Acts 16: 1-3 “Paul 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. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul 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“
While I read this passage I was struck with the idea of circumcising an adult. What a painful experience! Why? Is it worth it?
Earlier at the previous chapter we read that Paul was so strong against the suggestion that the converted Gentiles should obey the law of Moses. He went to the council of Jerusalem and led the discussion which conviced the converted Jews not to oblige the non-Jews brother to be circumcised (altogether with other laws).
But here Paul circumcised Thimothy to “make other Jews happy”. Double standards? NO, I believe. Paul said that himslef he will became a Jew to be able to reach Jews and to a Gentile to be able to reach the Gentiles.
Is not enough the power of the Gospel? Imagine who was saying that: Paul, the apostle that God has used mightly with the preaching and with miraculous signs.
He needed to be adapted to be able to win the trust of some. God loves narrow-minded people, those who care about little details and if you don;t do those details right, you don;t have an open door.
Today I would like to make you think: what do you need to adapt in your lifestyle that might be needed to reach a group of people?
As Christians we are joined somehow with traditions in our church community and longer we have been there, stronger their importance in our lives. Is any of those traditions a stumbling block to reach a particular group of people?
When you think to reach ALbanians for Christ, do you know them, do you know their sacred cows? Is anything you can adapt to make them more comfortable in your presence?
I remember that years ago both Altin (a fantastic brother in the Lord) and I took one day off from our work and went to a nearby village to meet people and share the message of Christ. I remember one farmer who was trying to oppose what we were telling him. In the end he said that you are preaching about God because you are being paid. None can go around in the dirt and tell people about God unless they are paid.
We told him that we have normal jobs, I was working in an office and my friend at a construction company, but we took one day off our paid jobs to be able to tell him about God.
He was speechless. We were somehow in the same level and he didn;t had any excuse against the good news.
Sometimes when students from Campus Crusade for hrist went in the villages were told not to be dressed in shorts or any other clothing that might be offensive for the villagers.
Sometimes it is easier to adapt specially when you are just for a short visit, but many times the adaption requires more sacrifices and pain. But it is worth it! Having more people in the Kingdom, it is worth it.