Sunday, January 20, 2008

Instructions For A Young Preacher #11

This devotion is taken from 1 Tim.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.


By Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henceforth, please God, forever I forego
The yoke of men's opinions. I will be
Light-hearted as a bird, and live with God.
I find him in the bottom of my heart,
I hear continually his voice therein.

To the neglect of the world we who are God's children turn from it to the God who rests within our souls, leading and guiding us into his own will to do that which is better than the entertainment of the world and better than all the pleasures that the world has to offer.

So, the young preacher must also be separated from the world lest other youth see his bad life and he misrepresent his purpose in life. Others may make fun and mock his spiritual life, but the young preacher must know that he has a higher calling, a calling that, though many may disdain, yet it is a calling still; and it must be lived up and beyond the fray with a goal of pure righteousness. Else how can the world see a better life, a greater calling, a purer righteousness than that which the world offers?

With righteousness imputed, the heart stays in love with Jesus, and with that righteousness the young preacher can give a better testimony than he sees in the world. With his words he offers hope to those around him, and with his life he tells them that life is worth the living, especially a life of righteousness and purity in the presents of an Almighty God.

He must be an example of the believers; in other words, he must live the good and right life, the perfect life as much as possible. He must shun anything less than perfect (though we all know he cannot live a perfect life, but that must be his goal). He must show other believers by example that they, too, can live a more holy life.

He is not to live as an example just in generalities; he is to live as an example in word, carefully choosing his language not to bring disgrace upon his God; he is to live as an example in conversation, which is his manner of life, staying away from all needless jesting and joking, gossiping, and lying; he is to be an example in charity, always loving even those who may hate his stand for the truths of God's word; in spirit, he must stay focused upon God always; in faith, he must not turn away from, he must challenge others to have his same faith and offer it to those who believe not; in purity, he must be an example of all that is right and good.

This is a huge bill to fill for a young preacher, but he must endure to obtain to this, since he is serving the eternal God of Heaven and delivering a Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation. If he gives the true Gospel with a life that may be despised by others, what good will his preaching do? But with his eyes upon God, his faith strong, and his conversation under his own scrutiny every day, what can he do for God? Only God know!

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