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

God's Timing (2)

We all have work to do. Acts 18.26-28

Corinth to Antioch (6)

Pray Psalm 19.7, 8.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes…

Sing Psalm 19.7, 8.
(St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
The Law of God is perfect, His testimony sure;
the simple man God’s wisdom learns, the soul receives its cure.
God’s Word is right, and His command is pure, and truth imparts;
He makes our eyes to understand; with joy He fills our hearts.

Read Acts 18.1-28; meditate on verses 26-28.

Preparation
1. What did Priscilla and Aquila do for Apollos?

2. Where did Apollos go to do his ministry?

Meditation
How timely that Paul left Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus – for such a time as this (Act 18.19).

Apollos was fervent and persuasive in his witness for Christ, but his witness lacked some important details. Priscilla and Aquila filled in the gaps of Jesus’ life and work, which, for Apollos, would have made more of the pieces of the Old Testament puzzle fall into place in the story of redemption (v. 26).

Apollos seems to have been looking for a place to serve, and when he learned about the Gospel taking root in Corinth and elsewhere, he longed to go to Achaia (southern Greece as we know it today, v. 27), perhaps because he may have been trained in Greek culture and literature in Alexandria. Apollos was seeking to serve the Lord in a context most agreeable to his background, training, interests, and skills.

The believers in Ephesus wrote Apollos a letter of recommendation (v. 27), and Priscilla and Aquila may have gone with him, to introduce him to the believers, before continuing on to Rome (Rom. 16.3), which had been their home (Acts 18.2).

Apollos appears to have been well received and effective in his ministry among the churches Paul had started in Greece (vv. 27, 28; cf. 1 Cor. 1.12; 3.5-9). The emergence of evangelists and teachers like Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos is further evidence that this is a work of God, and not just some personality cult organized around Peter or Paul or anyone else.

God uses the gifts and insights He gives to each of us to help others in their calling. We must be ready and available to our fellow believers to encourage, instruct, and assist as needed so that the ongoing work of Christ can continue in our lives and theirs.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Look at all the different ways and examples the Scriptures put forth for us to serve!

Priscilla and Aquila took Apollos aside. They did not publicly embarrass him, but quietly explained to him the “way of God more accurately” (Acts 18.26). They watered the seeds already planted in his heart.

Then we see Apollos do for others what they had done for him. He “greatly helped those who had believed through grace…” (Acts 18.27). He, too, watered seeds that had already been planted.

Apollos then showed up at the local synagogue and refuted the Jews publicly, “showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 18.28). He planted firmly. This, no doubt, brought with it some vigorous turning over of the soil.

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted…” (Ecc. 3.1, 2).

Paul, later in his letter to the church in Corinth, expounded upon the unique skills that God has given each of us to use in our Personal Mission Field: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Cor. 2.5, 6).

Each of us is called by God to do the things that He has called us to do. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2.10).

It is interesting to note that we are called to a variety of tasks each day. Just like the people in the book of Acts. Sometimes we water. Other times we plant. Some days we till the soil. But always we should be shining the light and love of the Lord Jesus on everyone. After all, Jesus told us that we are the light of the world, and that we are to let our light so shine before people, that they see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven (Matt. 5.14, 16).

And when all this seems too hard, we have Paul’s words of encouragement from his own experience: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil.4.13).

In every moment of every day, there is something we can do to fulfill our calling from the Lord. Pray. Plant. Pray. Water. Pray. Shine. Pray. Without ceasing (1 Thess. 5.17).

For reflection
1. What works of ministry (Eph. 4.11, 12) do you expect to be involved in today? How should you prepare for these?

2.  We need to encourage our brothers and sisters in the Lord (Heb. 10.24). Whom will you encourage today?

3. Why do we need to be always in prayer as we go out into our Personal Mission Field?

Here was a complete man of God, thoroughly furnished for his work. Aquila and Priscilla encouraged his ministry, by attendance upon it. They did not despise Apollos themselves, or undervalue him to others; but considered the disadvantages he had labored under. And having themselves got knowledge in the truths of the gospel by their long intercourse with Paul, they told what they knew to him. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Acts 18.24-28

Pray Psalm 19.9-14.
Ask God to let His Word penetrate, search, cleanse, and transform your soul, and to equip you for every good work you will do today.

Sing Psalm 19.9-14.
(St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
The fear of God is cleansing, forever shall it last.
His judgments all are true and just, by righteousness held fast.
O seek them more than gold most fine, than honey find them sweet;
be warned by every word and line; be blessed with joy complete.

Who, Lord, can know his errors? O keep sin far from me!
Let evil rule not in my soul that I may blameless be.
O let my thoughts, let all my words, before Your glorious sight
be pleasing to You, gracious Lord, acceptable and right!

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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