Strengthened by Other Believers

This week we’re looking into some of the happenings on Paul’s missionary journeys.

The apostle Paul has famously written, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13). As he embraced that truth and embarked on his missionary journeys, he also knew that Christ sometimes strengthens us through other believers. You will remember it was Paul and Barnabas, then Paul and Silas, and, of course, Paul and Timothy, whom Paul loved as if he were his own son – all sharing in his mission and strengthening him with their friendship and support. 

But there was a couple that uniquely ministered to Paul and did so with hospitality and grace. When Paul came to Corinth – weary and bedraggled – Aquila and Priscilla took him into their home, gave him meaningful work as a tentmaker, and encouraged him in his ministry. And when Paul was ready to move on to Ephesus, they packed up and went with him.

While they were in Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla had the opportunity to uniquely minister to someone else! 

Now a Jew named Apollos… an eloquent man who was competent in the use of the Scriptures, arrived in Ephesus. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately about Jesus, although he knew only John’s baptism… After Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the way of God to him more accurately. (Acts 18:24-26) 

In our modern era, when there is a concern, complaint, or differing viewpoint, there is often a tendency to publicly criticize, blast social media with diatribes, and feel successful only when someone is “cancelled.” Can you imagine the difference it would have made had Aquila and Priscilla chosen to confront Apollos publicly and ruin his credibility, his testimony, and his ministry – all because he didn’t have the whole picture?

Rather than embarrassing him in front of those who were listening, they quietly took him aside, welcomed him into their home, and shared with him that there was more to the truth that he should understand. And after that time with Priscilla and Aquila, he became even more effective. He was a great help to those who by grace had believed. (Acts 18:27) 

God only knows the impact of the hospitality, grace, and kindness of Aquila and Priscilla. In our own churches today, there are Priscillas and Aquilas – take a moment and thank them – and ask God to help you be an Aquila or a Priscilla -- mentoring and encouraging other believers.

By Judy Shrout

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