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The Next Level

Acts 18:24 Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. 25 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. 26 When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately. 27 Apollos had been thinking about going to Achaia, and the brothers and sisters in Ephesus encouraged him to go. They wrote to the believers in Achaia, asking them to welcome him. When he arrived there, he proved to be of great benefit to those who, by God’s grace, had believed. 28 He refuted the Jews with powerful arguments in public debate. Using the Scriptures, he explained to them that Jesus was the Messiah.

Have you ever gone through your Christian life a certain way for many years and then had someone come alongside you and lead you into a deeper walk with God? If not, I would highly recommend it. A man named Apollos had a boldness for sharing the message of Jesus and he was apparently very enthusiastic and very well-spoken, but he only knew about John's baptism. Priscilla and Aquilla heard him and helped him take his learning to a new level. Since he only knew a baptism of repentance the information they gave him about life in the Spirit surely helped him focus his preaching even more. Apollos needed the baptism of the Holy Spirit and not just the baptism of John and then his life went into warp speed for Jesus. Apollos became and important part of the work of Paul in Ephesus and Corinth. Here is an encounter Paul had with a group of followers who had only been baptized with John's baptism. Acts 19:1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers. 2 “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them.“No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”3 “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked. And they replied, “The baptism of John.” 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.” 5 As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.

To become a fruitful helper in sharing the gospel, Apollos needed to follow God's leading. The brothers and sisters in Ephesus were a good group of encouragers for Apollos and he followed his heart and went to Achaia. Achaia was a Roman Province in the Greek region on the southern side of Greece. The Roman capital of Achaia was Corinth, where Paul had spent a good amount of time with those new converts. When Apollos realized that he could take his enthusiasm for God and preach the message of salvation in Jesus God directed his life to go and preach in that region. God is continuing the work he began in Paul and following it up with a fired-up preacher in Apollos and sending him to Corinth. Apollos took the missionary journeys of Paul and helped the church in Ephesus and Corinth go to a whole new level.

You may say, "What can one man do?" To which I would say, "All that God wants him to do!" When the Holy Spirit of God is on a person He takes this person to a new, more focused direction that is led by and empowered by God. God takes that man to the next level in serving and God empowers him to do great things with the message of Jesus. That person is not better than others, but more specifically led by God for His purpose. What Paul had taught the Jews in Corinth was reemphasized by Apollos and those churches kept following the direction God intended for them. And Apollos took those churches to the next level in sharing the grace of God through the message of salvation. The journey of Apollos wasn't that far in distance, but wide-ranging in importance to those new churches.

God has a great and specific plan for you also and in your study of the Word of God, He will call you to a new level, which will be The Next Level. If you are being challenged by the Word of God and He is challenging your heart you need to listen and follow His leading and you will be a necessary ingredient in keeping the message of Jesus strong and growing. What a you "willing" to do for Jesus? Step up to The Next Level.

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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