When Mark was a teenager in Jerusalem, he knew Jesus. In fact, it is thought that the Last Supper was held at his mother’s house and that he followed Jesus to the Garden. Mark 14:51-52
For 14 years, Mark was part of the Jerusalem church community. Then, he went to Antioch in Syria to help his cousin Barnabas and Paul head up a growing church filled with Gentiles.
Around the age of 30, Mark went with Barnabas and Paul on their journey to Cyprus. When they got to southern Turkey, Mark left them and headed back to Jerusalem.
Three years later, Paul didn’t want Mark on their second missionary journey. Barnabas wanted to continue mentoring his cousin so he took Mark with him to Cyprus again. Paul took Silas and headed north to Turkey. God had two mission teams.
Then Mark went back to Jerusalem where he connected with Peter. For the next 15-20 years, Mark traveled with Peter, listening to Peter’s sermons and recording them.
Mark’s relationship with Paul was restored so that both times when Paul is in prison in Rome, Mark is there with him. Paul calls Mark his fellow worker and very useful to him.
It is generally believed that Mark adapted Peter’s preaching and teachings about Jesus into the book we now call “Mark,” arranged and shaped as he was guided by the Holy Spirit. So, the young teen who knew Jesus as a youth had many experiences that shaped his life and led him to the work that God had in mind for him. God was patient with Mark and was able to use Mark in a ministry totally different from Paul’s but equally as important.
The second teen — Timothy
Timothy’s mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were devout Jews who became believers in Christ through Paul’s preaching. Timothy’s father was a Greek. Timothy first heard Paul preach the gospel on Paul’s first visit to Lystra and trusted in Christ.
Timothy wasn’t wealthy, but he was rich in reputation and gifts God could use for ministry. The local church recognized this about him and told Paul. So, Paul invited Timothy to participate on the rest of his second missionary journey.
For 3 years, Timothy traveled with Paul on this missionary journey, facing incredible odds. Timothy helped to establish and strengthen churches at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. He also traveled with Paul to minister to churches in western Turkey.
Six of Paul’s epistles to churches include Timothy in the salutations meaning Timothy was with him when Paul wrote the letters.
After Paul’s release from prison, Timothy and Paul traveled to Ephesus where Timothy was left as an “apostolic representative” with the authority to order worship, appoint elders and deacons as well as maintain the teaching of truth and sound Christian doctrine within all the churches located in that region.
We can look at the lives of these young men and see that both had great potential for serving Christ. Timothy found his niche for serving Christ right away as a lifelong missionary and pastor. Mark tasted missionary life then backed off. Then, he came back strong in a different way as Peter’s valued interpreter and writing assistant.
How the characteristics of teens are useful to God
Bible teacher Chuck Swindoll said that teens are particularly useful to God because they are: (1) Available. (2) Risk-takers. (3) Desire to make a difference. (4) Have abundant energy.
Finding your purpose during the adventure
God’s Holy Spirit transforms the lives of ordinary people like you and I are and how He leads us in different ways to accomplish the purposes for which He created us.
Stop looking at yourself and thinking that God doesn’t have much purpose for you because you are ordinary. Women faithfully serving God in their ordinary spheres of influence are living lives of purpose even if not making a splash across social media.
Remember our process for decision-making. Those apply to finding your purpose during the adventure of following Christ.
Align yourself with the purposes of God as described in His Word.
Consider options that also align with the purposes of God. Give Him your training, gifts, opportunities, and say to the Lord, “Use these for your glory, not mine.”
Ask God for direction and for Him to show you the best choice of what you should be doing.
Submit to God’s direction.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His Spirit’s transforming power. And say yes to a life of adventure with Him!
Until next time, I’m Melanie Newton. And, this is Series 7 of Satisfied.