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A Boy Named Timmy

Acts 16:1 Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek.2 Timothy was well thought of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium,3 so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. In deference to the Jews of the area, he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before they left, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek.4 Then they went from town to town, instructing the believers to follow the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem.

A very important relationship was developed with a young man at the beginning of Paul's second missionary journey. The relationship I am talking about is Paul's relationship with Timothy. Timothy is called a young disciple in the first verse of Acts 16 and it also shares that his mother was a Jew who was a believer and his father was a Greek, a gentile. God had already used Timothy to the point that other believers in Derbe thought highly of him and Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. So Timothy committed to join Paul and his commitment was seen in his willingness to follow Paul's instructions and get circumcised before they left. Since his father was a Greek circumcision had not been done on Timothy, so he was circumcised.

There are certain things that can hinder how we minister and circumcision was going to be a possible hindrance for Timothy, so Paul decided Timothy should take out the hindrance of not being circumcised. Paul did not have Timothy get circumcised because there was any merit in it but he did not want it to be an issue in the future ministry travels. Paul was all about not letting anything hinder the presentation of the gospel and in 1 Corinthians 9 Paul writes 19 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. 22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.

Paul's commitment to sharing the message of Christ is a good example of how we must protect this trust given to us by Jesus and not let anything get in the way of us sharing it.

This Good News and the sharing of it should be our main desire and main goal and we cannot let anything else take the place of this priority. Paul set the tone and he took those with him who honored the gospel at all costs. The young man named Timothy was a prime example of the commitment he was willing to make and he followed Paul's instructions, even though it hurt.

What is purpose? Is it to share the message of Jesus at all costs? Maybe it is time for a gut check and renew our commitment to sharing the message of the gospel wherever we go and see the lost saved and the saved renewed in our commitment. Just look at the example of a Boy Named Timmy!

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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