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God's Plan for Us

By Dorothy Cooper
 
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Scripture Verses
Acts 18:18-28

 18Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. 19They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21But as he left, he promised, "I will come back if it is God's will." Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.

 23After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

 24Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor[b] and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26He 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.

 27When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.


Devotion
In these verses Paul is on his third missionary journey and at this point he is in Corinth where he met fellow Jews Aquila & Priscilla. They were from Rome, and Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. They were tent makers as was Paul, so he stayed and worked with them for an extended length of time.

When Paul left Corinth, Priscilla and Aquila went with him as far as Ephesus. Verse 19 – He ministered to the Jews in the synagogue there. Verse 20 – When it was time for him to continue his journey, they asked him to spend more time with them but he declined. I believe Paul would love to stay there with these very dear friends but in verse 21 he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” How often do we let our own desires get in the way of God’s will? Paul certainly didn’t. He had tunnel vision. He was sent to spread the gospel and he was not going to let anything stop him. Let us all set our hearts and mind on god’s mission for us.

Verses 24-25 – Meanwhile this educated, knows-all-the scriptures, sweep ‘em off their feet preacher, Apollos, shows up in Ephesus. His only limitation was he knew about Jesus but he didn’t really know him. He had gotten only as far as John’s baptism. How many of us are in that boat? We’ve been baptized and joined the church – now we can relax, we’re on our way to leave. My friend, Christian Baptism is not the time to relax. That is just the beginning. It is when the work begins – and we all have a job to do.

Verse 26 – When Priscilla and Aquila heard Apollos speak, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. The way Priscilland Aquila dealt with Apollos is an excellent example for us all. They might have corrected him in public, but rather than embarrassing him or making him defensive, they made him their guest,& affirmed what was right and went from there. What a guide to correcting error without losing the person. Apollos continued his ministry and proved by the scriptures to many of the Jews that Jesus was the true Christ. Paul, Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos all had different jobs which God had called each of them to do. They were united in spirit, teachable and willing to work together. And that is how the job gets done. May we all seek to do likewise.


Prayer
Father, you have a plan for each of us. Grant us your wisdom to discover that plan so that your will prevails in all of our lives. Grant us willing hearts and minds to do what you have called us to do for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.