Jesus, The One and Only

Posts tagged ‘Christian’

“Lessons From A Friend”

Read Acts 16:1-3

“Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek.” (vs. 1 NIV)

Paul’s travels took him to many different places, meeting acquaintances and making friends along the way for many years.  His next journey brings him to Lystra where he meets Timothy.  “From the very beginning, Timothy was special.  Allow scripture to shed some light on his distinctions.”

(1) Timothy was a unique choice because of his youthfulness.” (A) “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”  1 Timothy 4:12 NIV “and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15 NIV

Paul had found something unique in Timothy and had the opportunity to train/mentor him as a young boy.  There are some kids that have that hunger for God and I’m sure Paul saw that in Timothy. 

(2) “Timothy had a unique upbringing.” (B)  We are told that his mother was Jewish and a believer in Christ but the only reference to his father was that he was Greek.  Since he isn’t listed as a believer, Timothy grew up in a household like so many where one of the parents is a believer and the other isn’t.  There are unique challenges growing up in this environment. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV)  “When two completely different belief systems are joined together, the result is often a lack of balance and harmony.” (C)

(3) “Timothy had a unique perspective. He had been intimately exposed to three practices he and Paul would encounter in ministry:

  • Agnosticism because of his father’s unbelief
  • Judaism because of his mother’s heritage
  • Christianity because of his mother’s acceptance of Christ as Messiah and Savior” (D)

(4) (Timothy had a unique maturity.” (E)  “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” (2 Timothy 1:5 NIV)   Timothy’s grandmother and mother had great faith and he saw genuine examples of their faithfulness through his life.  Beth points out that “godly influences can carry a much heavier weight than ungodly influence.” (F)

God wastes nothing in the life of any believer!  As we have seen in Paul’s life … growing up in the teaching/training as a devote Pharisee, to living a rigid life of laws/rules and killing many Christians, to becoming follower of Christ and ministering and teaching many about the gift of salvation.  God can also use Timothy.  Out of the faithful prayers and genuine Christian upbringing of his grandmother and mother, Timothy was now receiving the best training/mentoring/influence of one of the greatest evangelical pastors of all time.  After all Paul wrote most of the New Testament.  What a gift!  What a friend to be united with!!

How about you?  Have you been praying for a while and waiting for God to answer your prayer?  God wastes NOTHING!  Don’t give up!

Vicky

 (A - F :) ) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith/Beth Moore/B & H Publishing

“Righteous Renegades”

Read Acts 11:19-26  “But there were some of them, Cypriot and Cyrenaic men, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Hellenists, proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus.” (vs. 20)

“Persecution scattered the early Christians as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch.  But some gutsy believers who had traveled to Antioch broke the mold.  They began to share with Gentiles also.  As a result of their testimony in Antioch, ‘a large number who believed returned to the Lord.’ (vs. 21)”

“When God desires to do ‘a new thing’ (Isa. 43:19), He purposely seeks out a few righteous renegades who don’t have a problem breaking the mold!  Mold-breakers are usually people who don’t care much about popularity or tradition.”

“The report about them reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem.” (vs. 22).  Antioch was about 300 miles north of Jerusalem, but juicy news travels faster than a speeding bullet!  Barnabas was dispensed to Antioch immediately.  When he arrived, he ‘saw the evidence of the grace of God.’ (vs. 23)

“According to Vs. 23, Barnabas ‘encouraged all of them to remain true to the Lord with a firm resolve of the heart,’ to plan in advance to remain faithful to Him!  I cannot overemphasize the importance of this exhortation.’  ‘The most effective time to resolve to obey Christ is in advance of difficulty.  Planning to stay faithful can greatly enhance victory.” 

Eventually Barnabas and Saul connected and met with the church and taught large numbers of people.   “What a team, Saul the teacher and Barnabas the encourager.  One taught the principles of a godly life and the other assured them they could do it with God’s help.” 

“The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch (vs. 26)   The Greek word the believers were called was Christianos.  Not normally used by Christians themselves in the New Testament.  Christian was a label coined by unbelievers as a form of ridicule.  Once again, how beautifully God stole the victory from Satan.  The very word used as a mockery became the greatest privilege a man could boast.’  ‘If anyone suffers as a Christian, he should not be ashamed, but should glorify God with that name.’ (1 Peter 4:16)

  • “Those who took God’s Word to the streets remind us that adversity gives our faith a place to shine.  What can you do to keep your faith sharp in advance of its greatest challenges?
  • How can you ensure that struggles will not lead you to doubt but to daring deeds?”

Vicky

Paul, 90 Days of His Journey of Faith/Beth Moore/B & H Publishing

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