As new parents, my husband and I found that there was an overwhelming amount of information being given to us on the best way to raise our child. Yet, I didn’t allow myself to get inundated because I already had the greatest instruction manual for living life—my Bible. The Word of God is full of practical exhortations on how we, as believers, are to live our lives. I knew that I would help my child become his very best by giving him instruction from God’s Word to be successful in life. Now, with two sons, I help my children grow and walk on God’s Word the same way that I helped them learn how to walk physically.
I lovingly encouraged my children to take their first steps when they were learning to walk and gave them easy goals to reach. As they got stronger in walking toward a goal, I gave a new goal to help them progress farther. Later, they gained confidence in their ability to walk and could set their own goals, then rejoice in reaching those goals for themselves.
God has given the younger generation clear goals to strive for and accomplish as they learn to live His Word. Let’s take a look at a specific scripture in God’s Word that the Apostle Paul addressed to a young leader—Timothy. We’ll see how the timeless truths in this verse still apply powerfully today in the daily walk of young disciples.
I Timothy 4:12:
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Biblically, in Timothy’s day, a youth was considered anyone under the age of thirty. Evidently Timothy was exercising leadership before he turned thirty. Today, many young people are exercising leadership in the Body of Christ before they turn thirty. So it is very appropriate to consider what Paul wrote to Timothy by revelation from God. The Word of God in this verse is as timely for today’s youth as it was when Timothy first read this letter from Paul. God’s Word clearly shows that young believers are to walk as examples in their speech, behavior, love, believing, and in being undefiled.
Just as children learn to walk physically, they can learn to walk on God’s Word. The verb “walk” means to advance by steps, and can also mean to pursue a course of action or way of life, conduct oneself, or behave. A young believer’s walk is not to be just walking in place or in circles, but progress toward reaching a goal. Walking isn’t running. It isn’t an all-out sprint for the finish line, but a steady movement or advance to reach an end point. As believers and followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, our end point is to serve and love God for a lifetime, and then enjoy rewards for eternity. So, we just keep walking.
Recently I read that “the point of walking with God is to keep going.” This is a good summation of the definition for the word “walk”—to keep making progress, step-by-step, with one foot in front of the other. When children are first developing the muscles in their legs and getting strong enough to begin walking, parents may put them in a jumper or bouncer and then progress to a walker with wheels so they have freedom to move around. Once they get more sure-footed, they begin to walk on their own.
The joy and satisfaction of being able to get where they want to go—our outstretched arms when we call them—is evident on our children’s faces. God, our heavenly Father, wants to see our happy faces as we respond to His call to walk for Him. Walking worthy of God’s calling is a worthwhile and satisfying goal.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation [calling] wherewith ye are called.
Our vocation, as believers, is a responsibility of joy and delight as we live for God. Our goal is to do our best to live according to God’s Word. We keep making progress and improve in our walk as we conduct ourselves according to God’s Word. We can walk with purpose and attain the worthy goal that our Father has set before us!
Now let’s learn about the goals God has set for young believers to accomplish that are listed in I Timothy 4:12. Let’s also keep in mind that a goal is something we aim at or strive to reach. We do not instantly arrive at our goals, but we do take action every day to bring us closer until we attain them. I Timothy 4:12 gives youth goals to stretch toward and become more adept at as they keep on progressing in their walk with God. Although mastering a subject takes time and practice, God has made us able to do all He has called us to do. Young believers can live the Word and become the wonderful examples this verse talks about—shining brightly in this world!…
This is an excerpt from the March/April 2014 issue of The Way Magazine.
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