Be an Example


The standard that Paul set for Timothy was high indeed -- to be an example for others in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. This standard has been set for all of us.

“Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12, AMP)

As I read Paul’s compelling letter to Timothy, I try to imagine what Timothy must have thought and felt reading it. In the salutation, Paul writes, “To Timothy, my true son in the faith … ” It’s important to read this in context. It is quite simply, a father’s encouragement to his son. Father-and-son talks are powerful moments that often have lasting impact on our lives. Paul, the Apostle, teacher and spiritual father to Timothy, encourages and instructs him. He warns Timothy not to be intimidated or put off by others because of his youth. He encourages Timothy to be an example to others.

I heard this same advice as the firstborn son of the oldest and firstborn son. The first of 18 grandchildren, I too was encouraged to be an example. I am moved and pause at the standard that Paul sets for Timothy to be an example for others in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. What a high standard. I’m sure Timothy had to stop, pray and ask for God’s help, strength and guidance to live up to Paul’s expectations. The Holy Spirit reminds me as I write this devotional that this standard has been set for all of us.

As Christians, we’re all held to this standard. Jesus encouraged us to be: (1) an example (2) a light in darkness (3) pure and holy (4) obedient and faithful (5) free from sin (6) a person who speaks blessings not curses (7) Christ-like and walk in love and forgiveness (8) believers, who live by faith, not by sight (9) strong in our faith and refuse to walk in fear.

I am confident that with God’s help I can do this. With Jesus Christ in me, I can be an example. I encourage you to invite Jesus into your life. Surrender every area of your life to Him. With His grace and the Holy Spirit you too can be an example.

Lord, thank You for Your love, mercy and grace. Jesus, l surrender every area of my life to You. Help me to speak and act like You with love and compassion and to live as an example to others that draws them to You. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.

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