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Summary: This sermon was preached at Colchester Christian Academy. It was used to encourage teens to be teens while living out the example of Christ.

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Act Your Age

1 Timothy 4:12

Have you ever heard the saying “Act Your Age?” I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that guys probably hear that more often than the ladies do. Experts tell us that girls tend to mature faster than guys. I think that’s why males enjoy things that are crude and rude more than females. How many people here find a loud burp funny? See, it’s a classic case of “sugar, spice and everything nice” vs. “snakes, snails and puppy dog tails.”

When you hear the term “Act Your Age,” it is often used in a corrective manner. Today, I want say to each one of you to “act you age,” but in a good way. I want you to enjoy your youth. Relish some of the daring things that you do. Dare to be the teenagers that you are! All I ask in return is that you prepare to take some time to do some serious reflection as well.

Back when I was your age, I sound like my grandfather, my life verse was 1 Timothy 4:12 , “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young…” That part of the verse made me feel invincible. No old crows could touch me because I AM YOUNG!!! Usually, with that attitude, I made my way to my reserved seat in the Principal’s office. It was during those times that I found out the man behind the desk was not much of a PRINCE or a PAL.

It took me a while, but I realized there was more to this verse than the “young” part. People did not respect the age. In fact, when I first became a pastor, I found out that my “youngness” worked against me instead of for me. That’s why Paul continued his letter to a young pastor named Timothy this way, “Do not let anyone look down on your because you are young, but set an example for the believers…”

Today, I want to encourage you to set an example as well as embrace your youth. It can be hard not being treated as an equal with older adults, but if you live your life as Jesus lived His, then what can they say? Youth does not matter when you live your life earnestly for Jesus Christ.

Paul would tell Timothy there were areas in his life that he could set the example, where he could model Christ to older generations.

1. The way you live your life is can be an example

a) Speech - do not let your mouth get you into trouble

- don’t mouth off to people

- be quiet when need be—sometimes the best thing said is nothing at all

- use it to build others up, not tear down

b) Actions/Life - Let your life, or actions, do the talking for you

- there is a time to be goofy - time to be serious - know the time - show respect

2. Set the example in the way that you LOVE

- The word used here for “love” (Gr. Agape) is the same type of love that God has shown to all of us

a) it looks out for the best interests of others - sometimes at the expense of your own.

b) it shows respect to teachers, parents, friends, etc.

c) it show’s Christ example

d) may even get you kissed on Valentine’s Day.

3. Set the example by how you live out your FAITH

- I grew up in a church where I felt that only the older people had a real rela tionship with Jesus - because they had “real problems”

- Paul is telling Timothy - life is just as real for him as it was for the people in his church - live out his faith - even when it was unpopular to do so.

- I have nothing but respect for those going on the mission’s trip - keep in mind - this is not a vacation - but a time to experience God in a whole new way - live out your faith

- At the basketball tournament this weekend - whatever sport you play - play like young men and women whose lives have been changed

- Live out your faith in a very real manner - people will see, adults and teens alike, you serve a very real Jesus - faith is real, not a “Toy Christian” = cute, but fake and empty

4. Set the example in PURITY

- The purity talked about here is not JUST saying NO to sex, drugs, alcohol

- although it is part of it - Just because Satan makes it look nice doesn’t mean it is

Purity in your Sincerity - live an open and real life - not a fake/ hiding behind masks - do not pretend to be something you are not

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