More Than Love | Anything Except…
Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, so he circumcised him because of the Jews… Acts 16:3
“I’d do just about anything for the Lord except________.” What would you put in the blank? For most men, circumcision would make the top two. In Jewish culture, circumcision was a high priority. It was an act decreed by God for His chosen people, the Israelites. Baby boys were circumcised on the eighth day as an act of consecration to God. But it soon became a matter of pride. Circumcised Jews considered everyone else “unclean” and not worthy of knowing the God of Israel. When Jesus came, He changed all that, but the Jews weren’t happy to hear it. So Jesus chose Paul, a Jew, as His messenger. Paul chose Timothy, a Greek, to help him. But for Timothy to be accepted by Jews, he had to be circumcised. Did he fill in the blank?
Timothy was willing to undergo a painful ritual so that he could reach people. He refused to fill in the blank. Because he kept nothing off-limits to God, he was found worthy of greater responsibility. Timothy helped Paul start churches all over Asia and later became the pastor of one of those churches: Ephesus. Tradition says that after Jesus had ascended into heaven, His mother Mary moved to Ephesus with John, the apostle. So, guess whose church she attended! Timothy had kept nothing off-limits to God, so Jesus honored him by making him His mother’s pastor. We forfeit eternal honors when we fill in the blank.
Final Thought: What secret areas of your life are you keeping off-limits to God?
Prayer: Lord, I might fill in the blank with a lot of things and that convicts me. If you are Lord of my life, then that means I can leave nothing in the blank. Show me where I’m holding out on you. Forgive me and help me change. In Jesus’ name, Amen.