God equips regardless of age

Life as the church - book of 1 Timothy  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:08:01
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Young people are kingdom important

Instructions for a youngman, a young evangelist that we can learn from and apply as both young and old today. Here are some things to consider as we get started today.
1 Timothy 4:12 NASB95
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.
There is so much just in this verse and we will get more into it as we go today. First will give you some things to consider as we go.
Who is useful for kingdom work? Is it only the old?
Am I guilty of looking down upon the young, whom God can use?
What are Paul’s instructions to young Timothy in 1Tim4:12? Why are they given?
In speech
in what you say
In conduct
in what you do
In love
in how you do it
In faith and purity.
The display of doing it
Show yourself as an example; to believers!
the reason to do it
So, this morning I want to debunk anything that anyone may think that only the old, the elderly, the experienced are the ones God can and will use. I will do this by showing:
God’s use of young people in scripture
The kind of young people God can use
Our responsibility to the young.

God’s use of young people

As we look at these passages, I am sure you will conclude that God has and God can use the young for the work in the kingdom.
God used youth (Joseph) to save Israel in time of famine (Gen41:39-41, 37:2, 25-28)
It was through Joseph that God provided for Israel in a time of famine. And he was a youth.
Genesis 41:39–41 NASB95
39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are. 40 “You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.” 41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
He was only 17 when his journey for God started (Gen37:2)
Sold into slavery by jealous brothers (Gen37:25-28)
Genesis 37:25–26 NASB95
25 Then they sat down to eat a meal. And as they raised their eyes and looked, behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing aromatic gum and balm and myrrh, on their way to bring them down to Egypt. 26 Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood?
Genesis 37:27–28 NASB95
27 “Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph into Egypt.
God used youth (David) to deliver from Philistines (1Sam17:33)
God used a young sheepherder David to deliver Israel from Philistines.
1 Samuel 17:33 NASB95
33 Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.”
We know the history here, David faces him and goes in the power of the Lord to defeat Goliath the warrior for the Philistines.
God used a youth, Solomon, to lead Israel with God given wisdom (1Kg3:7-9)
1 Kings 3:7–9 NASB95
7 “Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 “Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. 9 “So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
God used youth, Josiah, to bring Judah to true worship of God (2Chr34:1-3, 8, 18-19)
Check this out
2 Chronicles 34:1–3 NASB95
1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 He did right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David and did not turn aside to the right or to the left. 3 For in the eighth year of his reign while he was still a youth, he began to seek the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, the carved images and the molten images.
He was 8 years old when he started to reign
At 16 he sought God
At 20 he started to clear out the false idols, Gods from Judah
At 26 he set to restore the temple and worship in the temple and feasts such as the Passover (2Chr34:8, 35:18-19)
God used youth, Jeremiah, even reluctant youth to serve Him (Jer1:4-8)
A young lad who because of his youth did not think he could serve God, but look what scripture says to Jeremiah
Jeremiah 1:4–5 NASB95
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:6–7 NASB95
6 Then I said, “Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak.
Jeremiah 1:8 NASB95
8 “Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you,” declares the Lord.
So if you are young, do not look down on yourself, God can and will use you for His purpose, if you allow Him to do it.
(Transition) oh wait there are more youth. I cannot stop there it would not be fair to other important youth found in the scripture.
God used youth, Daniel, to reveal the sovereignty of God over the nations (Dan1:3-5, 18-20)
God brought the youths with no defects, good looking, intelligent, endowed with understanding to be taught in Babylon, of which Daniel was one (Dan1:3-5)
God equipped them and there were none other found like them (Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah) (Dan1:18-21)
let me give you a part of this passage
Daniel 1:20 NASB95
20 As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.
God equipped them to be godly counsel to the the king, the worldly king
God used youth, Mary, to bring the Savior (Lk1:26-33)
An angel spoke to a poor teenager, who God favored to bring the Savior into the world, even when she did not understand it.
God used youth, Timothy, to proclaim the gospel to the lost(Act16:1-3, 1Tim4:12)
Paul chose Timothy to accompany him on mission trip to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles
Acts 16:1–2 NASB95
1 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, 2 and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium.
Acts 16:3 NASB95
3 Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
Not only the Gentiles, but to the Jews too who were lost.
Paul then left Timothy in Ephesus to continue the work there as a young evangelist and that is where our passage comes from today. Consider this version.
1 Timothy 4:12 The Message
12 And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.
He had travelled with Paul for years on the mission trips and it is about 14 years later that he pen’s this letter of instructions, on conduct as the church. He tells him don’t let anyone look down on you because of your youth!
(Transition) So, without a doubt God has historically used young people to accomplish His will, His purpose. So, may we now look at the kind of young people God can use.

The kind of young people God can use

So, what kind of youth can God use? Through the scripture we can find the answer to that, so let’s journey through scripture together.
Get your outline, get your pen ready for this is scripture rich for the scripture is what prepares, equips and instructs us. So here we go.
Youth who are willing to flee immorality (Gen39:7-12, 2Tim2:22; 1Cor6:18-20)
Like Joseph who was hit on by Potiphers wife and when it went to far, look what he did.
Genesis 39:12 NASB95
12 She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside.
Or look at the instructions on conduct about fleeing that Paul gave to Timothy
2 Timothy 2:22 NASB95
22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
Age does not matter, anyone who is willing to keep their body pure is a temple of the Holy Spirit and can be used for good.
1 Corinthians 6:18–20 NASB95
18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Glorify your God with Your body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, flee from immorality, regardless of age.
Youth who are willing to put their trust in God (1Sam17:37, 45-47; 2Sam22:31).
Ah, here we turn to David, whom God delivered him from the lion, the bear and knew God would deliver from Goliath
2 Samuel 22:31 NASB95
31 “As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
David not only proclaimed Gods protection but the value of trusting God! He is a shield to those who trust Him!
Those who have proper priorities (1Kn3:5-9; Pro3:1-6; Mt6:33)
Solomon could have asked for anything, but his priority was for those who were put in his care since the death of David. So he asked for wisdom, and an understanding heart.
Look what He had to say in Proverbs
Proverbs 3:1–2 NASB95
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you.
Proverbs 3:3–4 NASB95
3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man.
Proverbs 3:5–6 NASB95
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Things to glean from this passage
Don’t forget the teaching of wisdom
Keep the commandments (the word of the Lord)
The word will bring peace and add to your life.
Keep the word around you
And when you trust Him and not lean on your own understanding, he will make your path straight.
Jesus summed it up like this, when it came to priorities
Matthew 6:33 NASB95
33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
OK, moving on now
Those who are willing to seek the Lord in humility (2Chr34:3, 26-28)
We previously looked at Josiah as a youth, seeking the Lord (v.3) and now look down further
2 Chronicles 34:26–27 NASB95
26 “But to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus you will say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel regarding the words which you have heard, 27 “Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and because you humbled yourself before Me, tore your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares the Lord.
2 Chronicles 34:28 NASB95
28 “Behold, I will gather you to your fathers and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, so your eyes will not see all the evil which I will bring on this place and on its inhabitants.” ’ ” And they brought back word to the king.
Those willing to do God’s will (Jer1:6-8, 7:1-7)
God told Jeremiah as mentioned before He would be with him, He will send him, he will deliver Him and not be afraid.
He was given the word to preach, to preach boldly at the gate of the temple (7:1-7)
Amend your ways! Do not trust the deceptive words people are speaking to you! - go and read the passage on your own, it would be worth it.
Those who are willing to be uncompromising in their convictions (Dan1:8-9)
Daniel 1:8–9 NASB95
8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials,
Offered everything good from the world, Daniel was resolved, made up his mind not to defile himself. And look what God did, granted him favor and compassion in the sight of the authority of the world.
Just one more, there are more, but due to time, let me give us one more, since this is a study in Timothy and conduct as the church again may we turn to 1Timothy
For those willing to be an example to others (1Tim4:12-16)
1 Timothy 4:12–13 NASB95
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. 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.
1 Timothy 4:14–15 NASB95
14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.
1 Timothy 4:16 NASB95
16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
Be an example in word, conduct, love, spirit, faith and in purity
The results are salvation for yourself and those who hear you

Our responsibilities to the young

Application for everyone regarding encouraging and challenging the youth in whom God can and will use.
Be willing to receive them (Mt18:5, 19:14)
Look at Jesus words regarding the young children and how to receive them.
Matthew 18:5 NASB95
5 “And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me;
and then
Matthew 19:14 NASB95
14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
When you receive them you are receiving Jesus and that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these!
Don’t be a stumbling block to them (Mt18:6-7)
So, don’t be a stumbling block
Matthew 18:6–7 NASB95
6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!
Do not despise them (Mt18:10; 1Cor16:11; 1Tim4:12)
Matthew 18:10 NASB95
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
and then the words of Paul
1 Corinthians 16:11 NASB95
11 So let no one despise him. But send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brethren.
This is speaking of Timothy when/if he came to Corinth to not despise him because of his youth.
This goes hand in hand with our passage today
1 Timothy 4:12 NRSV
12 Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
Be sure to be encouraging (1Cor16:10)
When young people who are willing to be involved in the work of the Lord we need to encourage them, last thing they need is someone to discourage or dampen them.
(Conclusion) (Insert God can use you picture here as encouragement/invitation slide)
Yes God can use and will use the young!
Yes God can and will use the elderly
First thing is believe and become His
Maybe you are His a need the reminder today to allow yourself to be used by God.
(Song) (Prayer) (Exit)
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