Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3397

Jump Start # 3397

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”

  Oh, to be young again, I hear some say. There is an energy, excitement and joy about young people. That’s true whether they are teens or those in their early 20’s. They are on top of technology. They have great ideas. They are fun to be around. And, so often the question is asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” That question implies that I do not want to be doing what I am now doing.

  Most of our sermons that are directed towards single people, are designed for teens or the topic of purity and dating. It sure seems that the apostle Paul was single, as we define that word. Many modern churches offer a singles ministry which looks nothing more than a platform for dating and eventually marriage. Sometimes there is a push for singles to get married and that isn’t always the best decision.

  Some are single because they want to be single. And that can make them feel left out in many circles. Too old to fit in with the teens and definitely not a couple, what do you do with the single people? Often left to themselves, they can feel like they have leprosy. Something is wrong, because you are single. Rather than fellowshipping them and encouraging them, often we ignore them. The drop out rate among Christians is the highest among the single crowd. Off to college, many never connect with a church and worldly friends pull them away from Christ.

  The expression “single” can have a wide definition. Some would put the divorced, the widow and the widower in that group. Some would put the kids in that group.

  We can do a better job of helping single people feel that they are a part of the local fellowship. This can be done without trying to fix them up with someone. Having a group of young people, single, married, and anything else, just to be together, study, talk, and enjoy what they have in Christ is a great way to help with that.

  There are some realities that single people need to realize:

First, being single isn’t a condition that one needs to hurry and get out of. You may be single for a long time. Being single is not a curse. It allows you to do things that others cannot. Without being tied down with a family, one can do much good for the kingdom. You can help brethren overseas. You can do so much for your congregation.

  Paul’s words in 1 Cor 7 encouraged the single saints to remain single. He wished that everyone could be like he was. There was a unique situation that led him to say that, but there are opportunities and freedoms that single people have that those in a family do not. Rather than wishing away your life, hoping to be married, see the opportunities the Lord has granted you and use them faithfully for His kingdom.

  Second, this may be the best time of your life, so enjoy it, benefit from it and make the most of it. You can take special classes in a local college. You have the time to do things that others do not. You can travel. You can volunteer. You can attend lectureships, meetings, singings and special events that can build your faith. You can be a powerful influence in your congregation. Have people over. Be the Barnabas in your church. Don’t spend your nights watching TV. Get out and use this time that God has given you for something good.

  Third,  the habits you are doing now will determine the kind of person you are. Good habits such as a prayerful life, truth speaking, realizing the value of worship and honoring God the way He wants to be are such strong foundational things that will help you all of your life.

  From our verse today, Timothy’s actions, were to be the example. Often older people won’t listen to the younger ones. That is a mistake. But Paul’s encouragement to Timothy was to show them. The apostle lists five core areas that Timothy could make a difference.

· In speech. Talk godly. Talk respectfully. Talk kindly. Don’t get into gossip. Stay away from complaining. Set the tone for when people are around you. Be honest in your speech.

· In conduct. Your behavior. Your talk and walk ought to match. Many can talk a good game, but they don’t show it. You show it. Show that the Lord is most important to you. Show that you care. Show that you are obedient. Your attendance. Your attitude. Your influence. They ought to all point to Jesus.

· In love. Love, first for the Lord, then love for God’s people. Love is much more than a feeling, it’s an action word. Be praying for those in the congregation. Be involved in the lives of others. These people are your family in Christ. Love them, warts and all. Love them, imperfections and all.

· In faith. Faith is what moves God. Faith is what catches the eye of God. Genuine faith. Strong faith. Determined faith. Diligent faith. Point people to God. Remind others that God remains on the throne. Believe that God is good. Know that God is there for you. The faith that led the three Jewish youths to stand rather than bow before an idol. The faith that led Peter to refuse to remain quiet about Jesus. Heaven bound—you believe it. You know it. You want it.

· In purity. Purity in the way you talk. Purity in the way you dress. Purity in what shows you watch. Purity not just in the church building, but at work, on vacation, when out with friends. Pure on what you post and like on social media. Nothing questionable. Nothing out of line.

  Timothy is raising the bar. People would see that young Timothy was serious about his faith. One doesn’t have to be sour, grumpy and frowning to be serious about their faith. I see the young people in our congregation. They are laughing, talking, smiling, and engaging with one another. There is nothing inappropriate taking place. There is nothing to be ashamed of. They are an example of a joyful Christian.

  It’s ok to be single. What a great asset you can be.