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"Don't let anyone look down on you"

August 19, 2022

Daily Scripture

Acts 16:1-3, 1 Timothy 4:9-14

Acts 16

1 Paul reached Derbe, and then Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy. He was the son of a believing Jewish woman and a Greek father. 2 The brothers and sisters in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take Timothy with him, so he circumcised him. This was because of the Jews who lived in those areas, for they all knew Timothy’s father was Greek.

1 Timothy 4

9 This saying is reliable and deserves complete acceptance. 10 We work and struggle for this: “Our hope is set on the living God, who is the savior of all people, especially those who believe.” 11 Command these things. Teach them. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. Instead, set an example for the believers through your speech, behavior, love, faith, and by being sexually pure. 13 Until I arrive, pay attention to public reading, preaching, and teaching. 14 Don’t neglect the spiritual gift in you that was given through prophecy when the elders laid hands on you.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

On his second missionary journey, the apostle Paul met a younger man named Timothy. Timothy became a deeply valued associate (cf. 1 Thessalonians 3:1-2). Paul trusted him to lead churches (cf. 1 Timothy 1:3), even after Paul was gone (cf. 2 Timothy 2:1-2). Paul urged Timothy not to let his youth make him shy from responsibility, but to lead with confidence and trust in the gifts God gave him (which clearly did not depend on him reaching some minimum age).

  • How do the Biblical stories show that you are never too old (e.g. Abraham, Moses) or too young (e.g. Jeremiah, Timothy) to do what God calls you to? If you are on the younger end of the age spectrum, do older people ever intimidate you, making you fear to offer your gifts and insights? If you are older, what helps you avoid the tendency to discount younger Christians whose thinking, style of dress or music is not the same as yours?
  • What examples of either spiritual courage or timidity are parts of your spiritual journey? In what ways have parents, grandparents, teachers, friends and other people given you confidence to fearlessly value and use your God-given strengths? How have the good examples shaped your life and service? How can you mentor and encourage someone who is younger than you are?

Lord Jesus, in this age-conscious culture, remind me that from your eternal view, age is one of the least of your concerns. Empower me to live without fear, now and in all my years of earthly life. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe & his wife, Doris, first met in a Resurrection Single Adult Sunday School class in 1997 & were married in what is now the Student Center. They are empty nesters with 2 college-aged sons, Matthew & Jacob. Darren serves as a Couples Small Group co-leader & Men's Group Leader, while volunteering in a variety of other capacities at Resurrection.

As we consider the generational gap, I thought I might have a “debate” with B.G., a Youth Group Leader, comparing/contrasting the merits of the older generation with the skills of a younger generation when it comes to developing the Kingdom of God. (I know what you are thinking. I am way, way too young to represent an “older” perspective. I initially concurred until I considered how our college-aged sons view me as a “Walking Progressive Insurance Ad Dad,” just because I like the occasional early-bird special at Olive Garden, I patrol the house turning off lights, & I enjoy a good “Dad Joke” like “If you’re ever attacked by a gang of clowns, go for the juggler.”)

DL: So, how did you get your name?

B.G.: Sigh. My Mom was a huge fan of the rock group the Bee Gees.

DL: It could have been worse. She could have been a fan of Judas Priest. Now this will be a friendly debate, which means we can disagree without becoming mortal enemies. Why don’t you kick us off?

B.G.: Wow. That’s a novel concept in today’s world, but let’s give it a go. In the Old Testament book, Esther, I love how God selects a beautiful Jewish princess named Esther to heroically save her people from annihilation. This young lady demonstrates incredible faith, unbelievable obedience, & willingly puts her own life on the line to fulfill her purpose.

DL: If you love spy/espionage novels, Esther is a great read. I agree Esther is an awesome heroine, but you’ll also note that her elderly uncle, Mordecai, was a wonderful mentor for Esther & wisely advises her behind the scenes to help her mission. So, I would submit that this story utilizes both old & young generations.

B.G.: Fair enough. Okay, how about when God decides the timing is right to send His Son, God selects John the Baptist, a young, devout believer to boldly call for the repentance of all people, to bravely speak God’s truths, even in the face of death, & who humbly submits himself to God & Christ again & again.

DL: JtB is one of the great heroes of the New Testament. However, I would suggest that JtB’s ministry got its foundation thanks to his elderly parents, Elizabeth & Zechariah. They were righteous people & devout followers of God. They raised JtB to be a great man of faith, following the edicts of the priesthood of the day. One could argue that Luke considers Elizabeth & Zechariah as the true starting point of Jesus’ earthly ministry.

Also, when God opts to start His plan of redemption, he picks a VERY elderly couple, Abraham & Sarah. If God wanted descendents that would outnumber the sands of the beach it would seem to be smarter to pick a couple who are binge watching the latest streaming hit, instead of a pair that are watching Matlock reruns on cable. However, Abraham demonstrated the wisdom of God’s confidence.

B.G.: Wow. Abraham. Good pick. Okay, I’m going to close the debate with Mary. When God needed a human vessel for His one & only Son, He chooses a young girl to be the Mom. He didn’t pick a woman with immense experience in parenting, or a woman with degrees in childhood development, or a woman who had a strong resume of accomplishments in the religious world. Instead, God chose a young lady who was a great woman of faith, who had a heart for motherhood, & who exhibited incredible courage over & over.

So, what can we conclude from our discussion?

DL: God is truly an Equal Opportunity Employer. When it comes to His Kingdom, no one, regardless of how young or how old, is beyond His call. As long as we have breath, we have value to God & He has great hopes & dreams for each & every one of us.

B.G. Amen. So, since everyone has skills & talents that are vital to His Kingdom, we need to make sure we do all we can to work with each other to reach our full potential. Older believers need to eagerly share their faith & experience with younger Christians & young people of faith need to share their passion, creativity, & energy with older believers.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to my fave vintage record store, “All Sales Are Vinyl,” to look for a Rolling Stones album.

DL: Rolling Stones? I became a fan of their music when they performed at Arrowhead Stadium in 1975. I remember my Spanish teacher predicting they’d break up shortly after the tour. Or as she said, “The Rolling Stones will gather no mas.”

B.G.: (Staring.) Your sons may have a point. Thanks for the debate.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.