"Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12 RS) While we need to let no one despise our youth, I want to discuss the parts of this verse that deal with our example. I not only want to talk about the "turn of the other cheek" idea but also about the general everyday nitty gritty boring type of example. Yes our example can be boring to talk about BUT it can be DEADLY! How you may ask. If your example causes a brother (or sister) to stumble (Romans 14:21) or causes a sinner not to accept the Lord.
"I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter."
(Matthew 12:36) Are your words careless? Maybe when we are frustrated. Or angry. Or upset. Careless words are not only swear words. They can be an idle cut or an angry one. They can be the names you call yourself when you hit your thumb, instead of the nail, with the hammer. These are the times when we need to make sure that people can see our sermon more than they can hear it. We can not allow ourselves to get to the point where we say, "do as I say, not as I do." Remember "one picture is worth a thousand words." I am not just using these cliches for fun. They are very accurate.
ARE YOUR WORDS CARELESS?
1 Peter 2:12-17 talks of the conduct that we need to have. It says that we need to maintain good conduct. In Matthew 19:19 Jesus tells us "thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself." Are we loving our neighbor as ourselves? Are we loving them with an unbridled tongue? With careless actions? With a hidden faith? Or in impurity? Our love is shown by our actions, which is also known as our example. Think back to the person who led you to the Lord, and think about how they would answer these questions. And if you are not a Christian yet ask yourself if these are the qualities that you have been looking for in Christians. How would Jesus answer these questions? Then compare the answers. Do you, and the other Christians you are learning from, make the grade? If not then changes need to be made because we are to be imitators of Christ. Your salvation and that of others could rest on the answers that you have given.
ARE YOUR WORDS CARELESS?
IS YOUR LOVE PURE?
ARE YOUR ACTIONS CARELESS?
In Matthew 17:20, along with other places in the Bible, Jesus refers to the power of faith. For Jesus said "If you shall have the faith of a mustard seed you shall say to that mountain, go hither and it shall." Have you moved mountains lately? Spiritual mountains are there for the moving. America, and the rest of the world, is generally going to Hell at an amazing rate.
What a mountain for us to move!