June 30, 2020

Not Now, Lord

Acts 18:1–11

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Paul in Corinth

After this Paul1 left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Footnotes

[1] 18:1 Greek he

Not Now, Lord



Key Verse | Acts 18:2-3

And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.

Bio | Kali Willis

I am a Texas transplant by way of Kansas City. My husband Jeff and I have been members at Watermark for five years, and we're currently serving on the Believe Team (ask the Believe team coordinator for more info!).

I'm a lover of Torchy's queso; my dogs, Brody and Rosalita; the best guy I know, Jeff Willis; and the incredible grace given to me by Jesus.

Central Truth

Anything that God has gifted us with, big or small, can be used to glorify Him.

Devotional | Acts 18:1–11

In this passage, we are introduced to many of the people that Paul encounters during his time in Corinth, including one of my favorite couples in the Bible: Aquila and Priscilla.

Here's what we're told about...

In this passage, we are introduced to many of the people that Paul encounters during his time in Corinth, including one of my favorite couples in the Bible: Aquila and Priscilla.

Here's what we're told about them:

  • In Acts 18:2, we learn that Priscilla and Aquila have ended up in Corinth after they were kicked out of their home in Rome because they were Jews.
  • In Acts 18:3, we learn that Aquila and Priscilla share the same profession as Paul: tentmakers! We also learn that Paul is living with Aquila and Priscilla.

Since Aquila and Priscilla were refugees, we can assume that their new home in Corinth was temporary and nothing fancy, but they nonetheless opened their home and lives completely to Paul.

Now that sounds crazy! I know that I am reluctant to invite people into my home because of excuses like:

  • "My house is definitely not the biggest in the neighborhood!"
  • "My life is so busy, how could I possibly find the time to bring someone else into my home?"
  • "There's always a load of dirty dishes in the sink. What will they think of me?"

As a result of my excuses, I find myself saying, "Not now, Lord. You couldn't possibly be asking me to share my time or space with another person."

Priscilla and Aquila considered the little or much they had in their lives as a blessing from God. So they freely gave it away to others. And because of their generosity and hospitality, it opened the doorway to the salvation of many within their ministries and Paul's.

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Discussion Questions

1. What has God blessed you with that you can share with others?

2. Is there a place in your life where God is calling you to be generous, but you keep finding excuses?

3. Who has blessed you by inviting you into their lives? It could be into their home, into their professional life, into their spiritual life, etc. Can you take time to thank that person today?

4 Comments available

Jessica Schoellkopf about 1 month ago

In our pre-marriage class at our former church in Pasadena, CA, a couple gave us the advice, “if you don’t invite people into your 1 bedroom apartment, you won’t invite them into your 3 bedroom house.” That stuck with me.

When I was in high school all my friends got new cars on their 16th birthdays (some of them when they turned 15!) We were far too poor to afford that and I never had a car in HS. I was dependent on friends to go anywhere. I vowed to give people rides when I finally got my car.

Now I give rides to airports, dr’s offices, I help with fam & friends’ kids carpool, etc. I’ll rearrange my schedule for the opportunity to take someone somewhere. I’m not bragging…I just love how God used the lack in my life to start my little car ministry!

Greg Jones about 2 months ago

“Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”

The Aquila was the standard that was carried before a Roman Legion, 4000-6000 troops.

V5 Paul testifying to those representing Judah-Jesus is the Christ.

For Paul the power of the Aquila represented death. For those who represented Judah with whom Paul is arguing, the cross represented death. For Paul those being baptized represent the first fruits of lost tribes resurrected. Aquila and Priscilla Jews/Judah coming out of the new Babylon victorious. For Paul this is the mystery of the prophetic scriptures like Psalms 2.

The Jews of Corinth disagree. Paul says-“Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

Sue Bohlin about 2 months ago

Thanks, Kali, for your insightful perspective on Aquila and Priscilla’s mindset as refugees and models of hospitality. Imagine the theology conversations they had with Paul, which would equip them to correct and teach Apollos, who then became a church leader.

I loved the Lord’s encouragement to Paul in a vision, “I have many in this city who are my people.” I love learning His perspective on anything, especially the double reference to people as “His.” When He looks at Plano, He can say, “I have many in this city who are my people,” and I am so very grateful to be one of them. I rejoice in knowing He has tattooed my soul with, “MINE.”

Hugh Stephenson about 2 months ago

I am reflecting today on the cost of discipleship, the certainty of persecution and the joy of surrender.

Perhaps as much as anyone who ever lived Paul had purpose, passion and a plan. Like many of us, certainly me included, God redirects that plan with a divine interruption. As a Pharisee, a Roman citizen and a deep knowledge of Greek language and culture he was THE perfect pick for God’s plan.

God uses what I see as hardship, hassles and hurdles to sharpen and equip Paul, (and me), to fulfill His divine plan. God called Noah, Abram, Moses, Joshua and David. Dozens of prophets. Then a Nazarene carpenter. Then 12 disciples. Then Paul. Then other men.

Every single one of them surrendered to God’s plan. JOYFULLY SURRENDERED!!!

To my shame, it’s the idols that draw me away from surrender.

Praying Luke 22:42 again today.

Nevertheless.

Jon prays. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be-LByiTGKI&app=desktop

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