In this lesson, we will learn from the life of Timothy, focusing on Paul’s letters in 1 and 2 Timothy. This lesson relates to pre-teens and teens and by the end of this lesson, they should have learnt about the following:
- You are never too young to study Scripture
- Set and follow a godly example
- The importance of honouring God
BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 and 2 Timothy
MEMORY VERSE: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
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BIBLE STUDY NOTES FOR TEENS
Paul likely led Timothy to Christ on his first missionary journey and further discipled him on his second visit (Acts 13-14). Paul took Timothy as a disciple and a co-worker. Paul handpicked Timothy as his disciple because he had a good reputation (Acts 16:2). Timothy seems to have been a particularly fearful and nervous fellow.
Timothy may have come from a broken home. It’s possible that Timothy grew up without a father in the home. Acts records that his mother was a “believer”, but “his father was a Greek” (Acts 16:1). Later, Paul refers to the fact that Timothy’s mother and grandmother raised him in his faith (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:15), but Paul makes no mention of Timothy’s dad.
Paul played an exceptional role in Timothy’s life and became a spiritual father to him. In 1 Timothy 1:2, Paul refers to Timothy as his “true child in the faith” (1 Tim. 1:2).
Timothy also seems to have ongoing health issues. Paul writes, “No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments” (1 Tim. 5:23). Timothy also seems to sometimes struggles with nervousness and fear of others (1 Tim 4:12; 2 Tim 1:7,8).
Yet regardless of Timothy being young, nervous and having issues with his health, he seems to have been Paul’s most influential and faithful helper, and God used him mightily. Paul left Timothy in the largest church of Ephesus. Timothy was also present while writing many of Paul’s letters (2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Philemon).
KEY POINTS FROM THE PASSAGE
1. YOU’RE NEVER TOO YOUNG TO LEARN SCRIPTURE (2 TIMOTHY 3:15)
Timothy was taught the Scriptures from a young age by his mother and grandmother. He knew the stories of the Bible and the teachings of the Old Testament. As he grew older, Timothy continued to study the Bible and learned how to apply its truths to his life.
One of the remarkable things about the Bible is how it can always speak to you no matter your age. No matter how many times you’ve read it or how well you think you know it, there’s always something new to be found. And that’s especially true when it comes to the matter of salvation. In 2 Timothy 3:15, we’re told that “From infancy, you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus.” In other words, even from our earliest days, the Bible has the power to teach us and lead us to faith in Jesus Christ.
You are never too young to study the Bible. The Bible is full of stories, parables, and wisdom that can be applied to our lives no matter our age. As we see from Timothy, we are never too young to learn the way of salvation.
If we have parents or people who have taught us the Bible from a young age, we should be thankful for it and take any opportunity to study it with them. But even if you’ve never read the Bible, now is the perfect time to start. It is never too early or too late to begin studying the Bible and grow closer to God.
2. AGE DOESN’T LIMIT SPIRITUAL MATURITY (1 TIMOTHY 4:12)
You may feel that you are continually looked down upon as a young person. Whether it’s because of age, inexperience, or simply because young people are often seen as “the future,” there’s always someone who is quick to write off the younger generation. But you mustn’t let that deter you!
Paul’s words to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12 are just as relevant for us today as they were for Timothy nearly 2,000 years ago. In a world that is constantly trying to tell us that we are not good enough, that we are not worth their time or attention, it is easy to believe the lies. But we must not let anyone look down on us because we are young. We must set an example for the believers in speech, life, love, faith and purity. Use youth as a strength and set an example that others can follow.
It is a common misconception that age limits spiritual maturity. Just because someone is older does not mean they are more spiritually mature. In fact, age has little to do with spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity is about the depth of someone’s relationship with God and how they live according to His will. It is not about how long someone has been alive or a Christian, but rather the quality of their faith.
Furthermore, no matter how old you are, you can always grow spiritually.
3. LEARN FROM OTHERS (1 Timothy 1:2)
We are not only called to be an example but to follow godly examples. In the Bible, we see many examples of God using spiritual fathers to help equip and encourage other believers. One such example is between the apostle Paul and Timothy. In 1 Timothy 1:2, Paul says, “To Timothy, my true child in the faith.” and in 2 Timothy 1:2, Paul even refers to Timothy as his “dearly beloved son.”
Clearly, Paul saw Timothy as a spiritual son and took great joy in seeing him grow in his faith. Throughout their relationship, we see Paul consistently pouring into Timothy, equipping him to be a leader in the early church.
God will often put people in our path to help us walk the Christian life and develop our faith. A Christian mentor can be a huge blessing, providing wisdom, encouragement, and accountability. We are not to walk the Christian faith alone, but we are to be in community with other believers. We should encourage one another and build each other up in the faith.
A spiritual mentor is someone who can help you walk a life of faith. They can provide wisdom, correction, and support as you grow in your understanding of the Bible and your relationship with God. A mentor can also help you develop spiritual disciplines and practices that will help you deepen your faith.
When we are humble enough to learn from others, we open ourselves up to grow deeper in our faith. Paul took Timothy under his wing and taught him everything he knew from his experiences and studies. He showed him how to live a life that was pleasing to God and serve His people. Timothy grew to be a great leader in the church because of Paul’s guidance.
4. HONOUR GOD (1 Timothy 1:17)
The name Timothy is of Greek origin and means “to honour God.” When we think about honouring God, what usually comes to mind is being a good person and attending church. But what does it really mean to honour God? The dictionary defines honour as “high respect” or “great esteem”. So, when we honour God, we show high respect or great esteem for Him. We are also yielding to His authority and giving Him the glory, He deserves.
Honouring God is not just a one-time act; it’s a lifestyle. It’s a way of thinking, speaking, and living that reflects our high respect and great esteem for Him. It’s about giving Him the glory and praise that He deserves. It’s about putting Him first in our lives.
Timothy did his best to live up to the meaning of his name. As Christians, we should do our best to live in a way that honours God. But how can we do that?
Firstly, we can honour God by living according to His Word. The Bible is God’s Word and tells us how to live in a way to please God.
Another way we can honour God is by serving others. It is not always easy to put others first, but when we do, we live out what Jesus taught us. When we serve others, we reflect God’s love and care for them. Not only did Paul help Timothy, but Timothy was also a great help to Paul. Timothy helped Paul spread the gospel throughout the Roman Empire, plant churches, deliver messages, and by being a loyal and trusted friend.
The Bible says that we are to be an example and follow godly examples (1 Timothy 4:12; Philippians 3:17). Christ himself was the perfect example of how to live a life pleasing to God, and we are called to follow Jesus’ example. Similarly, it can be helpful to follow the examples of other Christians living out their faith in a godly way. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 11:1 “follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
God blessed Timothy with a godly mother and grandmother who set an example of studying Scripture from a young age. Later. Paul also set an example to develop his ministry further.
We should thank God for the people God puts in our lives and strive to honour Him in all that we do.
YOUTH GAMES AND ACTIVITIES FOR TIMOTHY BIBLE LESSON
IN THE RIGHT ORDER
Players must quickly get in the right order from:
- Youngest to oldest
- January to December (Birth month)
- Shortest to tallest
- Smallest feet to biggest feet
- Shortest hair to longest hair, etc.
Talk about how Timothy was young, but how that did not stop him from being used by God.
BABY BOTTLE CONTEST
- You will need: Baby bottles or Sippy cups.
- Remind the children of how they used to be babies, and they would drink from bottles.
- Have a contest to see who can finish their bottle first (It is surprising difficult).
- Talk about how many things that they can do now that they were not able to do as babies.
- Relate it to how Timothy grew up learning much about God´s Word and how he matured to be able to be Paul´s assistant.
- Sit everyone in a circle. There should be at least 8 players.
- Ask one player to leave the room.
- Select one player for the circle to be the leader. Everyone else should copy their actions.
- Call the player back into the room and to stand in the middle of the circle.
- The person in the centre of the circle is allowed to make up to three guesses who the leader may be.
- The leader should keep changing activities without getting caught while the other players copy their actions.
- Repeat. Talk about how we should follow and set a Godly example.