Tag Archives: service

Lay Ministry in Action! ~ Acts 18:18-28

He (Apollos) began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. ~ Acts 18:26

After remaining in Corinth for quite some time, Paul departs with Aquila and Priscilla (the married tentmakers whom he met earlier during his visit to Corinth) and pays his first visit to Ephesus. After hearing him speak in the synagogue, the Jews of Ephesus ask him to stay longer, but Paul declines, promising to return later according to God’s will. Paul departs for Jerusalem, leaving Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus.

We are introduced to Apollos, a Jew from Alexandria, who arrives in Ephesus after Paul’s departure. He is a very skilled speaker who “spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately” (verse 25). Interestingly, Luke mentions here that Apollos only knew the baptism of John, which was a baptism of repentence – meaning that Apollos presumably had not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Even so, Apollos teaches accurately and very persuasively. Aquila and Priscilla invite Apollos to their home, where they “explained to him the way of God more adequately” (verse 26). With the blessing of the believers in Ephesus, Apollos departs for Achaia where we are told he “vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah” (verse 28).

There are numerous places in Scripture where we see God using people of ordinary means and background for His sovereign purpose. Here God uses an ordinary married working-class couple (Aquila and Priscilla) to advance His kingdom. How fascinating it would be to peek in at Paul’s interactions with them prior to his departure: what was their background; what did he teach them; what questions did they ask? They play a very important role here as they prepare Apollos to assume his ministry.

We laymen and laywomen must be available for ministry, just as Aquila and Priscilla were available. God can and will use us – what an honor it is to serve our Lord! We must be vigilant so as to not miss the opportunities to serve God that He may send our way.

Ponder this: What is my ministry? How might God use me in furthering His kingdom?

My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, I want to serve You, first and foremost. Tune me in to Your will for my ministry. Reveal it, open my eyes to it, and guide my footsteps that I would serve You according to Your will. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Monday! – Psalm 8

1 O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! 2 From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease. 3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; 4 What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? 5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! 6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, 7 All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, 8 The birds of the heavens and thefish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

It’s Monday! If this doesn’t motivate us to take on the work week with gusto, nothing will! We are here to serve an awesome God, the One who created all that exists – the One who created us to serve Him! May His name be praised and glorified for ever and ever! May our actions point straight to Him!

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, thank you for your marvelous creation, and thank you for another day full of opportunities to serve. Let my words and actions today point straight to you. In Jesus’ name – AMEN and AMEN!

Available to Serve

But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene -walk !” Acts 3:6

While visiting Vancouver, BC on business I worshipped at Coastal Church, a nondenominational church on Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver. The worship was lively, vibrant, and sincere. The sermon was based on the story of Rebekah, courted by Abraham’s servant for the benefit of Abraham’s son Isaac. The sermon was about Rebekah’s approach to life in a positive, hard-working, manner of servanthood. Her attitude made her available to receive and respond to God’s calling on her life.

Peter and John most certainly availed themselves for God’s work. Acts chapters 3 and 4 cover the account of their miraculous healing of a known cripple and their subsequent arrest and appearance before the Sanhedrin. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter answers their question “By what power or what name did you do this”? (4:7) with this powerful and succinct testimony: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (4:8-13). (Italics added)

What a brave and powerful testimony! Sometimes I wonder if I’m holding back. I have a feeling of unworthiness at times as I read Scripture and craft these messages. I wonder if I could be more available to God than I am right now. I’m sure I could. I pray that God will give me the approach to life that Rebekah, Peter, John and so many others had.

Ponder this: What are the barriers separating me from God? What life changes might I undertake to make myself more available for His work?

My prayer for today: Father, make me truly available to You for whatever purpose You have laid out for the remainder of my life. In your Son’s holy name – AMEN.

My Gifts for His Glory

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” Acts 2:4

What is it like to be so full of the Holy Spirit that you suddenly begin to praise God in foreign tongues and witness to the world through performing miracles in His name? The miracle of Pentecost was the gift that Jesus promised in verses 4 and 5 of Chapter 1, and with this, the disciples were launched into ministry.

God has given me the Holy Spirit. God has gifted me when preaching in my pastor’s place when needed; He has gifted me when teaching Bible Study or Sunday School. It is a glorious feeling to know that God is using me to reach His people. I have never spoken in tongues. But, interestingly, when the disciples spoke in tongues in this passage, people from various countries recognized the tongues as their own; they could understand what the disciples were saying and through those words many were saved. Remembering that their mission from Jesus was to be His witness to “the ends of the earth” (1:18) it makes sense that the Holy Spirit would enable them to communicate in the languages of those He wanted to reach.

The Holy Spirit provides what we need in order to serve Him as He has uniquely called each of us. The disciples needed to witness to foreigners so He gave them the gift of tongues. God has given me the gifts of the written and spoken words. It’s up to me to use those gifts to His glory and trust that He will reach people through them.

Ponder this: What gifts has God given me? Am I using my gifts to His glory for His purpose?

My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, As unworthy as I am, you have chosen me to share your Gospel. Help me to use the gifts and talents you have given me to your glory. Let my witness be vibrant, enthusiastic, and true to your Word so that those who read my words or interact with me see only You. In Jesus’ name – AMEN.

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