Today’s Passage – 1 Timothy. 4-6; 2 Timothy. 1, 2
“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
I thank the Lord for our young people. If it were not for the young people at Jersey Shore Baptist Church, we would not be able to do a tenth of what we are able to do today. We would have to shut down our bus ministry, our Kid’s Club, all of our children’s Sunday School classes, our Saturday prayer meeting, and most of our soul winning efforts, if it were not for the young people. By young people, I am referring to teenagers, and college-age. They bring a zeal and excitement to the work of the Lord. They are willing to tackle any project, and they have the energy to make it happen. And they are very generous: they have not learned yet how to be disobedient in giving. They have a simple trust in the Lord that enables God to use them in great ways.
However, they also have some problems that tend to be associated with their age. Paul admonishes young Timothy in our passage to “be an example… in word (what you say), in conversation (behavior – what you do), in spirit (that’s excitement, passion, zeal – no problem there), in faith (that’s what you believe which will affect what you do and say), and finally purity. This last area is a problem for all of us, but it seems to be a particular area of difficulty for young people. I would like to take this time to admonish you young folks that are reading this to be very careful in the area of purity. Be careful about what you allow to be put into your mind; be careful about who you hang around. Try to surround yourselves with other young people who also want to stay pure, and are committed to doing whatever it takes to maintain their purity. Put some fences and boundaries up in your life that will help you stay inside of God’s perfect will. Paul later admonished young Timothy to “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” It is certainly tragic when young people lose their purity. They lose that sparkle of innocence that they had when they were children; and though they can certainly recover, they never seem to recover completely from their fall into impurity. Watch out! The devil wants to sift you young folks like he did Peter. Wake up! Stay pure!
I am very excited about the future of our church, and it is mostly because of what I see that God is doing in the lives of our youth. I thank God also for our servants that are no longer in their youth, which includes me by the way. I know that this ministry needs the wisdom that only can come from spiritual maturity; but we need to get behind the young people, and cheer them on. Don’t try to quench their zeal. Pray for them; they are at a critical point in their lives. They will either continue down the straight and narrow path that leads to God’s blessing and fruitfulness; or they will get sidetracked down a wider path that will cause them many sorrows.
Posted in Thoughts from 1 Timothy by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.