Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek. And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
Acts 16:1-5 NKJV
What comfort are you willing to give up to follow Jesus?
Have you ever thought of that?
Paul was impressed enough with Timothy to ask him to join the missionary team.
Paul took it upon himself to take this young man under his wing. Paul would train him up in the knowledge and faith of Christ. Paul would be Timothy’s Spiritual father to help and guide him. Paul gave him a better understanding of what it means to serve the Lord and His people.
Just like Ananias had helped train Paul, Paul would now train Timothy.
This is part of the Great Commission that Jesus has commanded us.
To go into all the World and make Disciples.
You don’t make disciples of Jesus Christ just by telling them the good news, say a prayer and leave and onto the next. They have to not only hear but see. Be taught. It’s an investment.
But that is an investment many will not make. Making a Disciple takes time, it takes effort. Many will have the excuse of “well I don’t know enough to teach”.
Then learn together.
“I don’t have time”.
You’re absolutely right on that one!
There’s not enough time because time is coming to an end in this world and we should have an urgency in our souls to make Jesus known!
Revival starts with one soul at a time.
But choices have to be made.
Timothy had a decision to make.
Verse 3 says
And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.
Acts 16:3 NKJV
Paul had Timothy circumcised!
Not for his salvation but so there would be less to hinder ministry among the Jews.
The Jews would never listen to a man that was uncircumcised.
There’s always a decision that has to be made.
Many of us are facing some very hard decisions in our lives.
You see you never know how the Lord is going to work in someone’s life. It takes the giving up of something in order for Jesus to do His work in you and through you, first is believing, repent, then follow.
But what will it take to follow?
Many want the free gift of Salvation, but most will stop there.
Because it costs you something.
For Timothy it all started with the decision to be circumcised.
Timothy gave up his legal right. He had the right to say no, but he surrendered himself to be used for the Kingdom of God. He freely gave up his rights to follow Jesus and be led by Paul to go throughout the whole world preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
What rights are you willing to give up to follow Jesus?
The definition of legal rights is;
the capacities, the powers, the liberties, and privileges by which is secured.
It’s an entitlement to something.
Are you willing to give up your liberties, your privileges just to follow?
Will you give up the Comforts of this world to follow.
Don’t be so quick to say yes! Have you examined your heart?
You must be real and honest with yourself!
These are hard questions to ask.
Imagine Paul speaking to Timothy.
I’ll take you with me. I’ll train you , I’ll be your Spiritual father, you’ll be my Spiritual son, but there’s one thing you have to do.
Was there hesitation or fear in Timothy?
I believe that He had such a zeal that he would do whatever needed to be done to be a servant of Jesus Christ!
What is that one thing in your life that you won’t give up?
When Jesus calls us from the darkness into the light there’s always something He will require from us. He wants our love, our devotion. But He also wants our total dedication!
We hear of an incident that happened about a young man that had everything but wasn’t willing to give up anything. He wanted to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven but wasn’t able to separate himself from the Comforts and liberties.
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Matthew 19:21-22 NKJV
His Comforts, liberties and legal rights took priority over Jesus.
Please don’t let this happen to you.
There comes a time that all the material things in the world can and will be taken away.
We will feel forced to do something that we don’t want to do but we will do them to stay comfortable.
Will you put your trust in the Comforts of life rather than the comfort of a loving Father!
If we are to be true followers of Jesus Christ then we have to look to Him as our greatest example.
Have you ever thought about what Jesus gave up to save you?
Jesus gave up His rights to the Father.
He gave up his glory in heaven. He gave up the Comforts, the beauty and the magnificence and perfection of Heaven!
He left the glory of Heaven for any and all souls that would believe, trust and follow.
By coming to earth as a human, Jesus took on certain limitations and weaknesses. All so that He could relate to us. So that His compassion and mercy on us is true!
He felt hunger in the wilderness when Satan came and tempted Him to turn stones Into bread.
When He hung on the Cross, He said ” I thirst”.
He was weary, physically tired, when He asked the women at the well for a drink.
He had emotional pain in the Garden of Gethsemane when asked the Father to take this cup. Not only did He have this pain but at this very moment He gave up His legal Rights to His life and gave it up to the Father when Jesus said;
“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
So what comfort are you so attached to that prohibits you from fully committing to and fully serving your King?
Timothy had to endure the pain of Circumcision. He made the decision to follow Jesus.
According to Church History Timothy was martyred.
In the year 97 AD, when Timothy was 80, he tried to stop a procession in honor of the goddess Diana by preaching the Gospel.
The angry pagans beat him. They dragged him through the streets. Then he stoned to death.
At the end of his life do you think that for one second he regretted giving up his rights, his Comforts, the liberties, and privileges of Worldly security?
I say no.
Let me ask you, what are your goals as a follower of Jesus?
Is it collecting and basking in the Comforts this world offers?
That will fade away.
Is it to be crowned with many crowns so when we get called home and are face to face with our Lord we have many crowns to place at His feet!
Keep in mind, many Crowns will require many Comforts to be forfeited.
But won’t it be worth it!
Which one will you spend your life striving for?