Beauty in Diversity

  1. Message: In Acts 18 Paul had been trying to win over the Jews for quite some time and being a Jew himself who had previously persecuted the church, he was now being viciously attacked by the Jews. When he realized they didn’t want to be won, they just wanted to argue and attack, he told them he was finished and that their blood was on their own heads. He moved on in ministry to preach to the gentiles. Priscilla & Aquila were a couple that Paul spent some time with in ministry. When Paul left, they found a Jewish man named Apollos preaching the gospel in the synagogue. He was very well taught and described as “eloquent” in speech, but was missing some of the later pieces of the gospel. Priscilla and Aquila took him home and taught him accurately and as he continued on in ministry, the local church wrote to the other churches urging them to welcome and accept him. He publicly refuted the Jews and prove through scripture that Jesus was the Messiah. As I read this I saw the beauty of the church in action. Paul had a powerful testimony and ministry. He founded churches everywhere but the Jews would not hear the gospel from him because they were so bent on attacking him. When Apollos came along he was able to reach them in a different way. This didn’t make him better than Paul. He just spoke with a different approach. Paul was no longer spending his efforts trying to fight with the Jews so this made him more available to reach the gentiles in a way that only he could.
  2. Command: Go where and how God leads me and listen to God for the time to move on.
  3. Promise: God will make me fruitful if I listen to him and follow his lead. He will also provide for what he calls me to walk away from.
  4. Warning: Trying to be everything to everyone will waste time, energy and resources.
  5. Application: I really saw the beauty of the differences in the body of Christ as I read this. We often get caught up trying to compare people and ourselves to other people. The truth is that we all have different approaches, styles and personalities. This is so necessary because there are so many different types of people. Where one person is unable to reach someone, another person can. I also found it interesting that Apollos didn’t become known until Paul said he was done trying to fight with the Jews. It was necessary for Paul to move on to reach the gentiles, but God still provided someone to pursue the Jews. This challenges me to pay attention when I realize I am trying to compare myself or fit into the style of the people I am with. I’m different by design, and though I may not relate to some people, there is another tribe of people who will relate to me. We need to not only know who we are talking to, but we need to know who we are as well.

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