Acts 18:24-28 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
I’m excited about our theme for 2017 here at Pacific Baptist. The them is “Making a Difference”, from Jude 22. The concept is that it is everyone’s responsibility to seek to make a difference in the life of somebody. My reading this morning brought my mind right to this theme. Here we have two “laymen” – tent makers by trade, seeing a man with potential for the Lord, taking him in, and making a big difference in his life. He would, in turn, go out and make a difference in the lives of many others. Talk about 2 Timothy 2:2 in action! Here are a couple observations from this passage and this couple’s example.
First, they were attentive – Aquila and his wife came into the synagogue to hear the Word of God. But they didn’t just come to sit down and take in. While they were there, they noticed a man who had a desire for God, and with some potential to be used by Him. As soon as “church” was done, they went over to him and started a conversation.
Secondly, they were hospitable – After their conversation, they invited him to spend time with them. They “took him unto them” – most likely to their house. It wasn’t just a Sunday morning or evening conversation. They developed a real relationship with him. If we’re going to make a difference in the lives of others, we must be willing to be hospitable to them. And it must be more than just a Sunday AM or PM thing. We must be willing to have them in our homes, spend time with them in theirs, and be willing to put in the time to see them along.
Next, they helped spiritually – They realized the need, they initiated the relationship, and now, they helped him to address his spiritual condition. They started, as we all should, with salvation. This was his (and those with whom we come in contact) greatest need. However, they didn’t stop there. They continued to expound the Word of God to him. They helped to bring him along in the things of God. If we’re going to see fruit that remains, this is a must.
And finally, they followed through – Once this man began to be grounded in his faith, it was time for him to serve. They didn’t just say “go ahead, find a place to serve”. They gave direction. They wrote letters to the brethren. And they continued until he was in a place of service.
This is a great reminder of what we should be doing all the time as Christians. This couple wasn’t staff, pastors, or even deacons. They were Christians. And when they realized the need, they decided to take these steps to make a difference, and a difference they made. Might we be alert, hospitable, help spiritually, and follow through, and see the difference that is made for Christ!