Jump Through Hoops

A number of times I considered leaving university

Acts 16:1-5

Reference: 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. (Acts 16:3 NIV)

Explore: When I decided I’d like to become a minister, I was 19 years old and already 1 year into a psychology degree. I added theology to my studies and focused on ministry skills, as I already had a placement at my local church.

For me to complete both degrees, an advanced diploma of ministry and go through the ordination stream, I was looking at 7 years of university study. After 13 years of primary and secondary education, this seemed quite daunting.

For some people the prospect of continual study excited them. They would get half way through the summer break and wish they were already back in class.

I was not one of them! I was much more into the practical side of ministry. I would design my classes so I spent the least amount of time at college to maximise the number of days I could work at the church.

A number of times I considered leaving university. I knew that God could use me without formal qualifications.

However, I stayed because my aim was to work for the church, but out in the community. I felt that if I was making contact with schools and local councils it would be helpful for them to see that I had some formal qualifications. And so, I stayed the course.

Application: There are times when we need to ‘jump through hoops’ so that we may be able to effectively communicate the gospel of Christ to others. We may need to do training to run a course, wait for visas so that we can travel, or even find a job that can fund our ministry.

These things may seem like little frustrations along our way, but people have been making sacrifices so they can connect with unbelievers for thousands of years. Here is Timothy who was willing to be circumcised as an adult just so that religious tradition would not get in the way of him connecting with the Jews.

Did God care if he was circumcised? Probably not. But God already believes in Jesus, so it’s not Him Timothy was trying to convince!

While we still need to hold true to our faith convictions, it’s often important for us to make other sacrifices so that we can speak to people about Christ on their level.

Prayer: Lord God, You made the ultimate sacrifice to connect with us at our level. May we be willing to do the same for others. Amen.

What would help you to tell others about what God has done in your life?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.