Find One Remnant Disciple (Acts 16:1-5) October 2, 2011
From chapter 16, the Book of Acts records Paul’s second mission trip. His first trip was focused on his ministry in Asia, and his second trip was focused on his ministry in Europe starting with Macedonia. There is a notable characteristic of the second trip; Paul’s team found at least one disciple in each region they stopped by. This is the time schedule. When you realize the Gospel and discover disciples who stake their lives for the Gospel, important answers. All you need to do is find and raise one disciple through you. Paul’s team found one person, and the future of the entire region and the entire age changed through him. If just one person stands as a disciple within a family and a workplace, God will bless that family and that workplace because of that one person (Joseph in Gen.39 is a prime example). Today’s passage records the scene in which Paul’s team found the disciple of disciples, the Remnant disciple. During the mission trip to the Philippines, we had a chance to stop by an elementary school and we talked to the principal and teachers there during the special lecture on education about this Remnant disciple. South Korea in 1950s-60s was an impoverished nation barely recovering from the civil war, even more impoverished than the Philippines back then. We explained how Korea was able to recover this quickly in three ways. Of course the first and foremost reason is God’s grace. There were many leaders and believers who were praying crying out to the Lord for their brothers and sisters and their nation in such grave hardship. Also, there was the passion of missionaries who were willing to help those who were in a greater need. That was how America was in her early days. We also mentioned the importance of political leaders. What is important to political leaders is their political philosophy. What philosophy a leader has determines the destiny of his political career as either a dictator or a great leader. The issue is through whom that philosophy is planted. It is through parents and teachers in their childhood. That is why teachers who raise the future generations are important. They can determine the future of one individual, one family, one society, and one nation. It depends on what philosophy, vision, and heart teachers have and what they teach. The same rule applies to Sunday school. One and only life of our Remnants lies on the hands of their parents and teachers. And lastly, we talked about salvation, Gospel, and Remnants. No matter how difficult this age may be, it is okay if one Remnant rises as a disciple. It is okay as long as we raise disciples. In each age, there is one Remnant who knows what salvation and God’s power are and has a mission for the age to devote himself for saving his people, nation, and the world with God’s power like Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, and Timothy from today’s passage.
1. I hope our One Mind Remnants may rise up as such Remnants. All you Remnants have to do is believe.
1) Do you know what the beginning is? It begins with discovering your identity. God has predestined and chosen you to bless and use you. That is why He has called you in Is.6:13, “the Holy Seed”. A farmer does not plant just any seeds. He chooses his seeds. The New Testament term for this chosen holy seed is “disciple” (Mark 3:13).
a. We were chosen this way the moment we received salvation (Eph.1:3-5). Those of you who are listening to this message are disciples.
b. God has chosen us and made us holy within Christ. With the authorities of the Priest, King, and Prophet, He has freed us from all sins, curses, fate and destiny, spiritual inheritance of the family, hidden spiritual problems, all failures, and curses of hell. And He has made us His children. Romans 8 does the best job of describing this (verses 1, 15, 30, 31-39). Who are we? We are the source of blessings, people who will save the world, evangelists, and those whom God will be with to the ends of the earth.
c. All we need to do is enjoy this identity 24 hours a day and be filled only by His power. That is the filling of the Holy Spirit. Do you have problems and conflicts? Do not be deceived, but entrust everything to God’s hands and receive the filling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:6-8). When you have courage and hope, break down the forces of Darkness that are deceiving and hindering you. That is when the Kingdom of God is established. That is when God’s power comes upon. Enjoying this mystery is the Remnants’ beginning. Remnants who do not realize and enjoy this must live the life unworthy of the Remnants’. Just because you are young, it does not automatically make you a Remnant. Moses realized this mystery at the age of 80 and began his life as a Remnant.
2) Now, discover your mission of how you want to glorify God and give yourself to Him for the rest of your life. You must discover your commission of for what you will live and for what you must live receiving God’s blessings. That is what disciples do. What is the reason you are living today? Your family must be blessed through you. Your workplace must receive blessings. Your church, region, and nation must receive blessings through you. There lie your prayer, devotion, offering, and hidden service. Remnants must discover their major, career, and everything else from these. You must connect them all to blessings and evidence.
3) With that mission in mind, you must challenge to shape your life around it. There is a reason why Paul chose Timothy in today’s passage.
a. In one sentence, it was “what Timothy had”. It says in Acts 16:1 that his mother was a “Jewish believer”. Why did the author of Acts emphasize this? It says in 2Tim.1:5 that he inherited his mother’s “sincere faith”. That is how much his faith was trained. It was made known that his father was Greek. Not only did the author of Acts emphasize Timothy’s parents was an interracial couple, but they were globalized. If the children of immigrant parents and interracial couples do not realize this, they are in a big trouble. It is a great blessing.
b. Another important fact is recorded in verse two. It says that “The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.” Not only before God, but also before men, Timothy was an acknowledged person. I hope that Remnant disciples like Timothy who have faith, skills, globalized perspective, and people who are loved by others may rise.
2. We adults must have lifelong prayer topics and mission to raise these Remnants.
1) As much as you stand as a disciple, others will be raised as disciples through you. Moses could not enter the land of Canaan, but he did raise disciples like Joshua and Caleb and saw the Canaan conquest ahead of time through them. Paul later called Timothy of today’s passage “son of my faith”, and Paul spent his last days alongside Timothy.
2) We must pray to find Remnants like this. If you sincerely pray, you will come to realize that there are Remnants within the church, evangelism field, and everywhere else hidden and waiting to be found. There are among Koreans, multiethnic, and immigrant students. There are some prayer topics that we realized and prayed for when we went to the Philippines (for adopting local orphans and mission home for students studying abroad).
3) We must find what we can do. In today’s passage, Paul takes Timothy and performs circumcision ceremony. He did not have to do it, but He did so in order to not make him the target of criticism to those who criticize with the Law everywhere they went. That was the wisdom Paul acquired through numerous evangelism trips (This is what Remnants should learn through adults).
We are praying for specifically establishing Remnant disciples within our church. We cannot afford to have another minister, but we are praying for an English-speaking pastor for Remnant ministry and make every Sunday the “Remnant Day”. We are planning on having the Remnant Day service, have forum, and hold different programs through which Remnants can train academics, skills, and culture in the afternoon. But it cannot be done just by making a bunch of programs. We need the devotion and prayers of those who are willing to establish that one Remnant disciple. I bless and hope that important answers may start anew as you pray for this blessing.