NT Fire Starters – Day 186: Acts 18:1-23
READ: Acts 18:1-23
THINK: The value of someone’s ministry isn’t determined by how much others are willing to pay for it or by how much recognition he or she gets. Neither is someone a minister simply because they have a title or position or are able to devote themselves to full-time service. In fact, every individual follower of Jesus is a minister–one who serves on behalf of Jesus. Whether you’re a student, an office worker, a part-time pastor or a life-long missionary you share the opportunity and responsibility to spread Jesus’ message and influence others for Him wherever you are. To fulfill your purpose, you must rely on God, His Word and His presence just as much as any mega-church pastor. Don’t neglect your role or take it for granted. Do whatever it takes to make the most of the ministry Jesus has given you.
RESPOND: What does Paul’s tent-making indicate about some ministers’ need to work another job to support themselves? Are ministers in this situation less involved in ministry than those who receive full time support from their ministries or churches? Why was Paul confident in continuing to talk about Jesus despite the opposition he encountered? (See 18:10 note.) How does it encourage you to know that God is with you in a special way when you take a stand for Him? Why is it crucial to recognize and rely on God’s presence when ministering for Him? Why did Paul return to places where he had previously ministered? (See 18:23 note.) What example does this set for all followers of Jesus who work to influence others for Him? Why is ongoing contact so vital for people who are new in Christian faith?
PRAY: Give God thanks for His constant power and presence in your life. Pray for anyone you’ve led to Christ in the past. Pray that they remain faithful to God or that they return to Him if they’ve abandoned their faith. Pray for any ministers you know who must work outside of their ministry. Ask God to provide for them in a special way.
ACT: Follow up with someone whom you’ve led to Jesus. Ask how he or she is doing and if there’s anything you can pray with him or her about. Try to answer their questions, but don’t feel the need to have all the answers. If you’ve talked to someone in-depth about God or your faith in Jesus but they’ve not yet accepted Him, try to renew that conversation in order to help that person grow closer to receiving a personal relationship with Jesus.