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“Be An Example!

1 Timothy 4:12-16

Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:12-16

Memory Verse: “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word,
conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

Lesson Focus: To be an example to others in how you live your life in following Jesus.

Activities and Crafts: Coloring pages, work sheet

Craft for 1st and 2nd graders: “Bee” an Example Craft

Introduction: Ask the kids: Who is someone young that you can look up to?
(Talk about young movie stars and ask the kids how they are doing? Why do they seem
to fall away from being good? What draws them to do the wrong things? What kind of people
do they have around them? Does having a lot of money hurt these young people?)
(Talk about Daniel, and his friends from the book of Daniel that we just studied. They
were young but we saw them make the right choices…what made the difference?

Bible Study:

1 Timothy 4:12:
First Paul tells Timothy what NOT to do:
√ What does it mean to “despise your youth?”
(It means “to think less of.” Just because you are young does not mean
that you don’t have something to say or to contribute. God had put
Timothy into a position of authority. He was a leader and teacher in this
Church. Paul is telling him, “hey, you are young but God has put you
here. Don’t be ashamed of being young and use the authority that God
has given you.)

Now Paul tells Timothy what He SHOULD DO:

Be an Example:
√ What does it mean to be an example?

(Illustration) Ask one child to come up to you. Tell them that they
are to follow what you do. Tell them that you are going to teach
them how to do ballet. Do some funny steps and arm movements
and they must follow you and do the same thing.)

√ Ask the kids: Was (name of child) following my example or was he just trying
to imitate what I did?

See there is a difference between imitating and being an example. We can

always copy some ones actions or words, but if we are an example it is not just
copying but it is who we are. There are many Christians that just copy actions
that they think would be right…but when you get them alone they are different
all together. Jesus does not want us to “copy” an example He wants us to “be”
an example. Paul cares about Timothy’s character.

√ What was Timothy to be an example in?

1. Word
2. Conduct
3. Love
4. Spirit
5. Faith
6. Purity

Let’s look at each one of these separately and talk about which ones that you
think are easy or hard.

1. Word: How can Timothy be an example in word?

Remember what we read in James 3:6, that the tongue is a fire and
the words that we say con cause great harm.

Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned
with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

Our words matter to God and Timothy can be an example of Jesus by

the words that he uses. Some of us just talk too much. When we talk
too much, what are we not doing? (listening) Proverbs 10:19 says,
“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking…but he who restrains his
lips is wise.”

Is it hard or easy to be an example in using the right words?

2. Conduct: What does the word “conduct” mean? The word conduct
means “matter of life.” It how you live every day and all day long.
Your actions at church, the grocery store, in your neighborhood,
school, everywhere you live and go. How can Timothy be an example
in conduct? Your conduct is how you act….your actions. Let’s give
some examples:
a. When someone says something mean to you to you say
something mean back?
b. When your little brother bothers you do you push him?
c. When people at school are treating someone mean do you
join in?
d. When your parents ask you to clean your room do you say you
will but then you don’t?
e. Do you lie?

Conduct is our behavior in every situation.

James 1:23 told us to “be doers of the word, not hearers only…”
That means that our everyday actions need to match up with the Word of
God. We have to live like we believe. Many Christians say that they
believe in Jesus but live like everyone else in the world.

Did Jesus’ life match what He said?

Are we supposed to live the same way as Jesus?
Does your life match what you say?

Paul is telling Timothy that the way he lives and all of his actions matter.
Show people that look down on you because you are young that your life
belongs to Jesus in every way. Give them no reason to say his actions do
not match his words.

Is it hard or easy to be an example in your actions?

3. Love: How can Timothy be an example in love? Who is Timothy

supposed to love?

a. God: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your hear,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
b. Others: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 22:39
Why does love matter so much to God? (Because love is at the
center of all that God has done for us. Romans 5:8)

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

Is it hard or easy to be an example in love?

4. Spirit: How can Timothy be an example in “spirit”? By following the

Holy Spirit’s leading and guidance. Jesus told us before He went back
up to heaven that He was going to send us a helper and that He
would guide us in all truth. John 14:26 We are told in Ephesians 5:8
to be filled with the Spirit. When we ask God to fill us with the Spirit
we will be like a glass that is filled with water and overflows….the
things of God will pour out of us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Is it hard or easy to be an example in being spirit filled?

5. Faith: How can Timothy be an example in “faith”?

√ What is faith?
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen.”

Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and
that not of yourselves it is the gift of God.”

Faith means to believe in something. We believe in God. We put our

faith in God. My faith is in God, not in people, or circumstances.

√ So how could Timothy be an example in faith?

Further down in this same chapter Paul will tell Timothy in 1
Timothy 4:14, to “not neglect the gift that is in you and given to
you…” Paul is reminding Timothy that God has given him his gifts to

be used in the Church. Timothy must have had the gift of leadership
and teaching. These are gifts of the Holy Spirit to be used in the
Church. Timothy would be an example of faith by using these gifts for
the Kingdom of God. It would not matter if Timothy had a bad day or
someone criticized him. He would live by faith that these are the gifts
from God.

Anything that we read in the Bible we need to listen to and by faith

live it out. If the Bible says, “to not worry about anything, but to pray
about everything…” (Philippians 4:6) then living by faith I would take
my worries to God and pray about them and trust Him to help me
through them.

Is it hard or easy to be an example in your faith?

6. Purity: How can Timothy be an example in purity?

√ What does “purity” mean? Purity means to have moral character.
God tells us in His Word to “be holy as I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)

Morals are the rights and wrongs of life. It used to be clear what was
righty and wrong….but it is not so clear any more. The Bible tells us
through the 10 commandments and in many other places what is
right and wrong. To be pure is to follow God and to follow Jesus as
our example.

Example: If the world says that it is ok to go to a bad movie is it ok to

go? (No, because anything that you put in your mind will be with you
forever. Purity, keeps your mind and heart away from those things
that would cause you to sin.

Is it hard or easy to be an example in purity?

Conclusion: Our life needs to match what we say we believe. Paul is telling Timothy that
leadership is a matter of Godly character. God cares about “who” you are more than “what”
you say you are! Be an example through the Spirit’s power.