Friday, July 12, 2013
“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:12).
If we want to lead others to Christ we must make a decision to be dedicated to the deeds required of faithful living. God’s plan of salvation is founded on godliness. It was offered to us through a man that lived His life as a sacrifice to His Father’s will and He is our example to follow. As Timothy struggled in his ministry, Paul gave him some sound instructions to follow to help him find success in the work he was called to do. If we will study this passage, we will find some sound words to enhance our faithful walk.
Teaching God’s life is not an easy task as it requires diligent effort to make sure our own lives are right with God. Notice we said “God’s life” because it is a different lifestyle than the life that is taught by those not in Christ. It is a life founded on godly love and obedience at all costs: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). If we love the life that God delivered to us we must be the example of faithful living.
One way we can see to be an example is in our speech. Words can be destructive as well as constructive. The difference in the outcome is in the love they are spoken. We should always make sure to use words to build up the house of God and never to tear it down: “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment so that it will give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). Our words must be constructive not destructive.
Also we should strive to be the example of godly love. This is where we lose most of the world. Godly love is not just words, but a verb meaning it requires action. John 3:16 is probably the most quoted verse in the Bible but arguably the most misused. God’s love didn’t stop at being mentioned. It acted by sending the Savior to this earth to bring life to the dead souls that filled the world. Through agape love God acted upon His grace to set the plan of salvation in motion. He not only loved the world but put love into action by sending Jesus to, not only die for us, but leave us an example to follow. He called us out of the world to be the continuation of that love as we search for the lost to bring them life.
As God’s children we are called to be the example of the “one faith” Paul spoke of in Ephesians 4:5. There are many different faiths in the world but God only recognizes the one true faith that entails obedient trust. We are to live in a joyful spirit at all times to reveal our trust in God to see us through the trials we face (James 1:2-3). God rewards faith and He cannot be pleased without it (Hebrews 11:6). Christians are the example of the “one faith” as they rely on God’s power to save them from sin and death.
Finally, we are to be the example of God’s purity which can only be attained by faith. God called us out of an impure world to be pure, refined through fire (Zechariah 13:9). We are not promised an easy life following Christ. In fact, we are told we will face many obstacles trying to live a pure life. Satan tries to make impurity seem good, but the truth is, he is a liar (John 10:10). Living faithfully makes you an example of purity for others to follow. Being an example makes you a follower of our Example of pure faith.
In His Grace,
Posted by Maryville Church of Christ