May 20, 2015

Read: I Timothy 4:12

The words in this passage are addressed to Timothy, whom the apostle Paul called his son in the faith.  He had mentored this young man and was about to hand the baton of ministry over to Timothy to continue the work.  Paul encouraged his young protege by exhorting him with these words, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness; but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”

This would be a good topic for a commencement address to graduates who are followers of Jesus Christ. Take this message personally, each of you who, though  young in years, can still have an impact in your sphere of influence. That sphere may be college for some.  It may be in the workplace for others, but wherever this next season of life finds you, you are to be found faithful to God who called you to be salt and light in a dark world.

By living a life marked by purity of speech and conduct, and exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, you will gain the respect of both your peers and those who are older. Scripture teaches that if a youth has wisdom that comes from God, then he may be wiser than even his teachers. The book of Proverbs should be required reading for all young people, for it addresses so many practical subjects, and can be a fountain of wisdom for those wanting to know how to conduct themselves in a way that honors God.  

As Paul said in I Corinthians, so to us as well, we are all “living letters” read by others. Our lives are examples, for good or bad. What kind of message is your life sending out to those who are reading from the pages of your conduct?  Are you presenting an accurate picture of the worth of Christ by the manner of your speech and conduct?

Determine that by the grace of God, you will not give cause for your elders to look down on you because of your youth, but will give them reason to appreciate the God-given wisdom and gifts that have been deposited in you. Will you be a Timothy and grab the baton of ministry that is being passed to your generation?  Congratulations! Run well and finish strong!

Pray: 

Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship.  

Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.  

Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness.  

Supplication: Petition God regarding your family and your ministry.  Ask for help and guidance in sharing your Jesus with others and helping others grow in Him.  Offer prayers concerning your activities for this day and any special concerns you may have.  Intercede on behalf of local, national, and world missions.  Pray the Great Commission would be fulfilled and for any special concerns you may have for missions.