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

Momentum

We must follow Paul's example. Acts 18

Corinth to Antioch (7)

Pray Psalm 133.1.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

Sing Psalm 133.1, 3.
(Tryggare Kan Ingen Vara: Children of the Heavenly Father)
Behold, how sweet, how pleasant, when the brethren dwell together;
all in unity abiding find God’s blessing there presiding.

Read Acts 18.1-28; meditate on verses 5, 17, 18, and 24-26.

Preparation

1. What do all the verses for meditation have in common?

2. How can you see momentum building for the Gospel in this chapter?

Meditation
Since Acts 15 a subtle development has been taking place, one that would be a constant feature of Paul’s ministry and that sets a template for all the followers of Christ (1 Cor. 11.1).

First Silas became a member of Paul’s ministry team (Acts 15.40). Timothy was enlisted in Lystra (Acts 16.1, 2), and Luke joined them as they entered Europe (Acts 16.10: “we”). Silas and Timothy became so effective and dependable that Paul could leave them to care for the churches in Berea as he went south to Athens (Acts 17.13, 14). They would join him later in Athens (Acts 17.15).

From Athens Paul went to Corinth, where he brought Priscilla and Aquila into his work (Acts 18.2, 3) and later, Sosthenes (v. 17; cf. 1 Cor. 1.1). Priscilla and Aquila became so effective in disciple-making that the Lord sent Apollos to them for further training (Acts 18.24-27) before he moved on the Greece to continue the ongoing work begun by Paul and his team (Acts 18.27). For his next missionary journey, Paul returned to those places where churches had been established and shepherds were in place, leading their flocks to enter ever more deeply into the Kingdom of God (Acts 18.23; cf. Acts 14.21-23).

The development? Disciple-making, which we see extending to a third generation from Paul: Paul, Priscilla and Aquila, Apollos. We must never forget that the Great Commission of our Lord is not merely to win converts, but to make disciples (Matt. 28.18-20). As Paul would later put it, we must seek out and train faithful people to do the work of ministry, and to do it so well that they will make disciples of others also (2 Tim. 2.2).

Paul took this as his mission. It must be ours as well, working in our Personal Mission Fields just as Paul did in His to make disciple-making disciples by every available means. Making disciples creates Kingdom momentum for turning the world rightside-up for Jesus.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Part of making disciple-making disciples is the comfort and care we offer to one another. Also, an aspect of positive peer pressure can be seen at play here when Silas and Timothy arrived in Corinth. They seemed to have lit a fire under Paul to ratchet up his witness in the synagogue (Acts 18.5).

But most encouraging are the relationships between all these people. They were bolstering one another’s courage and resolve to live for Jesus and His Kingdom (Acts 17.7) in very difficult times and circumstances.

We should offer the same comfort to one another that God offers to us. He said, “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of man who will be made like grass?” “I have covered you with the shadow of My hand” (Is. 51.12, 16).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ” (2 Cor. 1.3-5).

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thess. 5.11).

As Psalm 133.1 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

There is something so absolutely special about Christian fellowship because our Lord Jesus promises that “where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt. 18.20).

The great joy of having a Personal Mission Field is that there is always something we can do, someone we can encourage, someone we can comfort, someone we can pray with, someone we can share the Good News of Jesus with; and someone we can worship with any time of the day or night. That’s momentum. That’s life to the fullest.

For reflection

1. Your Personal Mission Field includes many believers. How will you encourage them today in their walk with and work for the Lord?

2. Who encourages you in your ministry? Have you thanked them lately?

3. What can you do to enrich the fellowship of believers in your church?

Young scholars may gain a great deal by conversing with old Christians. Those who do believe through grace, yet still need help. As long as they are in this world, there are remainders of unbelief, and something lacking in their faith to be perfected, and the work of faith to be fulfilled. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Acts 18.24-28

Pray Psalm 133.2, 3.
Pray for the various ministry teams – pastors, teachers, leaders – whose work helps you to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Give thanks for them by name. Pray for unity among these various teams. Ask God to bless many through their work.

Sing Psalm 133.2, 3.

(Tryggare Kan Ingen Vara: Children of the Heavenly Father)
Like the precious oil of blessing flowing down on Aaron’s vestment,
God’s anointing rests forever where His people dwell together.

Like the dew of Hermon’s fountain falling down on Zion’s mountain,
so the blessing of the Savior dwells where unity finds favor.

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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