used as a hymn of instruction for new, young believers.



Shepherd of tender youth,
guiding in love and truth
Through devious ways;
Christ our triumphant King,
We come Thy Name to sing
and here our children bring
To join Thy praise.

Thou art our holy Lord,
O all subduing Word,
Healer of strife.
Thou didst Thyself abase
That from sinís deep disgrace
Thou mightest save our race
And give us life.

Thou art the great High Priest;
Thou hast prepared the feast
Of holy love;
and in our mortal pain,
None calls on Thee in vain;
Help Thou dost not disdain,
Help from above.

Ever be Thou our Guide,
our Shepherd and our pride,
Our staff and song;
Jesus, Thou Christ of God,
By Thine enduring Word
lead us where Thou hast trod,
Make our faith strong.

So now, and till we die,
sound we Thy praises high
And joyful sing;
infants and the glad throng
Who to Thy church belong,
unite to swell the song
To Christ, our King.



*For Today*: Deuteronomy 32:46; I Timothy 4:12; I Peter 2:25

Reflect on this truth: The prized possession of any church is its youth. Seek to speak a word of encouragement to some young person, and to their Sunday School & Junior church teachers.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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