February 13 - Acts 18
WHAT HAPPENS IN CORINTH DOESN'T STAY IN CORINTH: The bulk of this chapter takes place in Corinth, a city that Jesus has a massive love for (v9-10), and a place that Paul stays in for a longer time than he does other cities. Corinth has it made: a beautiful hillside setting along the Mediterranean Sea and a tremendous amount of wealth & influence. But it was also a very immoral place, even by Roman standards. Corinth was in every way what Las Vegas is to the USA. That makes the love that both Jesus and Paul show for it all the more amazing. God's grace is sufficient even for the den of iniquity.
WHY CAN'T YOU BE MORE LIKE APOLLOS?: Today we are introduced to one of the least known apostles: Apollos. He was everything that Paul was not: sophisticated, an excellent public speaker, super smart, and he had a really cool name. Of course we'll never know, but I'd be willing to bet that he was really good looking too. He's one of those annoying guys that seems to have everything going for him, unlike Paul, who gets beat up every other chapter. I also think, but can't prove, that Paul was jealous of him (based on how Paul refers to him in the epistles). Apollos was a good man, and God used him in mighty ways, but yet it was the scrawny and geeky Paul whom God would use to write the epistles that have shaped the Church (and Western Civilization) for 2,000 years. The point is that we always think others have it better than we do, but be content and let God use you for who you are.
BUT IT'S NOT ABOUT THE LEADER: Apollos unwittingly introduces a new problem into the early church: people identified with the apostle that converted them rather than as united Christians. Eventually the 'Paulians' would bicker with the 'Apollians.' Later this year (July 30, to be exact) we will read how Paul instructs the Corinthians that it doesn't matter who their leader is, all Christians are united by their faith in Jesus Christ.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our protector and provider, who cares for His people (v9-10).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will make all of your decisions based on His will, like Paul did in planning his trips (v21).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: