A living example

I am both excited and overwhelmed. God has given me a really great opportunity to help with a youth retreat this week. With this opportunity comes great responsibility. When we teach God’s word, he holds us accountable for what we say and how we prepare. Knowing this, I have prayed for wisdom as I have been digging deep into this study in hopes that I can do my best to teach His word.

The whole study is about being a “tupos.” It is the Greek word for “example.” The lesson is based on 1 Timothy 4:12. (No one should despise your youth, instead, you should be an example to the believer in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.) I will be leading the group session on “love.” Where do I even start? The word is mentioned over 700 times in the bible. There are multiple meanings and uses. There are so many directions I could go with this one. I’ve been praying for God’s guidance as to how he would have me present it.

About a year ago, I read The 3:16 promise by Max Lucado. His chapter about love inspired me to make our focus on the ultimate example of love: Jesus. God created you with a specific purpose in mind. You are part of God’s perfect will. We are all minor actors in God’s huge, never ending story. You have purpose. You are a marvel, a uniquely created child of a Holy King. He sent his son to die in our place… Why? Love.

We are called to love. Every part of our lives, every action, every word, every thought… we are commanded to do it in love. We sometimes don't understand how huge the word is. The mega meaning of the four letter word pretty much sums up the entire Bible’s teachings.

I’m praying for revival in this youth retreat. I hope that as leaders, we will be vessels and God will give us the wisdom to pour into these youth. Being a “tupos” is the outward expression that we have Jesus in our lives. Following his perfect example will show others the love that he has to offer.