Living God’s Word – I Timothy 4:12

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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The most godly example I’ve known was my Grandma Fredericksen. She was exceptional. She was hard not to like, but, more importantly, she was an extremely godly woman with a vibrant testimony for Christ. She faced many difficulties in life: marrying a widowed man with two children, a house fire, a lawless rebellious son, mistreatment by family members, and much more. Yet through it all, she had a sweet spirit and unwavering faith.

In Paul’s first epistle to Timothy, he urges him to become a powerful example in godliness that everyone in the church could follow. God’s leaders have always been held to a higher standard of godliness. Ezra had learned three things that made him effective. “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” (Ezra 7:10). Notice the sequence: an open heart seeking to obey the Lord, living what God taught him, and then not merely lecturing with cold, hypothetical facts, but sharing an overflow of what God had done in his life. Similarly, Paul told Timothy: “…be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (I Timothy 4:12). The words spoken by Timothy needed to be pure and Christ-worthy. His “conversation,” or manner of life, must be godly, and Christ honoring. His “charity,” or love, needed to be genuine as he exhibited a godly affection for all saints and the Lord. His “spirit,” meaning his thinking and attitude, needed to demonstrate the sweetness of close communion with Christ. His “faith,” or confidence, in all he believed needed to be unwavering as he lived what he learned from the doctrines of grace, and he needed to live in moral “purity.” If Timothy did all this, then he would be prepared to be a leader in the local church and to teach the saints God’s Word with effectiveness.

While this is the standard for leaders in the church, this is God’s standard for every believer. Being an effective spiritual influence on others is more than accumulating doctrinal facts and rightly dividing the Scriptures. Our lives must be undergirded by godliness to give us credibility when we share these truths. Are we seeking to live what we learn in God’s Word and to be “an example of the believers” in these six areas? Starting right now, which one aspect do you need to ask God to transform?

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."