A Good Name

November 19th, 2007 • Category: Book of Acts
by Tom Chittenden

Today’s scripture: Acts 16:1-5 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tom Chittenden):

Every once in a while, a man comes along who is kind, honorable, loves the Lord, and has a heart for people and the Spirit of God alive in him. Timothy appears to be the kind of guy any Christian father would hope their daughters would find in life. Truth be known, Timothy certainly seems to be just the kind of guy I’d like to meet, too.

If I was Paul and met Timothy for the first time — after hearing other Christians speak of his “reputation” and quickly learning of his servant’s heart for the people — it would be quite easy to select him to accompany me on my continuing journey.

We first meet Timothy in Acts 16:1. His mother and grandmother were both believers and had raised this young man with a deep knowledge of the Word of God. He was already known as a disciple of Christ. Other followers in his town and from a town many miles away spoke well of him. As we get to know him through Paul’s letters to the Churches, we can see a young man who is a mature Christian. He was a leader and a learner. He was a freeman and he was a prisoner. He was a servant and a fighter. We can learn a great deal from this young man and even find character qualities in him that are transferable to our own lives.

As we seek to be daily transformed in the presence and by the power of the Living God, we can look at Timothy and the “reputation” that preceded him to begin to understand what is possible and desirable for each and every one of us:

  • People spoke well of him. Acts 16:2
  • He was spoken highly of by Paul. 1 Corinthians 4:17
  • He shared in gospel work. 1 Corinthians 16:10
  • Timothy had a personal faith. 2 Timothy 1:5

Also, as we look at Timothy, we can begin to see reflected in him the maturity and faith of the church in which he grew close to God. Perhaps a closer study reveals the spiritual DNA of a kind of church that God is calling and commissioning Jesus MCC to be!

So the question: What is our “reputation” in the community, in the country, around the world? What is the “reputation” that precedes your good name? Is it honorable to God?

Thought and prayer for the day: God, please remind me to broadcast more of You — Your unconditional love and forgiveness — so that my reputation can be as honorable as Timothy’s.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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