“. . . he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, . . .” Acts 16:3
Maturity is expensive. It’s the bedrock of our ongoing kingdom experiences with others. The focus of true maturity is to anchor our affection for Him in the present reality of His rule. Our effectiveness to minster to others remains undeveloped until formed through the process of maturity.
Circumcision is the marking of the flesh. It’s not what you might expect to read about for a morning devotional. Yet, there is in this verse an important lesson.
It was Timothy’s mixed parentage that made Paul decide to circumcise Timothy before taking him along as a junior colleague. Timothy was a new Christian. Because he was the son of a Jewish mother, being uncircumcised made him an apostate Jew. If Paul wished to maintain his link with the synagogue, he could not be seen as part of any apostasy.
Paul was against the circumcision of Gentiles, especially since it was considered a condition for acceptance with God. Timothy’s situation was different, it was for the practical purpose of greater usefulness in the ministry of the gospel. Let us not miss the point.
This act of marking the flesh was bringing all the activities of life and thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and suborning every other interest to the interest of the gospel.
In our brokenness we have been identified with His death. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, we’ve been spiritually terrorized, we’ve been thrown down in trial and torture, murder, and mockery. Our lives are a constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus all the more evident.
Our heart cries out, “It’s no longer I who live, and the life I live in the flesh, I live by the Son of God.” We always bear the death of Jesus, that His life might spread to more and more people. While going through the worst, He gets the best of us, and others are reached for Christ.
Have you been crucified with Christ?