Be an example
1 Timothy 4: 12 - Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
"God has no more precious gift than a man who lives an embodiment of His will, and inspire those around him with the faith of what grace can do”. (Andrew Murray)
When Paul writes, "Be an example", he means be a role mode. What does it means?
The first car off the assembly line is prototype of all that follows. Dressmakers study the pattern, and then design the garment accordingly.
I saw Fabiana preparing a hair extension to be added in someone's had. She made a sample and all the others had to be similar in length and thickness so that the whole hair would be similar and uniform.
The word ideal sounds lofty (high level), and it is. But even if you don' achieve the ideal, it should be still you goal.
What Paul was saying to young Timothy was: “When you talk about Jesus, people should see so much of Him in your life that they desire to know Him. When you talk about faith, the evidence of it should be so compelling they want to live by it.
A poet wrote: I'd prefer to see a sermon than hear one any day; I'd rather one should walk with me than merely show the way. The eye's a better student and more willing than the ear.
People are tired of listening and listening a lot of things. They need examples. Fine counsel is confusing but examples are always clear.
The best preachers are the men who live their creeds, for to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I can learn to do if you let me see it done; I can see your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
What areas should I be an example?
The way I speak: Paul said to Timothy before this: Don't let anybody look down on you because... When you speak, your credibility is at stake.
Solomon says: Proverbs 29:20- Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.
The trouble with words is, once they are spoken their impact is felt either positively or negatively - and you can't take it back. A cruel word may wreck a life.
A gracious word may: soothe the way, light a day, and lessen stress. A loving word may heal and bless.
Let your words be faith building, comforting, uplifting, bring courage, be calming and make people better off when you leave them than when you found them. Psalm 19:14 -- 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
1) In Conduct:
Saying no to your boss usually isn't a good career move. But when faced with a choice between his career and his convictions, Daniel refused to eat the king's meat because it was a violation of God's law. (Daniel 1:8-17)
Joseph refused to sleep with the boss's wife - Genesis 39:6-12
Elisha refused to accept a rich man's money in exchange for healing - 2 King 5:1-16
2) At home
Noah saved his family from destruction by listening to God - Hebrews 11:7 and the first thing he did when he emerged from the ark was to build an altar. Think about that! He made an altar before he had a home. Most of us have homes but not a prayer altar...
Lot, on the other hand, lot his wife and sons-in-law to the destructive influences of Sodom (Genesis 19:14-26). Today issues of character that in the past raised alarm don't even raise an eyebrow. For us, we should hear and follow Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3) In love - Luke 6:35-36 - But love your enemies, do well to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
We fall far to practicing these words. The pastor of a large church tells of being on an elevator with a drunken man who was throwing up. The pastor couldn't wait to get off. All the way to his room he kept criticizing the man. Later that night God spoke to him and said, "you laughed at him, but I loved him enough to die for him."
Watch your attitude!!!!
When you constantly deal with people's problems, it will make you either callous or compassionate. The love of God has been poured out in us: Romans 5:5
4) In Spirit
Our Spirit must be in synchrony with God's spirit otherwise we can act crazily. Let's read Luke 9:50-55 - 51 - As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them[a]?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them.
We can be arrogant and insensitive and think we are truth teller...
Two other examples that we must be:
5) In faith: 1 Timothy 4:1 "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."
Proverbs 4:18- The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
Acts 17:11 - Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
6) In Purity - purity means not polluted - pollution causes disease and death- While living under his father's authority the Prodigal son was well off ... but he ended up eating pig's food...
Philippians 2:5 - In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 - For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.