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Because You Are Young

Words of Faith Final

Because You Are Young
Words of Faith 5-30-2023
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2023
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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1 Timothy 4 [11] Command and teach these things. [12] Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

I remember taking my first "solo" pastoral assignment as a young preacher not long out of seminary and an associate position. I was 28 years old, and some in the congregation just could not fathom having a pastor younger than their grandchildren.
Paul had some advice for such a young preacher. But it is actually good advice for anyone. Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young or for any reason. Don't be looked down upon because you are young in your faith or just youthful in your outlook.
While you can't really prevent the behavior of others who "look down" on you, you do not have to receive it. What you do in response is always your choice. Paul gives a simple solution--‑‑ set an excellent example in how you live your Christian life. In how you talk, live, and love others, show them FAITH and PURITY. That is all you can do and it will work out.
Whatever you do, BE DEVOTED to your call. Read, preach, and teach the Word of God. Do not neglect your spiritual gifts. Keep on keeping on so that "everyone may see your progress." I learned a long time ago that the goal is not to be the best preacher in the world but simply to be as faithful as I can be, diligent each day, each week, and each year.
Progress is the point. Not perfection. The story is told about the lady who came to the church's back door and was at a loss for what to say to the preacher. So she said: "Pastor, each sermon you preach is better than the next!" It probably took a while for that one to sink in. No matter our gift, we must keep on in diligence and allow God to improve us. Keep the gifts God has given growing.
The pastor must watch his life and doctrine closely. A shepherd is responsible for the feeding and care of the flock. God works through the shepherd. Certainly, God is at work all around us, even in spite of us sometimes. Much is entrusted to the shepherd, and salvation is ministered through the life and teaching of a pastor. No, this is not to say that Christians do not have direct access to God through Jesus. But a pastor must never take their place of influence and care lightly.
Here is a precious memory. As I was leaving that first solo pastoral assignment, an older man came to me as I was packing my office with tears in his eyes. I was 35 years old. Seven years of ministry had seen hundreds of lives changed, buildings built, and many tears and laughter. This old friend confessed that when I had first arrived, he was one of the skeptics about a preacher so young, but now he was having great difficulty turning loose of "his pastor." The ways of God do work. Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, old, or for any reason. Instead, be diligent.
Lord, keep me diligent in life and love so that those around me may see faith and purity. Use the gifts of Your spirit in my life and ministry in ways that will draw people to You. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2023
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2023 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.