(Authors Note: This is the first part of a series of posts looking at the 4th Chapter of I Timothy, verses 12-16. While I try to typically make posts devotional in nature, this one seems like it is turning more into a study. Fault my inexperience at writing…but don’t despise my youth!)
Timothy was a guy like me. Young, raised in the message. Timothy had faith, and a heart to serve the Lord. I think if many of us young people look at his life, we’ll find that Timothy was much like us. Paul tells him “let no man despise thy youth” (v 12), so we know Timothy was a young person at the time Paul wrote to Him. We also can surmise that Timothy “grew up in the message”. In II Timothy Paul says: “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” (II Tim 1:5) His grandmother and mother were both believers. He probably grew up hearing about Paul and Paul’s message. So as I said, Timothy was a guy like me, like you, like many of the young people in this message today.
Paul said some really good things to Timothy about how to behave, act, and what He should be doing with His life. I figure if it was good advice for Timothy, since many of us are in the same position as Timothy was, it would be good advice for us.
Paul’s advice to Timothy in one chapter was this:
I TIMOTHY 4:12
12 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.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Today we’ll dig deeper into the twelfth verse and then on subsequent posts, we’ll take a look at some of the points of the other verses.
Paul says: “Let no man despise thy youth;”
Just because you are young, doesn’t mean that you aren’t spirit filled or spirit led. Just because you are young, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing things for the Lord. Paul is telling Timothy that even though he’s young, it doesn’t mean he can’t do things for the Lord. Sometimes God can use our “inexperience” because it means we don’t have any of our own “experience” to get in God’s way. Even though you are young…God can use you.
Look at Elihu in the book of Job. Elihu was the youngest of the 4 visitors Job had. Take a look at His words in Job
JOB 32:7 – 8
7 I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
Read that whole chapter…it’s great really. Elihu is very eloquent.
Keep in mind, Elihu was respectful to those older than Him. He allowed them to speak first, and listened intently to what they had to say. He didn’t have a “I’m young and smarter than you old starchy people” attitude…He had respect, but he also told them that God’s Spirit is what counts the most and proceeded to speak in such a way that Job saw a vision of Calvary.
So don’t let the fact that you are young, keep you from doing something for the Lord. Now is the time you have to get out and do things, before you have any “responsibilities of this life” to hold you back. If you are young and single, you have so many opportunities to serve the Lord. Don’t let anyone, least of all yourself, despise your youth. It is a benefit, not a hindrance as long as you have the Spirit within you.
Next Post: “be thou an example” coming soon!