Thy Word

Today’s reading is Acts 18.

Here we learn about three new champions of the Gospel in Priscilla, her husband Aquila, and Apollos. Although we don’t know for certain that Paul was responsible for Priscilla and Aquilas’ conversion to Christianity, the text does say in Acts 18:2 they were Jewish, so I have to believe Paul may have had an impact on their conversion, or if nothing else, helped them grow in their knowledge, understanding, and love of Christ. How did he do this? We see in Acts 18:3 that “he stayed with them and worked.” He didn’t just give them the Gospel and move on..he invested not only time with them, but was in the trenches with them working which may have been why they were receptive to the message of Christ. It also says in Acts 18:5 that “Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to Jews that the Christ was Jesus.”

What I then find so cool is this investment by Paul leads to Priscilla and Aquila going with Paul in Acts 18:18 to Syria. Now, they are determined to spread the Word. In Ephesus, they come across a man named Apollos who it says in Acts 18:24 was “competent in the Scriptures.” However, it seems he was missing some key things about Jesus and “knew only the baptism of John” from Acts 18:25. Instead of Priscilla and Aquila just saying he was a good man and well intentioned, they go a step further and in Acts 18:26 it says, “they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” It then says they invested in him like Paul did in them and “encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him” in Acts 18:27. As a result of his speaking and teaching the Word that Christ was Jesus, he greatly helped others believe in the grace of Jesus we are told in Acts 18:27-28.

Wow..it is amazing how investing in one person and showing and teaching them the Word can not only change the course of their life and where they will spend eternity, but likely where their  family and future generations will spend eternity, as well as some of those whose lives they cross paths with during their lifetime. When the Holy Spirit starts to move in one, the trickle-down effect and impact is mind-boggling. This is how Christianity went from a few of Jesus’ brave disciples to where it is today in the world, and even right down to you and me knowing Jesus Christ. We owe a great debt to those that had the courage to speak the Word before us.

John 1:1-2 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” John 1:14 then says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father full of grace and truth.” The far-reaching effects of Paul’s witness and investment in Priscilla and Aquila and then their witness and investment in Apollos happened because they focused on teaching the Word. In 2 Timothy 3:16, we learn that “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” We must ask ourselves constantly if we personally, and even the church we attend, are truly following the Word or are instead following traditions passed down that are not in the Word or things present day society tells us is normal and okay because things have changed. If we choose to discredit or ignore even one thing in the Word, then all the rest of the Word is discredited and we are in effect saying not all scripture is breathed out by God. If we pick and choose which parts we want to believe and follow, then none of it is true.

We may be hesitant to correct others when they stray from the Word because we ourselves are not perfect, but Priscilla and Aquila show us the far-reaching effect of helping a man who was well intentioned but just a little off like Apollos. Jesus knows we are not perfect, but tells us we must do so (and also how) in Matthew 18:15-18. Galatians 6:1 says the same and reminds us to take watch ourselves. When we correct others and bring them back to the Word, we must also do so with “grace and truth” just as Jesus (the Word) did in John 1:14 from above. As a side note, isn’t it interesting, and I don’t believe a coincidence, that grace comes before truth here and many other places in the Word.

I will leave you with the words of a song you may know that my 4-year-old son and his classmates recently sang at the Cornerstone Christian Academy Spring concert. The song brought back memories, as I can remember singing it as child. The lyrics to “Thy Word” are just as true now as they were then and as true as the Word has been forever and ever. I pray that today and every day we will let “Thy Word” be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path and that we share it so it can be the same for others we know and then others they know…

 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet

And a light unto my path.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet

And a light unto my path.

 

When I feel afraid, And think I’ve lost my way.

Still, you’re there right beside me.

Nothing will I fear As long as you are near;

Please be near me to the end.

 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet

And a light unto my path.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet

And a light unto my path.

 

I will not forget Your love for me and yet,

My heart forever is wandering.

Jesus by my guide, And hold me to your side,

And I will love you to the end.

Nothing will I fear As long as you are near;

Please be near me to the end.

 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet

And a light unto my path.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet

And a light unto my path.

And a light unto my path.

You’re the light unto my path.

 

Published by

Chet Bandy

I live in Bloomington, Illinois with my wife Shannon and 3 young children. I grew up in Central Illinois with Lutheran roots. We moved to the area in 2011 and began attending Eastview Christian Church where I now lead a Small Group. It's been awesome to see God's plan for our lives and our growing thirst for knowledge and closer relationship with Jesus through our move to Bloomington. Professionally, I'm a wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual.