Last week, I shared how I have a specific goal in relation to the raising of my children. I want a spiritual mentor down the line someday to remind my child that though they are young beyond capable to serve God’s Kingdom in a mighty mighty way!
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. Instead, set an example for the believers through your speech, behavior, love, faith, and by being sexually pure.”
1 Timothy 4:12
We learned that Timothy was left in charge in Ephesus to correct some wrongs that had become entrenched and began threatening the salvation of this congregation.
This week we’re going to discuss how we get there. How do we get to the point that Hwy 231 is cranking out Timothys left and right!? How can we get to the point where HWY 231 has such amazing youth who are on fire for Christ that older folk look at them sideways?
If we jump over to Paul’s second letter to Timothy we get the answer to that. Apparently the severity and difficulties of this assignment were getting to Timothy. Paul’s response is to remind Timothy of what was within him. Take a look at 2 Tim 1:3-7,
“3 I’m grateful to God, whom I serve with a good conscience as my ancestors did. I constantly remember you in my prayers day and night. 4 When I remember your tears, I long to see you so that I can be filled with happiness. 5 I’m reminded of your authentic faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice. I’m sure that this faith is also inside you. 6 Because of this, I’m reminding you to revive God’s gift that is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled.”
In the midst of his difficulty, Paul reminds him of a few things. He’s praying for him; reminds him of his love for him (take a look at verses 1-4). And then he writes verse 5; our money verse! Paul is reminded of the AUTHENTIC faith lived out in Timothy’s first teachers; mommy and grandmommy. (Oh that I can be this mom and grandmom!) The answer to our question is to be living out an AUTHENTIC faith in front of our children.
What does authentic faith look like? Discipleship!! Sharing! Don't conceal your struggles or your triumphs from your children. But rather include them (age appropriately). Let them know that you're asking God for help in certain areas. Ask them to pray for you. What we don't want is to put on a show and make our children think living for Christ is a walk in the park where our every "wish" is granted as long as we end the prayer with "in Jesus' name". What we do want is for them to see us walking in faith, stumbling at times, but not wavering away from the Savior and Lord who loves us.
Thank you Lois and Eunice for the example. We are but broken vessels pouring out perfect love into our babies! God help us to be the parents You have called us to be; imperfect pouring out perfect love!!
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. Instead, set an example for the believers through your speech, behavior, love, faith, and by being sexually pure.” 1 Timothy 4:12
I was doing some studying and came across this verse. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably heard or read this verse before; especially on youth days and at conferences. However, this time was different for me. Thanks to God the Spirit, I had a moment when reading this verse. When taken out of context and left on its own, it sounds like a great Sunday school lesson for teenagers. But the beauty of this scripture (along with all the rest), is in the entirety of the message being delivered.
Let’s take a step back. Paul is writing this letter to his mentee, Timothy. Up to this point he has trained and taught Timothy through other missions. However, this time, Paul leaves Timothy behind to get the church in Ephesus on track. He wrote this letter to give Timothy instructions on what he should be correcting and how to do just that. If you read through the whole letter we see that Paul is fairly specific about the issues that need to be addressed. Nevertheless, he also continually encourages Timothy throughout the letter to keep certain things in mind.
That brings us to our verse. One of the encouragements that Paul gives Timothy is a reminder and warning that there will be some who give Timothy grief for being young!! THIS was the point God drove home for me that day. Timothy wasn’t merely being left behind, but he was being left in charge. While we may not know exactly how old Timothy was at this point, we know his age would have been an issue for some who were left under his authority!
As a mother who has trusted Jesus with my everything, THIS is what I want some mentor someday to say to my babies!! With this verse Paul was essentially saying, “You have a job to do. I need you to get this congregation back on track. Here’s a list of the things I’ve seen and heard about and how to address them. But don’t forget that you are in charge. However, here’s a warning. You’re only ___ years old. Though you are capable, there will be some folk who talk crazy and act like they have no home training because you are younger than them. Don’t let them. Rather you need to be an example to them through your speech, behavior, love, faith, and by being sexually pure.” Praise the LORD!! Here Timothy is being a FORCE for God’s Kingdom in a major way though he is young.
We need to be raising up some Timothys at Hwy 231!! In the next post, we’ll discuss how we get there.
Everyone knows the story of Cain and Abel. The second generation of humanity and their epic rivalry that ended in murder is known even among non-believers. However, I want to draw your attention in another direction.
“1 Adam was intimate with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, “I have had a male child with the Lord’s help.” 2 Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of flocks, but Cain worked the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also presented an offering — some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he looked despondent.”
Genesis 4:1-5, HCSB
Now most of the time the conversation here turns to the fact that Cain’s offering was not accepted by God though Abel’s was and a discussion of heart condition. This is an important, but not our focus today. We see the births of Cain then Abel in the first two verses. But the very next verse is the story of the sons going to worship without mention of either parent. Yes, one got it right while the other didn’t, but they both knew that worship was important and how to do it.
But how do they know?? Somewhere between verses 2 and 3 Cain and Abel had to have been taught! Think about it. This was before Christian schools, Sunday school or children’s church. So how did they learn?
Here’s another example later in the same book:
“5Then Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.’ 6Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac. In his hand he took the fire and the sacrificial knife, and the two of them walked on together.
7Then Isaac spoke to his father Abraham and said, “My father.’
And he replied, ‘Here I am, my son.’
Isaac said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? ‘”
Genesis 22:5-7, HCSB
See it, in verse 7? How could Isaac ask this question if he had no clue what worship was? Though it is an ongoing lesson and there is unfortunately the potential for our children to get it way wrong (Cain), it is incredibly important that we consistently and diligently engage and teach. This includes the meaning behind and importance of our worship of our awesome Creator!!