The Heart To Go – Olu Jegede

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Acts 16 :1-5

1Paul 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. 2The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3Paul 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. 4As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

When Paul arrived in Lystra Timothy was prepared to go.  I wonder what it took for Timothy to be ready to go on the mission field.  If we knew what it took for Timothy to go, then we may be able to emulate that, so we can also be a kind of Timothy, a willing disciple moldable in the hands of our God.

The first thing I see here is that Timothy was waiting.  Waiting for Timothy was both passive and active.  It was passive because he we are told that he was a disciple.  Meaning he was a believer.  Being a believer is not something we have to keep re-evaluating, it’s a status that we achieve by faith through grace.  When every believer crosses over that line of unbelief to salvation, essentially you are saying that I am no longer waiting for life to be over and simply die, instead you are now joined to Christ, and thus not only are you living a satisfied life with the God of the universe filling your void of identity and purpose,  you also know your eternal future is secured in heaven.  Thus for the rest of your life on earth you can live in a kind of seated confidence, rested and waited in the love and grace he has overwhelmed us with.  ,

Waiting however is not only passive, its also active in that Timothy was not satisfied with Christian status quo of just being a pew warmer and being idle in winning souls to Christ.  Though he had probably just been recently saved, he was waiting for something.   He may not have known what it was, or maybe he did.  Could somehow Paul may have gotten a letter through to the church prior to his arrival that he was recruiting?  That we don’t know, though it seems quite unlikely.  The point is that Timothy was waiting actively because he was dissatisfied with staying in Lystra, surely God had more for him, and this dissatisfaction made him ready to follow Paul when called upon.

The next thing I see here is that Timothy was willing.  That’s quite obvious isn’t it?  It is clear that he went very willingly with Paul because of the sacrifices that he made.  Two of which are glaringly obvious in the passage.  The first of course is that he is willing to relocate from his family and travel with a virtual stranger to places likely very foreign to him.  Likely we all may be able to acknowledge that this may have been very difficult, simply from an experience we may have had of leaving our loved ones for a season.  The reality however for most of us is that Timothy’s sacrifice would be truly hard to fathom due to the incredible complexity and danger of international travel in the first century.  Embarking on that trip with Paul literally put his life in danger, because there was a good chance that he would never return home.  Thus following Paul would have to come from a place of great willingness.

The third thing I see here is that Timothy was very helpful to Paul.  As they travelled from city to city and eventually across the oceans, the churches were strengthened.   A further look into the book of Thessalonians reveal that Timothy was a key part of this support to the churches, where in more than one church, Timothy was tasked with the mandate by Paul of staying with that church, stabilizing it, putting out fires and generally being a representative of Paul.

Thus we learn from Timothy that to be a true follower of Christ we must be prepared when the opportunity comes.  Being prepared encompasses waiting for his call, being willing when it comes, and being helpful in achieving it.

As I close can I ask you how you are doing in any of these three areas?  Are you waiting preparedly for God to use you, or are you comfortable with where you are in life now both spiritually and naturally?  Also are you a willing servant of God, or do you execute God’s demands in reluctance and murmuring?  And finally if I were to ask someone else, would you be described as a helpful person, and is that helpfulness genuine?

May God help us to have a heart like Timothy, one that wants to go wherever and whenever he calls, Amen.

– Pastor Olu Jegede