Be an example

Sunday service, Ntokozo Nhlabathi, 20 May 2018

1Tim 4:12
Let no one make little of you because you are young, but be an example to the church in word, in behaviour, in love, in faith, in holy living.

Timothy was Paul’s spiritual child. Paul instructed him how to live. He also warned him against the flatterer and those who praise men.

What do we observe in Timothy’s life as Paul was advising him?
Timothy made Paul’s task easy for he obeyed him.

Do you make it easy for your leaders to instruct you? Or have you become big in your own eyes and can no longer be corrected?

Paul words that we must set an example to the believers. Why? After all they are believers, why do they need an example? Because there is a lot of spiritual sickness among the believers.

The way that you speak among the believers must be an example. You get people who get saved but then become big in their own eyes and they change. Maybe God blessed you with a particular gift and because of that you become puffed up. How many people are wounded because of the way you spoke to them?

A person who has been given authority by God uses it circumspectly, with wisdom. He doesn’t use his authority to bulldoze his way on others.

Paul realised that even if he had to rebuke, he had to do it with the Spirit of God, which builds up.

For example, even if a parent has to correct a child, that it’s clothed with the love the parent has for the child so that the child embraces the parent afterwards and their relationship is even closer than before.

Certain parents had only one child. The mother felt led to pray for the child daily, and she faithfully prayed for the child every night next to his bed. The father also prayed for the child in his room. When he became big he joined the army and there he followed his parents’ example and went on his knees and prayed. At first the others mocked him, but then one person joined him in the evenings and mornings and then another. Eventually the whole dormitory joined in and they had a prayer meeting every evening. How did this happen? Because of godly parents who planted this in him at a young age.

What do you plant in your children?

Andrew Murray experienced revival too. One time people from the leading congregations asked that they could select people to live with him in his house for a few weeks to observe how he lived, to see if he lived what he preached. After they lived with him for a few weeks and observed the way he lived, they reported back to those who sent them that his preaching was only a fraction of what he actually lived.

God has given us a similar man of God. Do you still follow what you have been taught? Or have you become big in your own eyes and are a heartsore to the man of God.

Maybe you even think that you can correct your spiritual parents. When they preach you criticise them in your heart.

Here is the challenge for you and me. The way that our leaders taught us and lived, do you do it in the same way they did it, or are you doing it your own way?

Choir