Summary: This message is part of a series of sermons that takes a look at how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things empowered by Him. This sermon focuses on Timothy who was used by God even though he was still quite young.
ORDINARY PEOPLE–EXTRAORDINARY DEEDS
A. Over the past few weeks we have been looking at how God, throughout history, has used ordinary people to do extraordinary deeds
1. I want to continue that series this morning as we take a look at a young man that the Apostle Paul mentored–a young man by the name of Timothy
a. Timothy was just a young man, possibly as young as 19 years of age, when he was thrust into a leadership position at the church in Ephesus
b. Timothy was called to be an evangelist, a proclaimer of God’s Word, a preacher
c. 2 Timothy 4:1b-2 (NIV)
I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.
2. We have a young man with us this morning that is not all that much unlike Timothy–Jack a young man who is dedicating his life to full-time Christian service
a. I use that phrase "full-time Christian service" with a little bit of apprehension, because we have all been called into full-time Christian service.
Some of us are full-time Christians who work as farmers
Some work in factories
Some work in warehouses
Some work in the medical field
b. You see, there is no such thing as a part-time Christian
c. Jack is dedicating his life to the ministry–as a matter of fact he is being voted on by a congregation in Virginia, and, if chosen, will be their first paid youth minister.
3. Paul had some words of advice for Timothy, advice that I want to give Jack today
a. But, it is also good advice for all Christians.
b. READ: 1 Timothy 4:9-16
4. Key Verse - VS 12
I> IT’S NOT ABOUT AGE–IT’S ABOUT MATURITY
A. As I already mentioned, Timothy was a young man when he began ministering to the church at
1. It appears that that may have been a problem for some people in the congregation
a. Hadn’t really lived long enough to earn the respect of some of the older ones in the congregation
b. He didn’t have a lot of life experience
c. But Paul tells Timothy to not back down–don’t let that be a hindrance
d. I kind of know how Timothy felt.
ILL> In the first few years of my ministry, I was often asked to make hospital calls on people I had never met. Oftentimes people would say, "You’re a minister, but you’re so young! Can you be a minister at your age?" I would reply, "Well you have to start sometime."
I’m not sure why, but people don’t say that to me anymore.
ILL> I was just 22 years of age when I was hired in my first full-time position in a church. I was as green as the spring lawn. Because we were young they called us "the kids."
After being at the church just a couple of weeks one of the families quit coming. Their reason? I was too young. Two years later I left, they came back and I believe they are still attending that church to this day.
2. Some of that really won’t be a problem for Jack since he is planning to go into the youth ministry
a. After about 20 years people will be saying, "Aren’t you kind of old for a youth minister?
B. However, second part of that verse is very important–set an example
1. Everybody in this room is an example to someone
ILL> My older brothers set the example for me. Sometimes that was good, sometimes that was bad.
a. You teenagers, your younger brothers and sisters look up to you and want to be like you–what kind of example are you setting
b. People you work with are going to follow your example
c. Younger Christians look to older Christians for an example to follow
2. So, you and I are examples–the question is, "What kind of example are we giving them to follow?"
3. You see, it does make a difference how you live, what kind of commitment you have, what you say, how you act
a. The word "example" can also be translated as "mold"
b. We are to be so shaped by God, that in turn we can shape those around us
c. It’s not really about age–it’s about maturity
ILL> As far as age is concerned the point of this verse seems to be It’s What You Do—Not When You Do It That Counts!
"Ted Williams, at age 42, slammed a home run in his last official time at bat.
Mickey Mantle, age 20, hit 23 home runs his first full year in the major leagues.
Golda Meir was 71 when she became Prime Minister of Israel.