Acts 16:1~5 Timothy Joins Paul and Silas 1 He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek. 2 The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.
Every once in a while, a man comes along who is kind, clean, loves the Lord and has a heart for people and has the Spirit of God alive in him. As a Dad, I'd only wish and hope that he'd wait for my daughters. If I was Paul and I met Timothy for the first time--THAT is the kind of man I'd want for my girls!
We first met Timothy in Acts 16:1. His mother and grandmother were both believers and had raised this young man with a deep knowledge of the Word of God. He was already known as a disciple of Christ. Other followers in his town and from a town many miles away spoke well of him. As we get to know him through Paul's letters to the Churches, we can see a very well developed young Christian man. He was a leader and a learner. He was a freeman and he was a prisoner. He was a servant and a fighter. We can learn a great deal from this young man and even find character qualities in him that are transferable to our own lives…man or woman.
Also, as we look at this man, we can see what kind of church he was in and what developed in the Church around him. We can look for a special DNA of THAT kind of church, and, perhaps, in us.
First, the Church.
You go to the doctor and he tells you that you are healthy. There are no signs of any illness; blood pressure and weight are within average restrictions.
You go to the spa. Your fitness trainer tells you that you are in horrid shape. He tells you that your resting pulse and body fat percentage are way off the charts; your flexibility is-well, poor and you fell off the treadmill because you lost consciences.
If both men can be right, what does it mean to be healthy? What signs do we share here in our fellowship that tell us if we are fit or not. We will need to look at some of the things Paul says to and about Timothy concerning the health of the Body.
#1 How is your Focal Point? What is the THING you focus on as a worshipper here at ICCS? Our focus would determine whether we have a survival mentality or a service mentality. If what we live for is mainly found in the maintaining the building or getting more people in the worship hall or have more money in the bank, than our focus as a church is on survival.
The simple fact that we really do not NEED a building, or a power point or a piano or even Bibles in our hands to be a Church is reality in many fellowships around the world. In Luke 9:58
These are great to have but it should not be our focus.
“Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head."
But, on the other hand, if our willingness here at ICCS is for us to serve than that is the greatest indicator of a Christ-ward focus. That would be a sign that our FAITH is stronger and that people are open to the powerful working of God's Spirit in us. Someone could say, “OK, how can we go beyond talking about this and really doing something about it?” A very good question that comes out of a willingness to help in a tangible way. That is servant or service-focus.
A focus on the Things of God allows us to support each other, even in our differences and in our pain. We are called to one Body and that brings great Glory to God when we act that way. Working together, planning together, doing acts of service together, worshipping together.
Another part of the DNA is to be HONEST.
Honest to God and to each other. Since I am in the ministry, some may think that I have all my issues in line and all is well with my life. While that may seem the case, maybe, inwardly I have problems of self-doubt, fear and of other issues that are common among men my age. A counselor I saw this past week told that many adult men in the ministry here in Japan are dealing with some form of depression. It is a fact of life. We are all fallen people in need of the same Savior.
AA has it great because all who attend AA KNOW that they are there as people with a drinking problem. While that is not my issue, I understand the unique joy it most be to say, “Hi, my name is Stan. I have a drinking problem.”
The Church needs to be the place where each of us can come and find acceptance. Acceptance not for bad behavior or to excuse it but love for being a person in process. The Church needs to be a place where we can face our fears together. Some of us may feel alone, some feel fear, while others have a deep sense of guilt. Some may feel that this is the only place you don't have to put on a mask. Others feel this is the place where I can just be real.
That is being honest.
How do we help each other overcome the problems in our lives? Good question again. We tend to be a bunch of serious, overcommitted people who might have loss the ability to have fun. We need to rediscover fun. We will need to help each other. These types of things may need some professional help from time to time and for us to take our meds but there is an element of having human touch that comes in here.
The early church, as we have studied in this study of Acts had been dealing with many of the same issues we face today. (Personal needs, health, death, fear, spiritual bondage and the like.)
What was the “way” they dealt with these issues? How do you get yourself ready for these things in life? Frankly, you develop a relationship with God thru His Son Jesus and God's people.
We need to approach Church life from the angle that everyone-old Believers and new Followers and soon-to-be Believers are needing to be open to the instruction of the Holy Spirit to live life effectively. Who doesn't need this kind of living?
The healthy community of God's People flows out of a united cause. Jesus had called His Church to follow Him and "I'll make you fishers of men." What He was really saying was, "Follow Me and I will give you something worthy of giving your life to."
To be a Follower of Jesus is something that transcends our present daily life and puts us in contact with the God of the Universe and in touch with His plan for using us in His creation. That is big stuff. That is worth living for! And that is a life that is transformed. Changed from within. Old things are moving out of our lives and we begin to focus on different values: Values that have eternity in mind.
The value we now share with the Body of Christ worldwide is to seek to expand the Kingdom of God.
And this can be a reality for us as we seek this transformed life in the presence and in the power of the Living God. That is what our friend Timothy had done, so let's look at him…
Matt 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Timothy had a reputation:
- People spoke well of him Acts 16:2
- He was spoken highly of by Paul 1 Cor 4:17
- He shared in Gospel Work 1 Cor 16:10
- Timothy had a personal Faith 2 Tim 1:5
This Faith ran in the Family/not his Dad's side-Greek-non believer.
From infancy-Tim knew the Word
2 Tim 3:15
Showed in his walk and actions later in life as he leads and directs the Church in many locations-even from prison.Catch that kind of power in your life!
Tim followed Paul & becoming a companion
Qualities: Mature, above reproach, hospitable, loved that which was good, sensitive and sensible, just, devout, had self-control, cared for others, hard working, good confession before others, faithful, good fighter for the Faith, and full of Christian character. Can you fit these in your life?
We really don't hear from Timothy himself as to what he was saying concerning moving on with Paul, but we can see that he was close to Paul.
Paul called Timothy a brother, a fellow worker, his son whom he loves, faithful.
He says of Timothy that he had a sincere faith, deep knowledge of the Scriptures.
But how does that effect me? Am I expected to be a Timothy? You may say that you did not have the family life Timothy had. You mother did not know God and neither did your grandmother! So, is it reasonable to state that we can be like him? I think so and here is why. God has called us to follow Him and Timothy followed Him.
Please take a look at Philippians 2:19-22 for some insight as to how Paul views Timothy.
19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.
We can be like Timothy because he was like Jesus.
Jesus took a deep interest in people. He cared for them, prayed for them and even suffered for them. Paul encouraged Timothy AND us to rely on God's power for each day's problems.
2 Tim 1:6
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you.Lastly, Paul looks to Timothy to succeed.
1 Tim 2: 1818Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the propheciesThat good fight is what the early church was reminded to keep in focus. We, today, need to keep that in focus as well. Not to give up. Not to turn and run. Not to fold under the pressures because:1 Corinthians 10:12-14 (NIV)
once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight.
12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
JUST a word about Wheelchairs For Hope: There will be two work days this month to get ready as many wheelchairs as possible on March 15 and 17 at the Matuskawa Place, next to CAJ in Higashi Kurume. We would like to ship as many as possible (120!?) to Mongolia on March 20. You can come for only one hour or stay the whole day. Busy hands to help others! Come and be a part of the solution!