Boldly Insisting on Growth
Text: 1 Timothy 4:11-16
Theme: Paul never stopped encouraging Timothy to set the example for others.
Key verses: “So go out and insist on these things. Teach them. Don’t let anyone belittle you because you are young. Instead, show the faithful, young and old, an example of how to live: set the standard for how to talk, act, love, and be faithful and pure. Until I get there, make sure to devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation, and to teaching” (v. 11-13). “Cultivate all these practices; live by them so that all will see how you are advancing and growing” (v. 15).
What God said to me: Dwayne, welcome to another gorgeous day that I have tailor-made for you (and for all my other children around you). You are no longer “young.” You’re almost 48. By human standards, that’s middle-aged at best. But you can remember when this passage meant so much to you as a teenager and college student. In fact, you used to quote it and sign it with your name to encourage other youth to follow me. Despite your age you can still encourage younger men and women to use the gifts I’ve given them. Who are your Timothys, Dwayne? You have several you’ve invested in over the years. Where are they now? I know, but do you? When does your responsibility end with them. Paul continued to disciple Timothy to the end of his life. I have many more for you to influence and impact in the future. I’ve invested much into you from your youth; thus, I expect you to pass on what you know to others. Paul told Timothy to insist on godliness, and to put his spiritual and leadership growth on display for all to see. Don’t think for a minute that Paul would urge such bold actions from someone so young, if Paul didn’t mean to give him strong and constant support as he lived out those instructions. Paul didn’t leave Timothy vulnerable to the wolves. He prayed for him, wrote to him, advised him, and continued to stay close to him. Who do you need to do that for this week?
What I said to God: Wow, Lord, I sure didn’t see this one coming when I sat down to journal this passage today. Thank You for speaking so clearly and precisely to me. I have heard Your voice; now I am responsible to heed it. I pray specifically for Jody, Kevin, Keny, Cody, Jacob, Stephen, Justin, Greg, Jesse, Chris, Antoinette, Maggie, Mark, Chris, Jackie, Allen, Alan, David, Joseph, Marlin, Steven, Carter, Ricky, and John. I know there are others but these are the ones who have come to mind today. Some of these I’m discipling now. Others were in the past. Help me check up on them and see how I might encourage them in their walk with You. Lord, this is a great responsibility, but I will do my best to be faithful with Your help and grace.