April 19, 2021 – Monday
1 Timothy 4:11-12 NIV
11 Command and teach these things.
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.
Last Thursday we looked at verse 10, That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. Today we are moving forward to the next two verses with a focus on verse twelve.
However, first we will look at verse eleven, Command and teach these things. This was a very direct instruction to Timothy as a new pastor from Paul. The same instruction is still valid for pastors today, new or experienced. Seeing as how some versions read These things command and teach, let us ask what These things are understood to be? Foremost would be the good news of Jesus and how salvation is available through Him, that would be taught. Also, to be taught and commanded is all that preceded this instruction such as Paul’s instructions on worship in chapter two and the qualifications for overseers and deacons in chapter three. Guzik adds, Timothy was not to enter the pulpit with speculations and opinions and theories of men. He was to fearlessly proclaim God’s Word as a command and not give into the fear of man.
Then we come to verse twelve and while it is an instruction to Timothy, it is an instruction that is valid for each of us as believers, 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. Though for all of us we would have to change because you are young to because of your age, young or old. Nonetheless, the focus here is on Timothy’s youth as the young are more impressionable, more prone to make errors of judgment when relying upon others. This latter is why Paul instructs Timothy to live a life that would literally set an example for others and especially for believers. He was to set an example with behavior that would reflect his Christian faith. In how to do that Paul was very specific, in his speech, in his conduct, in showing love, in living his faith, and in purity – particularly in sexual morality.
God’s word tells us sufficiently how we are to behave, but Timothy was to be an example to believers like us. We are also to be an example to our fellow believers. Paul’s guidance for Timothy is great guidance for each of us, not just pastors. Your example, as a believer, as a Christian, may be what leads a neighbor or loved one to come to the Lord or to walk away. Let our walk be one that pleases and glorifies Jesus.
Paul adds the following before he changes the subject, 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. Let us apply these to ourselves where makes sense to do so.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us, help me, to make good use of Paul’s instructions to Timothy in our own lives. Help us to walk in such a manner not only to save ourselves, but also others. – In Jesus Name. Amen.