Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Ministering As He Goes

Just like we should do. Acts 18.18-23

Corinth to Antioch (4)

Pray Psalm 33.1-3.
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
Praise the LORD with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

Sing Psalm 33.1-3.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
Sing with rejoicing in the Lord, for praise becomes His righteous ones!
With harps and songs raise grateful words, and let new songs of praise be sung!

Read Acts 18.1-23; meditate on verses 18-23.

Preparation
1. What did Paul do on his way back to Antioch?

2. What did he do while he was there?

Meditation

God had called Paul to be a minister of the Gospel, and Paul took that call very seriously. Even as he made his journey back to Antioch – the end of his second missionary journey – Paul ministered to the believers all along the way.

First stop, Cenchreae (v. 18), from where he would take his leave by ship to Syria. He took a vow here and shaved his head, doubtless to gain entry among the Jewish community there.

Next stop, Ephesus (vv. 19-21), and a little seed-sowing in the synagogue before probably finding a new ship to continue his journey. Paul was encouraged by the response at Ephesus, so, since he could not remain, he left Aquila and Priscilla to continue sowing and cultivating the Kingdom seed.

His next stop was Caesarea (v. 22). From there he made a quick journey to Jerusalem to greet the church there, and probably to give a report on his journey. Then back home to Antioch (v. 22), continuing his ministry there in his home church. After spending some time there, Paul began his third missionary journey, heading out overland to visit and strengthen the churches he and Barnabas had birthed on an earlier journey (v. 23).

Paul was called to minister the Word of God, and ministering the Word of God defined every aspect of his life. Whether he was doing the work of evangelism, doing good to others, making disciples, or developing leaders for the next generation, the ministry of the Word was central. We are called to imitate Paul and Jesus as ministers of His Word (1 Cor. 11.; Eph. 4.11, 12), bringing the truth and grace of Jesus to everyone in our Personal Mission Field. Let Paul’s example guide your own work today.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“We are called to imitate Paul and Jesus as ministers of His Word, bringing the truth and grace of Jesus to everyone in our Personal Mission Field.”

Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, to encourage them in their faith and calling. He told them that this was how he prayed for them: that God “would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3.16-19).

And then he added these additional words of blessing: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Eph. 3.20, 21).

Whom are we able to tell that we pray for them in this way?
To whom have we ministered who could use this kind of encouragement?
Who in our life needs to know about the width, length, depth and height of God’s love for them?
With whom can we share the exceeding abundance of God’s love today?
Are you in the Word daily, being reminded and encouraged about God’s love for you?
Are you ready for God’s power to work within you for His glory?

We must find our strength to serve in God’s Word. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4.16).

And then let us minister as we go, like Paul, so that we can write and live words of love and encouragement to those in our Personal Mission Field.

For reflection
1. Jesus commanded us to make disciples as we are going (Matt. 28.18-20). Why is it important that you map out your Personal Mission Field?

2. Can we make disciples if we’re not growing as disciples ourselves? Explain.

3. What’s one thing you can do today to improve in working your Personal Mission Field?

Let us earnestly seek, in our several places, to promote the cause of Christ, forming plans that appear to us most proper, but relying on the Lord to bring them to pass if he sees good. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Acts 18.18-23

Pray Psalm 33.4-12.
Pray for God to bless you and all His people to bear witness to Jesus by your lives and words throughout your own Personal Mission Fields.

Sing Psalm 33.4-12.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
Joyfully shout! His Word is true; He does His work in faithfulness.
His love prevails the whole world through; the Lord loves truth and righteousness.

God spoke and heaven came to be, and all its hosts His Spirit wrought.
He heaps the waters of the sea; the deeps their dwelling place are taught.

Let all below now fear the Lord; let all in awe of Him abide!
The worlds exist by Jesus’ Word; let all on earth in Him confide.

He nullifies the nations’ plans; forever stands His sov’reign Word.
All they are blessed who with Him stand – the chosen people of the Lord.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking theScriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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