1 Timothy 4:12, Become An Inadequate Example

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Jerry Simmons shared this Verse By Verse Bible study from 1timothy on Sunday, July 30, 2023 using the New Living Translation (NLT).

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Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:00:00]:

Well, as we get started in First Timothy chapter 4 this morning, I wanna start with a little bit of a bonus, 1000 points. 1000 points plus I have in my hand something very special. This is a signature Kirkland signature, not just, you know, regular old Kirkland, but Kirkland's signature, soft and chewy granola bar. if you can name Jessica got it. It is keys on a typewriter. There you go. Yeah. I know it's ancient, and I apologize for the very archaic example in illustration. But keys on a typewriter, So back in the days before there were computers, dear children, there was a thing called a typewriter. And it was quite similar in that you would be able to use a keyboard and put words on a page except for you didn't print it. You smacked it. the key the typewriter would smack the paper with this form It was a metal piece that would hit a ribbon that would press it against the paper, and it would smack the paper every time you press the key, and it was smacked. smack. Smack. Smack. And it would imprint the letter that you were typing onto the paper. And so if you ever wanted, you know, ancient history about how typewriters worked. There is a very bad explanation of it. But I bring it up, and I talk about typewriters and this type of thing, because Here in First Timothy Chapter 4 verse 12, Paul tells Timothy be an example to all believers. And that word example relates to the idea of a typewriter. It's the Greek word, Tupos. And and it means literally the mark of a stroke or a blow. And so just as the typewriter key or the type bar comes up and smacks The ink ribbon against the paper, it makes a blow. And then if you would feel it back in those days, you could feel the imprint of the letter also in the paper because it it made a mark and impacted the paper in such a way to leave that imprint upon it. This is the kind of idea that Paul is talking about when he tells Timothy to be an example to all believers. He's saying, make an impact, demonstrate the pattern to make an impression that Jesus has made an impact on you. You've encountered the Lord and smack. He imprinted on you, his character, his nature, And and now, you are called to then turn around and make an impact. And I'm not saying we should go around smacking people. but to make an impact and to demonstrate the pattern of, this is what it looks like to be like Christ. This is what it looks like to be a believer in Jesus. And so this was the call that Timothy had. But Timothy I get the impression from Timothy that he was a little bit timid, He was timid fee. Paul tells him at the beginning of the 1st year in verse 12. Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. And throughout Paul's letters to Timothy, you see in a a few occasions where where Paul's kind of stirring up Timothy. trying to help him to be encouraged to do the things that are set before him. And so we tell us, Timothy, don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Timothy, you're very self conscious about your youthfulness. about how qualified you are and how experienced you are. You're you're very conscious of that, and others around you are conscious of that. But Paul is saying, don't let that be a hindrance. Don't let that be something that holds you back from what God has called you to do. So I have titled the message this morning here in 1st Timothy412, become an inadequate example. become an inadequate example. And some of you might recognize that wording, that phrasing, inadequate example because way back, in 2005, I taught a series on this verse multiple weeks, many different studies, and so We're going to be here for quite a few hours today to revisit all of that, of course not. But we worked through a series called inadequate exam where we looked at this verse and understood the inadequacies that we feel, and yet at the same time, the call that we have to be an example. Back at that time, I was about twenty six years old, newly married, newly pastoring here at Living Water, And it was very relevant to me then to not let anyone think less of you because you are young. That was a relevant topic for the day. The feelings of inadequacy were great. And 18 years later, I can testify. I may not be that young anymore, but I still feel inadequate. And it's something that the Lord brings me back to frequently. And I want to encourage you this morning in this because that feeling of inadequacy, I would suggest is common and normal for us as believers to the things that God calls us to. The things that God calls us to be invested in, involved in, and the way that God calls us to live, it's always going to require faith, and it's always going to take us beyond what we are comfortable with and the things that we are, in our mind, capable of. And as Paul encourages Timothy here to be an example to the believers, recognizing his youthfulness and the feelings of inadequacy that he is experiencing, we can understand that this is not just a message for Timothy, Timothy, of course, was a young pastor, left behind in ephesus to lead that church and to set things in order But but this is not just for those who are in that kind of role or in that kind of position, to be an example is something that the Lord sets upon all of his followers. Jesus says it this way in Matthew chapter 5. He says, you are the lights of the world. Like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand where it gives light to everyone in the house, in the same way. let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly father. Here we can see the Lord Jesus encouraging us. We are the light of the world. And there is to be a broadcasting of that light. And and he goes on to explain, that's your deeds, that's your actions. That's your example. Let your example shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly father. And so we are all called to be light. We are all all called to make disciples, and so we can all take these words in this encouragement to Timothy to heart. And the idea here that I would suggest to you is that as we feel inadequate to the things that God has called us to, as we feel like we can't really participate in there. We don't have what it takes. Paul's encouragement to Timothy is, I know you feel that way. You're conscious of your youthfulness and others perhaps remind you of your youthfulness, but don't let that be in hindrance. Do it anyway. I want to encourage you this morning, do it anyway. You don't feel adequate, you don't feel up to the task, you don't feel sufficient, but do it anyway, whatever it is that God has called you too. And whatever it is that God has set before you in those open doors that he has presented, those gifting perhaps that he has given to you, those opportunities or those needs that he has presented to you, we we need to do it anyway, even though we don't feel up to the task. even though we don't feel worthy of the opportunity or the responsibility, even though we don't feel adequate for what is required. Paul would say to Timothy, do it anyway.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:09:16]:

Don't let anyone think less of you because of your usefulness. Now, Paul there is not saying, force people to stop thinking less of you,

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:09:28]:

You know, sometimes Michael Lachoe looks at me funny, and I go, I think he's thinking less of me. I better take him out back and teach him a lesson. No. That's not what Paul is encouraging Timothy to do. Right? He's talking about stopping people and that that idea confronting people, he's saying, you're an example or you're young, but be an example anyway. and and confront that contention of your youthfulness by your conduct. by your manner of life, by the way that you live. And and in doing so, it will overcome any objections to your usefulness in the position that you have. Now the reality of Timothy here is Although we're referring to him as a youth and young and youthfulness and all that kind of thing, he was most likely in his mid thirties around this time. The word youth here can describe someone even up to the age of forty. And I just missed the deadline there. They missed the the bar, so I can't be called youthful any longer, not qualified for that. But But Timothy, he wasn't, like, fourteen years old at this time. He he was a man, but in their society and their culture, it was not normal or typical to be really receptive to what a youth someone under 40 had to say. That that was not something they would willingly submit themselves to or get excited about, you know, sometimes in our culture and our day we celebrate youth a little bit differently. Right? And if it's like a twenty year old saying it, we'll listen to it way more than if it's an eighty year old saying it, then, you know, we're less excited about the the aged and and those who had presented in that way, so I guess I shouldn't have revealed my age. So the truth is, guys, I'm twenty two years old and have no. I'm just kidding. But so Timothy, in his society, in his culture, he felt inadequate not just from that internal, but also from the external. It was typical, but regardless of why he felt that way and why he was timid in his ministry, He provides for us a really good example because I I think God's servants always feel inadequate. There's an abundance of examples that we can look at, but let me just remind you of 1, Moses. In Exodus chapter 4, as God is calling Moses to go back to Egypt and lead his people out of the bondage and captivity that they're in, they're having this interaction back and forth in Exodus chapter 4 verse 10, it says, but Moses pleaded with the Lord. Oh, lord, I'm not very good with words. I have never been, and I'm not now. Even though you have spoken to me, I get tongue tied, and my words get tangled. Then the Lord asked Moses, Who makes a person's mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak here or do not hear see or do not see, is it not I the lord? Now go. I will be with you as you speak and I will instruct you in what you see. Here we have Moses being called by the Lord he's had some pretty incredible experiences with the the fiery bush that is burning, but not wasting away. He he's had some real powerful encounters with the Lord just in the last few moments, but here, he's wrestling with the Lord because He says, I I don't I can't be your spokesperson. I don't speak very well. I'm not adequate for this task. This is too big for me. It's too large of a thing. I'm not up to this challenge that you're setting before me. He felt inadequate, didn't measure up, didn't have what it would take. But the Lord's response to that was, so what? I'm bigger than you. I'm the one who provides all resources for speaking, for hearing. I'm the one who can handle those things. So go. Do it anyway, even though you don't feel up to the task. I will be with you. and I'm going to help you accomplish what it is that I've set before you. become an inadequate example. Yes, you are inadequate. But don't let that stop you from what God has set before you. The reality is we're never going to measure up. And what the Lord wants to remind us of this morning is you need to use your gifting anyway. And those times where you do not exercise gifts that god gives you because of your feelings of inferiority or inadequacy, those times are times where God would say, I know you feel that way, But don't let that stop you. Do it anyway. Those times where you have a calling, a sense that the Lord has set something before you, and And you know he's drawing you towards that, and you're dragging your heels perhaps, resisting a bit. Perhaps because of feelings of inadequacy, because I'm not quite ready. I don't quite measure up. I'm not worthy And the lord would say, pursue your calling anyway. Maybe there's a step of faith that the lord has set before you, and And you know there's something the Lord wants to do in the direction. He's made it clear, but I don't feel like I can handle this. It's too big of a thing. Do it anyway. Be obedient. Anyway, we could go on and on and on. This is what Paul is telling Timothy, look again at verse 13 here at 1st Timothy 4. He says, until I get there, focus on reading the scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers and teaching them. Timothy, you're feeling conscious of your usefulness, Perhaps people are reminding you of your youthfulness, but do it anyway. Keep reading the scriptures. Keep encouraging the believers. Keep keep teaching them. Don't let those feelings. Don't let that youthfulness hold you back. He says in verse 14, do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through prophecy spoken over you. You've been given a spiritual gift. Don't stop using that. Don't set that aside because of how you feel about how you measure up. Now, you and I today, we might feel very self conscious of our usefulness either physical age or spiritual age perhaps. But we can also feel inadequate from a wide variety of things. There's a lot of reasons why we might feel inadequate to something that God is calling us to. But let the Lord remind you this morning. So what? Do it anyway. When the Lord's calling you to be obedient, when he's setting before you a step of faith, when he has set a calling and and a a path for you to follow when he is bestowed spiritual gifts upon you, be an example, even though you don't feel like you measure up, even though you don't feel like you have what it Be an example and do it anyway. You know, people need examples the most. of all the things that people need. They need good examples. They don't need people who have all knowledge They need examples of people who have some knowledge and are able to say, I don't know when they don't know. and are able to seek and to learn and develop and grow in knowledge. They they need examples of that journey, of that progress, of that process. People need examples, not debate winners. Not not people who can, you know, handle any challenge and win every debates that may come across their path. People need examples, not perfect people. because there is no perfect people. The only, you know, presentation of perfect people is fakeness. And so sometimes we try to present such a perfection before people, but but that's not what people need. They don't need an image of perfection before that. They already have that in Christ. What they need most from us is examples of real life, real growth. Real development. They they need real examples. And so 5 aspects of examples that we'll look at today, in this verse, first Timothy, chapter 4, verse 12, to help us take on those challenges that God sets before us, even when we feel inadequate. To kind of remind us that we can step out in faith and do those things that the Lord calls us to even when we don't feel up to the challenge that God has set before us. So first of all, we're going to look at

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:18:52]:

become an example of helpful words. Become an example of helpful words. Paul tells Timothy here in verse 12, become an example in what you say.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:19:08]:

Be an example in word in the things that you say in your speech. Now, the Bible has a lot to say about what we say. And this is a challenging one when you spend some time considering what it means to be an example in the things that we say. It's one thing to come here and to be an example in the things that you say, for you. I mean, for me, it's a little bit harder because I have to be up here and talking the whole time. But for most of you, You don't have to talk this whole time. Or if you are talking this whole time, please be quiet so other people can hear what I'm saying. Right? But Where it's really challenging to be an example and what you say is not here for the hour a half or 2 hours of whatever time you spend at church. But all of the time that you spend around your family, all of the things that you say and the hearing of your kids, all of the things that you say and the interactions that you have with your coworkers, all of the things that you say that the people behind you at the restaurant can hear. All of the things that you say all of the time, this is what Paul is addressing here, and he tells Timothy, be an example in what you say. And this should be quite a challenge for us because James tells us in James chapter 3, Well, the tongue is a world of evil, James 3 versus 6 through 8. Among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire for it to set on fire by hell itself. People can team all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil full of deadly poison. And so we have this exhortation to be an example in what we say and then we have James tells us you can never tame your tongue and there's always going to be wickedness and hellfire bound to it. And so that should make us a little bit nervous, a little bit cautious. How can I be an example in the things that I say when my tongue is such a challenging member of my body and such an issue for all of us, including ourselves. At the same time, a couple of chapters earlier in James Chapter 1, James tells us If you don't control your tongue, you're fooling yourself, your religion is worthless. And so there needs to be some control of our tongue. At the same time, we cannot control our tongue. And so there is this battle that goes on between the desire to control the things that we say

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:21:57]:

and the failures to control the things that we say.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:22:01]:

Now I think we can eliminate the obvious things. Right? So Being example of what you say that, of course, yes includes removing foul language, There's a lot of terrible things that we don't need to talk about that you already know you ought not to be saying. Of course, joking and All of those kinds of things could be included in that. But Jesus also tells us in Matthew chapter 12 verse 36, that we will give account for every idle word that we speak, every idle word. The the words that aren't necessarily a terrible thing to say, but the things that just didn't need to be said will give account for that. Why did you say the things that were idle that really didn't need to be said. What the Lord calls us to, he outlines for us in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 29, Their Paul says to the Church of Ephysis, don't use foul or abusive language, again, we're pretty familiar with that. But he says, let everything you say be good and helpful

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:23:06]:

so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. This is the standard by which we can measure by which we can aim and shoot for. This is what we are seeking to grow into. Those who let everything that we say be good, and helpful. Let your words be good and helpful. Now how can we do that when we cannot tame the tongue, when we cannot control our tongue, and it's set on fire by hell. How can we make sure that all of our words are good and helpful. Jesus gives us a little bit of insight in Matthew chapter 12.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:23:54]:

as he talks about trees being known by their fruits, a good tree produces good fruit, orange trees produce orange fruits. Right? trees are known by their fruit.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:24:06]:

And Jesus uses that as an illustration to say, your heart is revealed by the fruit that comes out of your mouth.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:24:21]:

The things that come out of your mouth, whatever is in your heart, Jesus says, it determines what you say or another translation puts it and it's out of the abundance of the heart, the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks. so to become an example of helpful words is not so much about learning to count to 10 before you say anything, you know, taking Mother's advice. If I don't have anything to say I won't say anything at all, and now I've now become an example of helpful words. No. It's about changing the heart. And really asking God to change the heart, because when my heart is seeking the good, the benefits, the help of others, or what is helpful for others, then my words will reflect that.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:25:12]:

And so it's about having a heart

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:25:15]:

that is in tune with the Lord, right with the Lord, and loving people so that my words will be helpful words. And this is what Paul presents to Timothy. Listen, Timothy. Don't stop teaching and exhorting. You you feel young, you feel ill equipped to to do that. Don't stop and and forfeit your role. there within the body of Christ. But here's what you need to do. Here's how to counteract your own feelings of inadequacy, and people's opinions of you and how they think that you don't measure up and you're too young, how to counteract that is to have a genuine heart seeking their growth and their benefits so that all of your words

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:26:02]:

are helpful. and good and encouraging. Become an example of helpful words. Is Paul here suggesting that perfection is required? No. We're all going to fall shorts on this, of course.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:26:19]:

But what we ought to be seeking after is a genuine, wholehearted devotion to god. Looking again at verse 15 here. First Timothy four, Paltel's Timothy give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your task so that everyone will see your progress. Now he is specifically applying that to those ministry roles and tasks that have been assigned to him, but I think it's not a stretch to apply that to the example we need to develop. To become an example of helpful words, we need to give our complete attention to these matters. We need to devote ourselves, and and it's a wholeheartedness that that we would like to be an example of what it looks like. Here's what it looks like when a believer speaks. When someone who is seeking Christ, says something, here's what that looks like. Now, I've titled the message here become an inadequate example because when Paul tells Timothy to be an example, it indicates in the the language that that it is meant to be something to strive toward, that it's keep making progress. It's not a one time thing, a one moment thing, that okay. Now you did it. You're an example, and now you're done for the rest of your life. But the Greek scholar, Kenneth West, says that it's a it's a work in progress kind of thing. It's to to become and keep on becoming an example. And so become an example. You you may not have been a and a good example of helpful words this week, but it's not too late for you. to become an example of helpful words. You you still have the opportunity. And so you might feel inadequate in the thing that God has set before you, butts.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:28:15]:

So what? Do it anyway. and work on becoming an example of helpful words.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:28:25]:

The prayer of the psalmist might be helpful for you in this, Psalm 141, Oh, lord, I'm calling to you. Please hurry. Listen when I cry to you for help, accept my prayer, has incense offered to you and my upraised hands as an evening offering, take control of what I say, oh, lord, and guard my lips. There's an urgency. There is a desperation being expressed here by the psalmist. Please hurry. and we do need the Lord to hurry because the world the the tongue is a world of evil set on fire by hell. We we need the Lord's help. We need to be seeking and to be developing the self control and the heart that's changed

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:29:12]:

so that we can be an example in word, an example of helpful words.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:29:18]:

Moving on to point number 2, as we continue our way through verse 12 here, become an example of a holy life. He says to Timothy, be an example in the way you live. Be an example in the way that you live, in your conduct. This speaks of our actions, of our behavior, and collectively all of those things put together as our lifestyle. The way that you live, Not just the way that you church or the way that you, you know, do certain things in your life, but the conduct of your whole life, let that be an example. And, again, What people need most is examples. They need examples of those who present to them who show them. This is what a Christian looks like. This is what someone who knows God but he's like, this is how to live when you walk with the Lord. It's something that God calls us too and requires of us, and he makes it clear from beginning to end, we are to be holy as he is holy. One example of that. First Peter, chapter 1. Peter tells us you must live as God's obedient children. You see that? You must live as god's obedient children. Don't slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn't know any better than, but now you must be holy in everything you do. just as god who chose you is holy. When we talk about being An example, even though we feel inadequate when God has set before us a calling, when he's called us to be obedient in some regard, set before us a an opportunity to take a step of faith to exercise spiritual gifts or whatever it is that he's presented before us. And I'm saying, do it anyway. So what if you don't feel inadequate or you don't feel up to the to the challenge? I'm not suggesting that we continue to live an old lifestyle and then do it anyway. I'm suggesting to you that we We need to set aside how we feel or how others seek to make us feel about what God has set before us. And what really matters to us is then

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:31:57]:

we turn our hearts over to the lord.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:32:02]:

be an example of a holy life that we turn from the old lifestyle that we turn from the old ways and that we genuinely seek to live the life that God has called us to live. The word holy, it means to be set apart, and and that it can be set apart from as well as set apart to. Set apart from sin, the flesh, the world, set apart to all things of the lord. devoted to consecrated to be an example of a life that is devoted to the things of god. Be an example of a life that is separated from the old life and the old lifestyle, the things that are not of the Lord. show that? How how do we instruct people? What it looks like?

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:32:59]:

to be holy.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:33:02]:

We show them. With example,

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:33:06]:

We separate ourselves from the things of the flesh, and we separate ourselves unto. the things of the lord. The author of Hebrews in Hebrews 1214 says, work at living in peace with everyone. and work at living a holy life. For those who are not holy, will not see the Lord. But notice this word here, work. He's saying there's going to be some

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:33:34]:

deliberate decisions made here. There's going to be some effort involved. This is going to be something that you will pursue. In fact, some translations put it that way. Pursue holiness. It's something that you're seeking after. Become an example of a Holy life work towards this. Work to make decisions to separate yourself from sin and the flesh and the old life, and work to make decisions to consecrate, to devote yourself to things of God and the things that God blesses and commends to us.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:34:15]:

Become an example of a holy life. Again, it's become a work in progress.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:34:26]:

When it comes to holiness, we're all going to feel

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:34:31]:

inadequate. because we all fall short.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:34:36]:

When they brought the woman who is caught in adultery to Jesus, And they said, the law says that she should be stoned. What do you say, Jesus? He wrote down on the sand. And we don't know what he wrote, we wish we knew. And they're pressing him, what do you say? What do we what should we do? Should we stoned her and Jesus stood up and said, let the one who is without sin cast the first stone. And then he just kept riding on the ground. And it tells us that the crowd began to be convicted from the oldest to the youngest, one by one, they began to leave. We kind of suspect probably based on what Jesus might have been riding on the ground, reminding them

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:35:22]:

You're not a good example of a Holy Life. Oh, yeah. You're right. I can't throw the first stone. I better get out of here. And one by one, they all left. We're gonna feel inadequate. But we don't have to be perfect, to be an example.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:35:41]:

And sometimes we make this mistake that we think we have to be perfect, flawless, show no weakness.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:35:52]:

The scriptures referred to us as vessels on a couple occasions. And and the reality of that is like a clay pot. Right? We're we're broken vessels.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:36:06]:

we leak. And we don't like that idea. We don't like that picture necessarily. But but the reality is a broken vessel is refreshing to whatever is around it. Right? You pour water in a jar that's broken, The jar will not hold the water. The water will pass through the cracks,

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:36:28]:

to the ground around it, to whatever's around it in a similar way. We are we're broken vessels.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:36:35]:

And the Lord's not calling us to be fake and pretend like we're holy when we're not. The Lord's calling us to be an example of a Holy Life, which means, yes, there's cracks that show And as much as we hate that, and we don't want people to see the cracks, but it's actually the cracks that refresh people administer to people because when we're honest about our failures and how we fall short, and how we look to the lord to recover and be restored, how we receive the grace and mercy of God when we are not wholly. Well, that's as much of the example that's needed as the flawless example.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:37:20]:

The example of recovering and repenting and turning back to the lord is an example that people need. So be an example of holiness. Be an example of a holy life. Be an example of how to live the Christian life when you still have a sinful nature and deal with issues and make bad decisions and make mistakes. Be an example of a holy life. Not saying perfect, holy, set apart from sin, set apart unto the Lord.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:37:54]:

Point number 3, as we continue working our way through verse 12 here, become an example of true love. Paltel Timothy, be an example in your love. Timothy, don't let anyone Think less of you because of your usefulness. Keep going in the ministry that God has called you to. Keep doing the things that you have been assigned to take those steps of faith, be obedient, be bold in your reading of the scriptures, in your presentation of the doctrine, and the the instruction, and encouragement. Timothy, keep on doing it. people don't think that you measure up. You're aware of your own usefulness, but do it any way and be an example in love. Now to be an example in love, we could think about this in two ways. One is to be an example in how to love God.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:38:54]:

And the second would be

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:38:56]:

to be an example in how to love people. So which one is Paul talking about? Well, the answer is yes. Which one? Yes. Love God, love people be an example of both. These are the things that Jesus outlined as the greatest of the commandments in Matthew chapter 22. When he was challenged and asked, what is the greatest commandments? Jesus said, you must love the Lord your God with all your hearts, all your soul, all your mind. That's the 1st and greatest command The second is equally important. Notice equally important. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love god. Love people. That is the call that we have. And the example that god calls us to provide to the world around us. We are to be the example to show the model, the pattern, Here's how to love God. Here's what it looks like when a person loves God with all of their heart and soul and mind. when a person is completely devoted to God. This is what it looks like. Follow my example. I think we would all be hesitant to give that exhortation to someone directly, right? Paul said, imitate me as I imitate Christ. It is something that we are called to do. Now we might be intimidated by this call to be an example, but what is the alternative? What if I don't wanna be an example? This is like way too much responsibility. This is way too hard. What's the alternative though? There there's not the option to okay. You can just believe in Jesus and have no change in your life and have no responsibility and not care about anybody and just do whatever you want and be saved. Like, that is not an option that the scriptures present to us. Jesus says, if you wanna follow me, deny yourself, take up your cross, and come after me. That there has to be a change a transformation, there has to be a denying of yourself and a pursuits of god that involves wholeheartedness. And so, yes, you are to be the example. You are to be the model of here's what it looks like. to love God with all your heart's soul and mind. Completely and entirely, to put God first, to love him most,

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:41:33]:

for him to be 1st and foremost for you. And you're to be the example of how to love people, And you might say, well, I would be an example of how to love people if there wouldn't be all these dumb people around me. These ones are hard to love. If I only had good people around me, then I would be able to provide a good example of how to love people. But loving people is regardless of

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:42:01]:

what they do, how they are, their attitudes, their words. It's not if they're a good example of love, then I'll be a good example of love back. loving people

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is what we're all called to do. Jesus taught us to love our enemies.

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So be an example of that. What does it look like to love? As I often share love is doing what is best for people. thinking about eternity, thinking about what is in their best interests, whether they know the lord or don't know the lord, what is best? for the people in your life and pursue that. Seek after that be an example of doing what is best for people. I think Timothy is a great example of this. Even though here in 1st Timothy 412, Paul is encouraging him. Hey. Don't, you know, let anyone think less of you, be an example. Timothy, become an example. Work on this. Work on being an example in love, but Paul also presents Timothy as an example of love in Philippians Chapter 2. There he's telling the Philippians, I really wanna send Timothy to you because I have no one else like him. don't wanna send this other guy, I won't name to you because he's not quite like Timothy. I wanna send Timothy to you because I have no one else like Timothy who genuinely cares about your welfare. He really does love you. And if I send Timothy, I know you'll have a good example of love in your midst, and someone who will be there who will genuinely care about how you're doing about your eternal state. He will address things that need to be addressed till comfort those who need to be comfort comforted. He'll he'll be

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genuinely loving and caring towards you. But Paul says, all the others care only for themselves and not what matters to Jesus.

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I don't know if we can handle this challenge, but can you take yourself and put yourself in Timothy's place there. Put yourself in some situations at work perhaps that are coming to mind or some family situations and You're saying, there's no one else like Josh. Everybody else seeks after themselves.

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and not what matters to Jesus, but boy send Josh into that situation because he will genuinely care about your welfare.

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He's really going to care about what matters to Jesus. Love is doing what's best for people. Here's another way to put it. It's focusing on what matters to Jesus. What matters to Jesus in those family situations, in those workplace situations, in those interpersonal situations at church into those freeway exchanges or grocery store matches, whatever it might be. What what matters to Jesus? Show people. Be an example of true love. Yeah. We're not gonna be there all the way today.

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But keep making progress. Keep working on loving god with all your heart and soul and mind, and loving people, being focused on what matters to Jesus. You're inadequate?

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and the calling that the lord has given to you and the task that he set before you, but so what? Do it anyway and work on being an example

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in love, showing people what it looks like to love God and to love others around you.

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Well, fourthly, we continue on now in verse 12 still, become an example of obeying God. Here in verse 12, he says, be an example, Timothy, in your faith. Be an example in your faith. Let your faith to be a model for all believers, this is what it looks like to have faith. Now, this also can be taken in two ways. Paul could be addressing here faith in God. But this word also can be used and is used in other places in the New Testament to talk about faithfulness. So it can talk about trusting God or it can talk about trustworthiness. Timothy, be an example in faith. Which one is it? Yes. Be an example in trusting God. And I would suggest you that these two things are intertwined You cannot be an example in trustworthiness without being an example in trusting in God. And you cannot be an example of trusting in God without that impacting your life in a way where you are trustworthy because of the way that you trust in God. Our faith in God and our faithfulness in life go hand in hand. The word faith, I often define it this way, obedience to God at his word. Faith is trusting God enough to do what he says, to take what he says and to put it into practice. To wait when he says to wait, to hope when he says to hope, to rest when he says to rest, to go when he says to go, to do what he says, to do. And and if we are walking that out, walking out obedience to god at his word, it will result in faithfulness, We will be faithful people, faithful to the Lord, faithful to our spouses, faithful to one another, faithful to our commitments, We will be faithful because we are trusty in God and walking according to his word.

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And you can do that even when you feel inadequate. I love Gideon for the example of this. In judges chapter 6,

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The Lord appears to Gideon, in verse 14, it says, then the Lord turned to him and said, go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the midianites I am sending you. But, lord Gideon replied, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manassah and I'm the least in my entire family. The Lord said to him, I will be with you, and you will destroy the midianites as if you were fighting against one man. Gideon was a man that the Lord called to deliver the whole nation of Israel out of this oppressive, midianites nation that had come against them. And the midianites greatly outnumbered Israel.

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But the Lord is going to deliver that.

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So he chooses Gideon. He appears to Gideon, and Gideon says, nuh-uh, no way, no how. That's not gonna happen. How can I rescue Israel? My plan is the weakest. In the whole tribe of Manassah, so you picked the weakest family of all. Manassah was one of the 12 tribes of Israel, It wasn't even the most prominent tribe. It wasn't the most successful tribe. It wasn't the tribe known for leading or deliverance. God chose an unlikely tribe and unlikely family in the unlikely tribe And then Gideon says, I'm the least in my entire family. So the least of the least of the least

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Gideon feels inadequate. I'm not up to this task. I can't do this.

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What does the Lord say? I'll be with you. Go. And so what does Gideon do? Here's the point. He goes. Now I know some people use Gideon as an example of not trusting God because of the fleece, but I dispute that whole line of thinking. He's confirming. He's clarifying. When you're risking your life, I suggest it's fair to do that. But he's obedient to the Lord. He's not defiant against the Lord. He is obedient to the Lord. He is an example of faith. and he does what god calls him to do. And he takes 300 men against this innumerable army, and the lord is with him, and they do have victory 3, it is fulfilled because Gideon

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trusted god enough to do what he said.

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Be an example of obeying God. You can be like Gideon and feel like Why would the lord want me to do that? Why would he I'm surely there's somebody else way more qualified way more capable. I'm the least of the least of the least.

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You may feel inadequate. But be an example of faith. And your faith is not in yourself or your adequacy. Your faith is in the God who called you and charged you and set that before you, and so obey God. Even though others perhaps suggest you're inadequate, even though you yourself feel inadequate, obey God. Do it anyway, and you'll become an example in faith. Finally, point number 5, become an example of confessing

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sin related to the holy life that we talked about for point number 2, Paul tells Timothy, be an example in your purity. The word purity, it means to be free from defilement. It's the one side of the holy life to be set apart from this is that focus. The purity from defilement, not contaminated. And some people hit that, and then they wonder, woah, what does that mean

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And is it going to leave me in a place where I can still enjoy my life? Because there's a lot of things that I want and I like and I enjoy and I don't want to go. But Paul is instructing him at the year, being an example in purity. In not having contamination or defilement in your life. Holdingness,

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purity was something that was very important to the lord. It is important to the lord, I should say. He is holy. and only those who are holy will see the Lord. The Lord has illustrated this, declared it throughout history, throughout time. It's been clear. You can think about the plans of the temple, outlined in the Tabernacle or later on, the temple with Ezekiel, there was the wall that would separate the temple facilities, the tabernacle from the surrounding area, the the holy from the common, There was the veil that separated the holy place from the most holy place. there was these dividers, these separations so that it would be clear there's a change here holiness on the other side of this wall. But but the thing that we need to understand about these walls and God's call to holiness is that the temple walls were never meant to keep people out. He put gates in the walls so that people could come in. He wasn't saying, I'm holy, I'm holy, stay away, never approach. He was saying, I'm holy, But if you follow the way I prescribe, here's a gate to enter in,

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You can have access to me in fellowship with me. Jesus said, I am the we. He is the only way to approach to have fellowship with a Holy God.

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So when it comes to purity, we need to understand that this is important. We cannot have raging impurities in our lives, and we just continue on as if nothing happened, there needs to be an approach to the father by Jesus Christ to deal with those impurities. Again, it's not saying to be an example of perfection, but I worded it this way on purpose, be an example of confessing sin for all and fall short of the glory of God. So we all will have opportunity to be an example of confessing sin. Jesus said, you want a good example of what it looks like to be pure to have a holy life. He gave the example of Pharisee, a religious leader, and a tax collector, the worst sinners that were known they were known as the worst centers of the day. In Luke 18, he tells this parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector who go to prayer The Pharisee is scorning. He's self righteous. He's thinking, man, this tax collector, this guy is terrible. He is filthy. He is not pure like I am. And Jesus

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walks through that and says at the end, it was the tax collector who walked away in right relationship with God. because he humbled himself and confessed his sin, while the religious leader insisted on his purity and on his righteousness. The example in purity is not insisting on our purity. it's confessing our sin and inviting the forgiveness and the mercy and grace from god. One last example to consider in that, the example of Isaiah, the prophet.

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He has this experience where he's caught up into the heavenly scene And there he is seeing the throne of God high and lifted up. He sees the train of his robe filling the temple with glory and the Sarah Fember saying, holy, holy, holy, and Isaiah says, it's all over. I'm doomed because I'm a sinful man. I have filthy lips, I live among a people with filthy lips, purity, not even an option in my life. But then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal. He touched my lips with it and said, see, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven. He recognizes his impurity, he confesses it, and then instantly, he's touched, he's cleansed, he's forgiven, and then verse 8, then I heard the Lord asking, whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?

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And I said, here I am. Send me anyway. What did Isaiah do? He went anyway. Even though he was inadequate, even though he was sinful and lived a p among the people of sinful lips, even though he didn't measure up and wasn't the best example of purity that could ever possibly be, he received the cleansing from the Lord, and he said, okay. I'm gonna go. I'm inadequate,

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but I'm going to do it anyway. And so, we have before us today, this encouragement from the Apostle Paul to Timothy, as well as to you and I,

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become an inadequate example. Yes. God calls you to things that you don't feel like you can accomplish that are beyond your natural abilities that are beyond your reach, that you don't feel qualified for or worthy of. But so what? God's the one who placed them in your life. Become an inadequate example. Do it anyway. I'm not saying, don't change your life and just continue living however you've been living. Do it anyway and work on make progress in becoming an example in your words that they are helpful and beneficial to everyone who hears them. Become an example in a holy life and show people what it looks like to devote yourself to god and to fill your life with the things of the Lord. Become an example of true love, demonstrating what it looks like when a person loves god with all of their heart and mind and strength and cares genuinely about the people around them. Become an example of obeying God taking what he says and trusting him and doing it no matter how you feel about it. Become an example of confessing sin, admitting failures, frailties, and receiving that mercy and grace from the Lord. This is what people need most. They need real examples, genuine people who are not up to the task, who are inadequate, who fall short, but respond to the Lord anyway and seek to continue to develop as his child seek to continue to be conformed into his image. Lord, we pray that you would help us. To become the examples that you desire us to be. Lord, forgive us for the the fake hypocrisy, Lord, the fake examples, demonstration that we put on around others. Lord, I pray that you would teach us, so to be genuine. in our relationship with you and in our relationship with one another. And, lord, may we hear your voice and respond to your word and do what you've called us to regardless of how we feel about it or how others feel about it, but may we be faithful and obedient to you? help us to overcome those feelings of inadequacy, those frailties, those weaknesses, And, Lord, would you use us and develop us into good examples? Or that people could see your work and your hand in our lives and know that they can experience that too. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.