Last night I spoke to our teens during Teens for Christ. As I prayed over what I should teach, the Holy Spirit put upon my heart to do a character study of a young man named Timothy. Who was Timothy and why is he a good role-model for our youth?
We first meet Timothy in the book of Acts.
Acts 16:1 Then came he (Paul) to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: 2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
During Paul’s second missionary journey he came to a small city named Derbe. There he heard about a young man called Timothy. Scripture says that Timothy was already a disciple of Christ and one that was –‘well reported of by the brethren.’ It is amazing to think that someone so young could already be known and respected within the church. The Bible says that not only did the believers at his home church in Derbe love and respect him, but also the brethren at the nearby cities of Lystra and Iconium. That a teenager would be recognized and respected in an area so large – especially in a day when communication and travel were very primitive – is quite remarkable.
Biblical examples of young men like Timothy, Joseph and Daniel teach us that even teenagers can have a strong walk with God. They do not have to go out into the world and sow their wild oats before they can become serious about their relationship with Christ. The Bible says – “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” (Proverbs 20:11) It is possible for even children to exemplify a love for the Lord.
Whenever I think of young men like Timothy, I am reminded of Tammy’s younger brother Mike. Mike was only about twelve when I first met him, yet he already was a strong believer. He was kind, considerate, and had a remarkable knowledgeable of the Word of God. Today Mike is several years older and the father of two teenagers. As we have watched Mike continue to grow and mature, we see now how he is passing his faith down to his children. Both of his teenage daughters love Christ and I pray for them regularly.
As adults, we should pray for our teens and do all that we can to encourage them. Who knows, we might be the ones to help develop God’s next Timothy!