1 Timothy 4; Isaiah 38-39; Psalm 119:121-144
Timothy had a problem that affected young people in his day. People often wouldn’t respect someone of his age. Those who had experience; those who had gone through the difficult times; those were the people to trust. Timothy the young follower of Christ might be speaking the truth; but many would refuse to listen. Paul reminded him that he needed to let his life do the speaking. “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12) If what he said proclaimed Christ it should also be backed up by his behavior. He should reflect the love of Christ as he dealt with others. In short, those who would attack him should only find his age to be an issue. Everything else about his life, his conduct, and his faith should proclaim his commitment to Christ. It’s a message to all ages, though, about how we should be seen in our world. People should not accept what we say because we are older or younger; they should listen to what we say because our life reflects everything we say we believe. Do we believe God forgives us? We should forgive others. Do we believe God hates sin? We should avoid sinning ourselves. (How often do we mix those two beliefs up and think that God hates the sins of others, but will always forgive us?) We should treat others with the love and forgiveness that God gave us. We should hold ourselves to a higher standard of behavior and faith based on our desire to please God. Not that our conduct will make God love us more because God has already shown us all of His love in Jesus Christ, but that our conduct will reflect how God’s love has changed us.
Lord, remind me daily of Your love for me. Remind me that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sin. Let me draw into a deeper relationship with You and let me show Your love to others. Just as You loved and forgave me, let me love and forgive others with Your power.