Acts 16:1-8 (NRSV)
Timothy accompanies Paul
Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.
They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.
Today I am reminded of the importance of bringing all of who we are to the table for Jesus!
In Timothy's day, he may have faced discrimination for having a family that was religiously blended. Strictly speaking, Jews did not look favorably on marrying Gentiles. He may also have faced age discrimination, as scripture records that he was young (1 Tim 4).
It would have been easy for Timothy to reject the call of God on his life because it was too hard. He could have made excuses saying that public ministry amongst Jews, Gentiles, and older adults would expose him to ridicule from all sides.
But, he did not. Instead, Timothy embraced all of who he was and gave himself, his identity, and his purpose over to God.
In exchange, our all knowing, and all loving God, then fashioned Timothy into a powerful evangelist with the unique gift of being able to share the good news about Jesus with anyone whom he met!
Because Timothy was able to put away pride, selfish ambition, and/or fear, God used him to proclaim the Gospel message--Christ has died! Christ has risen! Christ shall come again!
To this day, we still remember the faithfulness of Timothy, and we salute the wisdom of God who called him to the work. I love that the Bible bears witness to the efficacy of Paul and Timothy by saying, "So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily."
My friends, we must not be afraid to entrust all of who we are into the hands of God, to be used for God's glory!
God made, knows, and fashions us for God's good work! Whether we are black or white, rich or poor, male or female, young or old, abled or differently-abled, God invites all of us into the wonderful work of sharing the good news that Jesus saves, and He saves to the utmost!
Oh, what fun!
Won't you pray with me?:
God, I have been so afraid to allow people to see me as I truly am. I hide my identity from others, pretending to be that which I am not. Please help me to boldly share myself with others as I proclaim the good news! I believe by faith that you will use the entirety of my identification to win souls for Christ! I pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen.
If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, “Come to Jesus” @ http://bit.ly/JVhaL