Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
Let no one despise your _________. In this letter Paul tells Timothy to let no one despise his youth. What is the blank for you? The thing that may make you a little insecure and afraid to step into your calling? Age, experience, pedigree, personality, education, resources, past mistakes, other opinions?
I believe in all of us are things we want to do – things we feel the Spirit nudging us to do. We start off so passionate, but then doubt creeps in. The whispers of the devil telling us we can’t do it. We think things like…
When I get a little older
When I get more experience
When I pay off this debt
When I have more support
When I graduate
When I get married
When we get that house
When I get that better job
When the kids get older
When the opportunity falls in my lap
If only I started sooner
If only I were younger
If only I didn’t have all these commitments
If only I didn’t make all those mistakes
We are paralyzed by the “when” and “if only.” But Paul says, “Do not neglect the gift you have.” (1 Timothy 4:14) These gifts are from God. Don’t let them gather dust and never bloom into what God gave them to you for. Make today the day you say, “I will no longer neglect the gift I have!” Do your thing. Do it even if you are scared. Do it even if you think others will mock you. Do it even if you don’t feel experienced enough. God will equip you for what He calls you to.
Questions: What keeps you from stepping into things God is calling you to? What are your “if only/what ifs”?
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 1 Timothy 1:15
Our God is so big and merciful and indescribably good.
Paul writes a letter to his young protégé essentially saying, “Timothy…look at me! Look at what God has done through me and KNOW that nothing is impossible. No one is too far gone for God to reach. Me -- the blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent of Jesus – God judged ME faithful and appointed me to his service. It is simply incredible. Hear me, Timothy, this good news is trustworthy and true: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. We are all worthy because He is worthy for us. Jesus took me – the most aggressive person fighting against Him – and called my name. He saved me. And if that wasn’t enough, He allows me to be His ambassador. If God worked through me, He can work through anyone.”
God is so good to us. Some of us are unsure about God; some are outright hostile to Him. Some of us hide in the shame of our sins; some seem to delight in them. God sent Jesus to die for it all and to restore us. Some believe it and receive it; some continue to fight it vehemently. He is patient with us. No one who still has breath is too far gone for God’s love and mercy to reach. Nothing is impossible for God. No one’s sin is bigger than our God. The blood shed on the cross is for us all.
If you have a loved one or friend who seems so lost and far from God, or even hostile to God, don’t lose hope. Paul’s message to Timothy is to you too. No one is too far gone for God to reach.
Challenge: Write the name of someone you love who doesn’t know Jesus as Savior. Commit to pray for them daily.