Body: Read Acts 18:1-17 6. The Ministry At Corinth. In this section of the book of Acts Paul travels to Corinth and meets up with Aquila and Pricilla.
Paul made tents for a living, while trying to get the Jews to accept Jesus. He ended up leaving the Jews to minister to the Gentiles. He was encouraged in a dream to stay at Corinth for awhile. There were hostile Jews causing trouble, but God took care of Paul.
Applications – - Keep on serving. Notice in vs. 1 in this section of the book of Acts that Paul kept on serving the Lord. There are some who get to a point where they think that what they have done is enough. Paul sets an example of continued service to the Lord.
Let’s work on continuous service to the Lord. If time or circumstances keep us from doing what we used to do then we simply need to find something else to do for the Lord.
But as long as we have breath in our bodies, we should be doing something for the Lord. We can all be enthusiastic worshipers of God, which often edifies others, and we can be encouragers of one another.
- Ministerial staff. Notice in vss. 3-5 of this section of the book of Acts that Paul was a tent maker by trade. It is a great idea for preachers to know how to do something other than preach.
Most preachers are not in a position to support themselves, and surely not a family, with what they receive from love offerings. Therefore, they should be able and willing to do other forms of work.
However, also notice that as the ministry was able to support Paul, it did. Let’s work on appreciating the dynamics of ministerial staff. On one hand, preachers should be able to do more than preach. On the other hand, the church should invest in those who are proving to be spiritual blessings to them.
- Knowing when to be faithful and when to leave. Notice in vs. 6 of the book of Acts that Paul was faithful in ministering to the Jews, until they rejected the ministry with abuse.
On one hand, it is important to be faithful. There will be many times when you give your best in service and barely receive a “thank you.” Therefore, a strong faith to keep on serving is important.
But on the other hand, there are times when the rejection is so obvious and the abuse so high that the proper response is to shake the dust from your feet and cloths. This is a symbol of having no more responsibility for those who have rejected the word.
Therefore, wisdom to know when to stop is needed. Let’s seek the faithfulness to serve in less than ideal situations and the wisdom to know when to move on.
- Receptive people right next door. Notice in vs. 7 of this section of the book of Acts that there was a receptive household right next door to the one that rejected what God was doing through Paul.
It is encouraging to know that just because one person or group says, “no,” doesn’t mean that everyone will say, “no.” In fact, it may be to our advantage to get through the “no”s as soon as possible, so we can get to the “yes.”
In sells, there is the concept of sorting, instead of selling. Instead of trying to get someone who doesn’t want what you have to offer to buy it anyhow, the concept of sorting says to sort through people and find the one who wants what you have to offer.
In ministry, the concept is modified to say sort through those who are receptive to what God is doing through you. The more time wasted on those who will not believe is less time spent on those who will believe.
Let’s seek the wisdom and courage to faithfully minister to those who are receptive and trust God to handle those who are not.
- Trusting God right here. Notice in vss. 9-10 that God encouraged Paul by way of a vision that told him that God was with Him and had many people around him.
First, thank God that God still speaks to His people. The best way to know what God and His will is for our lives is to prayerfully study the Bible. Whatever He may say through wise counsel or visions will not contradict what He has clearly said in His word.
In other words, try what you “think” God is saying (e.g., vision, etc.) against what you “know” God has said (i.e., the Bible). Second, thank God that we don’t have to go back to some other location, in order to be in the presence or protection of God.
The omnipresence of God means that God is with us, right here, similar to how He would be with us in some supposed holy place (e.g., Africa for African Americans – Pan-Africanism; Israel for Jews – Zionism; down South for some; my home church for others; etc.)
Third, we should strive to be a part of the group that is considered to be the many people of God in this city. Obeying God’s word says more about our being His people than what we say with our mouths. Let’s work on trusting God’s word right where we are, which should include our obeying His word as well.
- The devil’s tactics. Notice in vss. 12-17 of this section of the book of Acts that the devil gives more attention to those who keep on serving. The devil is known to take secondary targets, when he cannot get the primary one.
When he could not get to Paul, he took the synagogue leader. The devil is known for using quarrels and division. Even the world can see that some of the stuff that religious people fuss about is not worth the energy, as we see in the text.
Let’s develop the faith needed to withstand the devil’s attack, and let’s make sure we don’t allow him to draw us into the quarrels that he instigates.
Conclusion: Let’s be witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.
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