Friday, February 11, 2011
Counting the Cost of Ministry
Act 16:1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: 2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
We never know when we are going to come across a real keeper, but Paul and Silas found one in the town of Lystra. His name was Timothy, his pedigree was half Jewish and half Greek. He was grounded in Scripture by his mom and grandma from his childhood. Timothy had a good name among the believers.
This young man caught the attention of the Apostle and was invited to join their evangelistic team. Here is one young man whose contribution to the spread of Christianity was unparalleled.
But there was a price he had to pay. Just to quell any criticism, Paul circumcised Timothy. As traumatic as this is for a baby in the hospital, it is extremely painful for a young adult male. The Old Testament records that a whole male population was slain just after they had received circumcision because they didn't have the ability to defend themselves.
I have witnessed several guys who desired the office of a bishop, but they were totally unwilling to pay the price. When a man is so convinced that God would have him give his life to full time ministry, he must willingly forsake anything and everything for the cause. He will face deprivation, poverty, slander, attack, sacrifice, obscurity and a whole plethora of hardship.
Some that I have dealt with who desire to be in the ministry can't even get themselves to church half the time. They are not willing to give up bad habits. They reserve the right to occupy the throne of their own hearts. This will not do! A servant of the Most High has to surrender it all for the opportunity to be counted among that holy band of brothers awaiting the shepherd's crown in glory.
It is a good thing that tests like Timothy's circumcision arise, it thins out the ones who aren't going to make it in the long run.