Thursday, 18 November 2010

Who discipled Apollos?

Sphere: Related Content “24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor b and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.” Acts 18:24-26 NIV

We were going through this passage in our Morning Devotion when suddenly a voice asked me this question: who discipled Apollos? I couldn’t answer the question because there is no other place in the Bible prior to this time when Apollos was mentioned. I couldn’t see who he came into contact with before he became a Christian. In fact, this passage is his introduction. However, I started to meditate over the question, relating my lessons to our church of today and began to see that there are a lot of young ‘Apollos’ all around us today. Some are already in positions of authority while others are exhibiting several gifts of the Holy Spirit and are held at very high esteem. Now look at how Apollos was introduced:

Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor b and taught about Jesus accurately

He came from one of the major cities in the Roman Empire, Alexandria in Egypt. Obviously, that was where he gave his life to Christ. Nobody knows the number of years he attended church or the positions he occupied, but it’s obvious that for him to be vast and have ‘a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures’ and ‘had been instructed in the way of the Lord’ shows that he was not a recent convert. He must have gone through the Beginner’s Class or what some people call Follow-Up/Discipleship Class. He must have sat under his pastor’s ministrations so many times. But in spite of all these credentials, I still wonder why is it that he knew only the baptism of John. Why is it that he needed the way of God to be explained to him more adequately?

So what happened? He seemed to have come to Ephesus with missions in mind and probably with the blessing of his church in Alexandria. He continued to Corinth and was greatly used by God, but that was after his encounter with Priscilla and Aquilla. The credential He had been instructed in the way of the Lord seems to be part of the referral letter that he came with from his church. But, how come that he knew only of the baptism of John? So I ask again, who discipled him? Who brought him up? Who was his pastor?

For Apollos, he was fortunate to meet seasoned men like Aquila and Priscilla his wife, who brought him to the house, sat him down and explained to him the way of God more adequately. Apollos took some time out to learn, but for a lot of people today, they have run very far with half-baked theology. Their doctrine is warped and they are shouting around. The gospel that gave birth to them was ‘inaccurate’ and they continue to spread inaccurate gospel. If you listen to some of them, you discover that they do not understand the basics of the gospel of Jesus. They talk about Jesus they have not experienced and are not willing to allow rule as Lord in their lives. They are speaking very boldly and with fervor but both their experience of God and doctrine are not definite and are inaccurate. A generation that has these set of people as the ones that dictate doctrinal direction for the church is really in trouble. Unfortunately, many of them are already in positions of authority and think themselves as something and no longer listen to counsel.

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Thursday, 11 November 2010

THE RACE

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THE RACE

Defeat! He lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore - three strikes,
I’m out - why try?”
The will to rise had disappeared; all hope had fled away,
So far behind, so error prone, closer all the way.
“I’ve lost, so what’s the use,” he thought,
“I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad who
soon he’d have to face.
“Get up,” an echo sound low,
“Get up and take your place.
You were not meant for failure here,
so get up and win the race.”
With borrowed will, “Get up,” it said
“You haven’t lost at all,
For winning is not more than this-
to rise each time you fall.”
So up he rose to win once more, and with a new commit,
He resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
Still he gave it all he had and ran as though to win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling,
three times he rose again,
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner as he crossed,
first place,
Head high and proud and happy; no falling, no disgrace.
But when the fallen youngster crossed the line, last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer for
finishing the race.
And even though he came in last,
With head bowed low, unproud;
You would have thought he won the race,
to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said.
“You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and hard
and difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy helps me in my race.
For all of life is like that race,
with ups and downs and all,
And all you have to do to win – is rise each time you fall.
“Quit! Give up, you’re beaten,” they still shout in my face.
But another voice within me says,
“Get up and win that race.”

AUTHOR UNKNOWN


Steve Farrar comments before the poem, “All you need to know to pick it up is that it’s the story of a young boy competing in a race he desperately wants to win. He had fallen three times. And each time his dad has urged him to get up and win the race.”

So, no matter where you are or how you think you have fallen, get up! Dust yourself and start again. Keep going. “It’s not over until you win”. Make sure you cross the line with and in the Lord. It doesn’t matter whether you ran, walked, crawled, or was carried across. Finish strong and win the race – it doesn’t matter your position!

Steve Farrar, Finishing Strong: Going The Distance For Your Family (Oregon, Multnomah Publishers, 1995), 23
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