READ: 1 Timothy 4

Reread verses 10-16 from The Message, focusing on the words teach and keep:

This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers. Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use. Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation.”

THINK: In these verses, Paul, as almost a father figure, passes on wise words to young Timothy – and to us – about modeling our faith. How can we be a part of that no matter how old we are?

On a scale of one to ten – one being spiritual flabbiness and then being spiritually fit – how would you rate your spiritual fitness? Why did you give yourself that rating?

How well are you “teach[ing] believers with your life” in these five areas: “by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity”? Very well? In which areas? Not so well? In which areas? How can you make your life a better teacher in all of these?

PRAY: See if you can open your life to God like you would open a book. Consider the areas (such as school, family, work, and other activities), and write them down if that helps. Acknowledge to God your openness, then invite him to do his work in your life – whatever that may be – encouraging you, challenging you, and shaping your words, your demeanor, your love, your faith, and your integrity.

LIVE: Write these five words on an index card: word, demeanor, love, faith, integrity. Ask God to help you teach with your life in these specific areas throughout your day.

By: Eugene Peterson in Solo

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