Youth – You are not the future of the church. You are the present!
1 Timothy 4:12
Both of these verses have something in common: they are calling you out! Yes, you personally. Young people! 1 and 2 Timothy are letters written by Paul to Timothy. Timothy was a great deal younger than Paul, and saw Paul as a mentor or teacher in the ways of Christ. In his letters, Paul is encouraging Timothy in his ministry — Timothy took over the leadership of the church in Ephesus from Paul. In this verse, Paul is telling Timothy not to let his age stop him — be an example for everyone!
Youth is meaningless — Don’t let your youth be an excuse! Do what the Lord has called you to do now, don’t wait. 1 Timothy says to set an example “for the believers” — not just for people younger than you! BE the example, show them what a heart truly on fire for God looks like.
Set an example in speech! That’s more than just not cussing. If someone talks to you, don’t just give them one-word answers or grunts. Be polite and respectful. If they didn’t want to talk to you, they wouldn’t have started the conversation. This goes for your friends, your family, even your teachers! If they’re getting on to you for something, don’t talk back. Be respectful and let them see what makes you different from everyone else.
Set an example in conduct! You know what is right and what is wrong. Set the example! Teenagers often get a bad reputation. Prove these people wrong!
Set an example in love! Speak love. Show love. Remember 1 Corinthians 13? Make that your daily motto. Show everyone around you the type of love that Jesus shows you.
Set an example in faith! If people are coming up to the altar to pray, be bold! Go up and receive prayer too when you need to.
Set the example in purity! This, like love, ties everything else in with it. I’m not just talking about sexual purity either — I’m talking about true purity, the type of purity that is the result of Christ washing away all of your sins! It’s difficult to be pure if you’re sinning. It’s difficult to be pure if you’re not being polite and respectful to others. It’s difficult to be pure if you’re doing things you know are wrong. It’s difficult to be pure if you’re speaking hate and death instead of love and life to others. It’s difficult to be pure if you’re not being faithful to what God is telling you at that moment.
You are not the future of the church. You are the present! Don’t wait until you’re adults to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. Do it now!