Within the pages of the New Testament a young man appears, who quickly grows into a mature Believer, a valued co-laborer alongside the Apostle Paul, and a respected pastor. His name is Timothy. As we read through the book that bears his name, and we read brief accounts of Timothy’s life from the book of Acts, we see a picture of a young man who loves the Lord, and is growing in Christ-likeness.
How did Timothy grow into this type of a man? Let me bring out a couple of things about Timothy’s life that are good for us to think about. Timothy’s life is a challenge and an encouragement for every generation of Believers.
His grandmother, Lois imparted the knowledge of Scripture to Timothy from a young age (2 Timothy 1:5). This reminds us of the power and influence believing grandparents can have on their grandkids. I have seen this firsthand with Trea’s grandparents, Jay and Pat and Leo and Polly and now I witness it on an almost daily basis with Mike and Cyndi as they impart Godly wisdom as the grandparents of my two young daughters. If you have grandkids, take the time to teach your grandkids the Scriptures, spend time with them modeling Christ-like behavior, teaching them to pray and to worship and to trust Christ through difficult seasons as well as good seasons.
Timothy’s mother, Eunice, was a Jewess married to a non–believing husband, but Paul writes in 2 Timothy that she has passed the faith onto Timothy. It’s a good reminder for women who are married to unbelieving husbands that by your faith, by your constant prayer for your kiddos, and by your modeling of Christ-likeness to your kids, you will have a huge impact on their souls for eternity. Continue to trust the Lord with your kids.
For young women the encouragement is that there are young men likeTimothy in the world. Young guys who love the Lord and want to serve Him with their life. Maybe not in pastoral ministry, but with their business, with their hands, and with their life they want to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus. There are young guys like this, I know them! Look for this type of a guy.
For older men the challenge and the encouragement is this…Timothy was mentored and shaped by an older man, the Apostle Paul. And his impact on Timothy was profound, and shaped his life. This is the call to older men to invest some of your time into the lives of young men, who have all sorts of questions about faith, life, love, and about marriage. If you’re an older guy with some time on your hands, pray about mentoring a young guy. Your impact will be felt for generations to come.
Lastly, for young guys the challenge is to imitate Timothy’s devotion and faithfulness to the Lord Jesus, and to continue to grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord. Notice, Timothy’s growth was the by-product of spending time with older, wiser Believers, who had experienced tremendous hardship and trusted the Lord through it! If you’re a young guy who want so grow in your knowledge of the Lord and the grace of the Lord, it’s essential that you invest in relationships with older, wiser brothers and sisters in the Lord!