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Humility is a scarce, valuable resource today

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POSTED: July 16, 2012 3:00 p.m.

I have been preaching through the book of Acts in my church in recent months. I have been fascinated by the characters I encounter in this marvelous book.

If you want a brief summary of the book of Acts, you can say that the first half is about Peter and his preaching, and the second half is about Paul and his preaching.

But the fact is there are many others who play significant roles in the earliest days of the church. John was almost always with Peter in the early chapters. Philip and Stephen were two of the first deacons, both of whom served the Lord in unique ways. Barnabas, John Mark, Silas and Timothy joined Paul on his mission journeys, and that is not even to mention Luke, the author of the book and frequent companion to Paul.

And there is a man whom we encounter in chapter 18 who fascinates me. His name is Apollos. He is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 3, where it is emphasized that he was a good preacher. But we can even see this in Acts 18, where Luke writes that Apollos was “an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures.” Without question, that means he knew what we call the Old Testament, the only Scriptures he had. And we are told that he took every opportunity to teach others and was successful as he did so.

But there is something about Apollos that is interesting. We don’t know the whole story, but he evidently did not have all of the finer points of theology down. In Acts 18:26, we are told that a man and wife, Aquila and Priscilla, took Apollos to the side and explained the truths about Jesus to him more accurately.

Think about that: Apollos had a successful preaching ministry going, and then this man and woman interrupt him with the purpose of correcting him. And he listened! He was teachable. He was humble enough to know that he didn’t know it all. So he listened to Priscilla and Aquila, willing to learn from them so that he could better preach to others.

I don’t know about you, but I find that so refreshing. I want to have that kind of teachable spirit. I want to be willing to listen. I want to continue to learn for the rest of my life. We have enough arrogance, not only in the world but even in the church today. What we need are more believers with humble, teachable spirits.

Are you willing to listen and learn? God help us to hear his voice, and to learn, even when he uses others to teach us.

 

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