Summary: This sermon explores the five areas that the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to set a good example for others to follow.

Title: Being a good Example

Text: 1 Timothy 4:12-16

Date: 8/5/2007

Location: Sulphur Spring Baptist Church

Introduction: Tomorrow is the first day of School in Simpson, County, and I know everyone is excited about that. But those of you who are parents know some children need a little extra encouragement or motivation to do their best in school. Which reminds me of the story of a little boy named Billy.

Like many children, Billy didn’t like to study, and would much rather go outside and play baseball after school rather than doing his homework. Unfortunately that meant his grades suffered, and he even failed math.

His parents tried everything they could to get him to do better in math, but he continued to fail. They got him a fun computer game that was supposed to make learning math fun. They hired someone to Tudor him but nothing seemed to work. They didn’t know what to do. Finally one of their friends suggested that they try putting him into a private parochial school. They thought about it for a few days, and decided to give it a try.

So they took him across town and enrolled him in the small Catholic School. They were shocked that afternoon when Billy came home and went straight to his room, closed the door, and immediately started working on his math homework. His mother had to almost force him to come down for dinner, and then after supper, he went right back up to his room and studied some more.

Several weeks later he brought his report card home and laid it on the kitchen table for his parents to see. When his mother read it, she was amazed to see that he had gotten an "A" in math.

She asked him about it. She wanted to know what had made such a dramatic difference in his grade. She asked him if it was the teachers, or the kind of books that they were using, but he just shook his head and said "no."

Then she looked him in the eye and said, well would you please tell me why your math grade has improved so dramatically. He said, well the first day I walked into math class I looked up on the wall, and saw a man nailed to a huge plus sign, and I realized that they were serious about math and that I was going to have to quit fooling around."

Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation whether it’s with our homework or our Spiritual lives. The Apostle Paul wrote the following passage of Scripture to his young friend Timothy to encourage him and motivate him to set a good example for the people he was ministering to in the city of Ephesus. Follow along with me as I read verses 12-16.

The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to a young man by the name of Timothy. Paul referred to Timothy as his “true son in the faith.” Many Bible scholars believe Paul was instrumental in Timothy becoming a Christian. But His relationship with Timothy didn’t end there. Instead, Paul carefully nurtured and discipled Timothy in the Faith. He even took Timothy with him on a couple of his missionary journeys. So I think we can safely say that Timothy was a devoted friend and co-worker of the Apostle Paul.

Paul’s purpose for writing to Timothy was to give him some much-needed advice on how to deal with certain problems that had developed in the church at Ephesus. He also wanted to encourage Timothy not to give up, but to instead remain strong in the Faith and keep fighting the good fight.

Paul also encouraged Timothy to teach the people in Ephesus the truths of the Gospel and to set a good Christian Example for them to follow. In verse 12 of our text Paul suggested to Timothy that there were five areas where he could set a good example for others to follow.

This morning, I want to encourage all of you, especially our children and young people to follow Paul’s advice as they begin a new school year.


In other words Paul was advising Him to be careful in what he said and how he said it. Paul had lived long enough to know that people sometimes twist your words and make it mean something totally different.

Which of course is good advice. It’s also wise to be careful what you say and who you say it to, because once you say it, it can’t be taken back. Whoever said “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” was wrong.

I don’t know how many times I heard my Mother and Grandmother say; “If you can’t say something nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all.”

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