As we continue our journey through Lent, the passage before us today features some significant movement, transition, and insights into ministry and more specifically our role in God’s kingdom. God’s desire to use us as his children, not perfect children, but ones who are in the process of becoming more like Christ. My friends, wherever you are on your spiritual pilgrimage let us take great comfort in that God desires to use us for the furtherance of his kingdom.
Notice first, God’s plan for ministry. We clearly see one component of God’s work is verbal discussion of the Gospel to the lost. It is alarming today how many in our communities and districts have not heard of God’s free gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ. God used the apostle Paul in many profound and important ways to bring the Gospel of Jesus to the Gentile world. God also uses the preaching and teaching to build and strengthen his church. In both cases, God uses his created and redeemed people.
Second, God uses a couple of groups of people who are in process for his kingdom work. Paul wrote, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12). The apostle Paul penned these words while in prison, and they show he understood that he was still in process. In Acts 18 we see that Paul held up to a vow he took (18:18) and refused to stay and speak with the Jews in Ephesus (18:20). The secret to Paul’s actions is that he was submissive to God’s will for his life. Paul was being obedient to God as he enjoyed the close fellowship with God.
Third, we also notice how God uses Priscilla and Aquila to reveal the things of Christ to Apollos. They were at the point spiritually to help Paul, they had maturity and knowledge to help a gifted young preacher get the message straight. Verse 24 tells us that Apollos was mighty in the Scriptures, yet they knew of some important truths that he did not yet know. May this be a reminder and an encouragement for us to keep growing in our grace and knowledge of God.
In closing, are you focused on proclaiming the Gospel to the lost? What about your role in strengthening the Church? Are you deliberately doing things to help you grow? I once saw a button that said “PBPWMGINFWMY” which means, “Please be patient with me God is not finished with me yet.” Thanks be to God that he still desires to use us as we are in process.