Lead Now, Not Later

Jon Burgess


Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the beleivers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12


Paul is saying to his spiritual son Timothy, "I need you to lead now, not later." It's clear from this passage that Timothy was second guessing his calling because he and/or people around him were second guessing him. One of the greatest challenges for a young leader is to lead those who are older. Paul's encouragement to Timothy is gold: Don't focus on what they are saying. Focus on how you are living. What's coming out of your mouth (speech)? What actions are you taking to lead those around you (conduct)? How are you caring for those who may not be supporting you right now (love)? What has God called you step out in for Him (faith)? What is consuming your thought life and what are you fixing your eyes on (purity)? It's calling and consistent character over age and earning acceptance.


I don't have poeple looking down on me because of my age much anymore but I used to exerperience it quite often. Paul's point to Timothy is something I teach my boys: God calls us to lead as soon as we make Him our Lord. It's not about age, it's about anointing. If we start limiting leadership to age rather then character and calling we're going to miss an entire generation of leaders who just so happen to be standing smack dab in the middle of the greatest potential harvest this country has ever known. My faith is constantly challenged by my boys and they young people at New Hope! Just recently a 19 year old at our church asked to talk with me. He told me that God had asked him to tithe 30 percent instead of 10 percent off of every check that he recieved. He then invested the rest of what he made. God had continued to bless Him abundantly for his obedience and now, on the morning of our conversation, God had asked him to take another faith step. That's when this 19 year old young man handed me a check for $10,000 toward the Greater Together Building Campaign. I was speechless and it takes a lot to do that! He told me very matter of factly that he just wanted to give back for all God had given to him. This young man was schooling me in the area of faith, generosity, obedience and sacrificial living. He is a leader now, not later. I am happy to say as a 41 year old man that I am going to follow his lead. Will you?


Lord, thank You for the young people in my life that are stepping out in faith in ways I never would have at their age. I pray that as our OG youth camps start this Saturday You would call many more into the ministry. Whether in the church or in the market place or in their schools we need them to lead now, not later. Help me to be a Paul that leads the Timothy's around me to a life of character and calling no matter how young they are!

Devotions for June 22

2 Kings 8,9
2 Chronicles 21
1 Timothy 4

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