Theme of the Week: Disciple-Makers
Bible Verse: Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately. Acts 18:24–26 NLT
Scripture Reading: Acts 18:18-28; 2 Timothy 2:15
Some of you might remember the days of the sword drill. This was not some medieval wartime training but a competitive exercise where children were given the name and number of a Bible verse and raced to be the first to locate it and read it. The goal would be to annihilate and decimate novice Bible readers who fumbled to find the verse in question – all in Christian love, of course. It was a competitive approach to Bible learning, but it did help us familiarize ourselves with the Word of God.
Acts 18 records the account of Apollos, a key member of an early church mission team. He was an influential leader, an Alexandrian Jew, and a disciple of John the Baptist. He was well-educated and eloquent with the Old Testament Scriptures, but there was a limit to his knowledge. He had an incomplete understanding of baptism and needed a new level of discipleship. Two mature believers, Priscilla and Aquila, pull him aside to equip him for even greater ministry and teaching. After that encounter, he became even more masterful in defending the Gospel, encouraging believers all the way from Ephesus to Greece. But it took two disciples with greater depth and insight to teach him.
Discipleship is a process. Some changes happen overnight. Other changes take a lifetime. But in either case, it is a commitment to the long game of spiritual practices and habits. Sadly, we have often been more discipled by cable news, social media, and our entertainment culture than by the Word of God and solid Biblical teaching. As a result, we are susceptible to false teachers, politicized faith, and the latest Christian “industry” fad.
To be disciple-makers, we need to be disciples, lifelong learners, and people of the Word. Priscilla and Aquilla were disciple-makers because they were those very things. The need for disciple-makers is great; the need for disciple-makers who are proficient and steadfast in the Scriptures has never been greater.
Paul reminded his protégé Timothy: “Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman…who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 AMP
Dust off, sharpen, and swing that sword again…Maybe a sword drill isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your Word that is living, active, and sharper than a double-edged sword, exposing my innermost thoughts and desires. If there is anything in me that is unlike you or contrary to your Word, please forgive me and create in me a clean heart. Help me be persistent and proficient in Your word so I can lead others to the truth of who You are. Amen.
Reflection: Consider how you can become a better student of the Word – start a Bible reading plan, commit to memorizing a passage, or listen to an audio version on your commute. Is there a men’s small group that I could join or start to go deeper in the Word?
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