READING: 1 Timothy 1-6
“To Timothy, my true child in the faith.”
1 Timothy 1:2
Timothy was Paul’s protégé in the faith.* Paul the apostle poured his life into Timothy, preparing him to carry on the work after Paul would die. I think much about this work of Paul, as part of my calling is to prepare the next generation for doing the work of the gospel.
I have the privilege of doing this task through a seminary, but the local church is the primary place where this work must happen. Young Christian men and women — all of them, whether or not they are called to some kind of ministry — need someone to invest in them, love them, challenge them, correct them, and pick them up when they fall. Our churches would be so much stronger if we who are older would intentionally reach out to the younger to both learn from them and guide them.
In today’s reading are some of Paul’s challenges to Timothy — challenges that we might give to young leaders even today:
- “Let no one despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Tim. 4:12)
- “Pay close attention to your life and your teaching.” (1 Tim. 4:16)
- “If anyone teaches other doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, he is conceited, understanding nothing . . . . But you, man of God, run from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the faith.” (1 Tim. 6:3-4a, 11-12)
What young person in your life needs to hear these words from you today? “Be an example to others.” “Pay close attention to the way you live.” “Be godly—be pure in speech and mind.” “Run from the bad things, and pursue God.” “Fight the good fight — don’t give up!” Your words of encouragement this day can be life-changing in another person’s life.
- Ask God to direct you to someone into whom you might pour your life.
- Watch for opportunities to love and encourage that young person today.
PRAYER: “Father, thank You for those who invested in me. Help me to invest in someone else today.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Peter 1-5
*Devotion first published in 2015.