Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Let no man (that's ANYBODY) despise thy youth.

1 Timothy 4:11-13

King James Version (KJV)
11 These things command and teach.
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.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

I realize that some reading this are young (in age). And while I do believe that it can be gleaned from this passage that Timothy was a young man, I think there's a deeper lesson here.

The bigger fight on your hands in living for God is not your age, but the sins of your youth- the things you did when you were younger. Let's face it: most of us don't have great pasts and much of what we did was in our youth. People will remind us. Unsaved loved ones will bring it up. Friends will bring it up. Church folks will bring it up. Preachers will bring it up. Co-workers will remind you about it. 

We need to remember that when we were born again, ALL things were made new. Not some things. ALL things. 

Rather than getting into a verbal brawl with them about it, use it as an occasion to testify of what the Lord has brought you out of. Remember, we overcome by 1) the blood of the lamb, 2) the WORD of our testimony, and 3) (extremely important) we would rather die than reject Jesus. When they come against you: Testify! Either they will get right themselves or they will leave you alone about it cause they don't want to hear it. At least you won't have to keep fighting the same fight- AND your faith will build as you lift up Jesus and what he's done for you.

But, brother Mike, what about what I did AFTER I was born again?

It's a sad fact that we still live in this flesh after we are born again. It would be so much easier to live for God if we didn't. But, we do. And, as humans, sometimes we fail- even after we get born again.

The enemy uses all these folks to try and harm our testimonies. He tries to limit our effectiveness in sharing the Jesus who delivered us. He gets people talking and then whispers in our ears that we ain't changed and we may as well quit being a hypocrite and just be who we are (by which he means, be who you used to be before Calvary's blood washed us). Sometimes, we give in. 

Then he jumps on us even more. He tells us to just quit. God doesn't love us anymore. 

But, rather than quit (which is what he wants us to do), we need to follow scripture. There's a verse that applies to us if we sin after we are born again.

1 John 1:9

King James Version (KJV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Notice, that wonderful word: ALL!  Same word as before. God gives second chances. God even seeks after "lost causes". Whatever we did after being born again, all we need do is sincerely cry out to him in repentance and he will clean us up again!

So, my friend. Don't be weighed down by your past. If you've been born again, it's all under the blood! Washed away by the precious blood of Jesus. Don't go back there and live. Don't let you past trip you up in your walk with God. Use it as a stepping stone to get even closer to Jesus. 

And when folks bring it up, testify! Maybe you can reach them and see them changed, too.