Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
It's A Team EffortActs 18: 18-23
"The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'"
Why do we like to watch team sports? The thrill of watching a group of people coordinates their efforts to a common goal of victory? Watching a superstar being supported by a team to perform the very best? Looking back over a season to see what's been accomplished and appreciate the growth and camaraderie that came as a result? I think it's all of the above. As the saying goes, "Teamwork makes the dream work!"
The apostle Paul was a "superstar" missionary, traveling thousands of kilometers to various cities and towns to share his story, spread the Gospel, and strengthen the disciples. He was just one man, however. Many eager listeners were attentive to his every word and wished for him to stay longer with them, but God called Paul to move to other places to deliver the message, with Paul desiring to come back to the “if it is God’s will” (see Acts 18: 20-21). Paul couldn't be in multiple places at the same time. To ensure that the people had resources to tap into to grow more in the teachings of Jesus, Paul made efforts to link up and connect with people who were willing to share the burden of his work. Earlier in chapter 18, when Paul arrived in Corinth, he connected with the husband and wife team of Aquila and Priscilla. As any good team leader does, he established a strong relationship with them, staying and working with them in tentmaking. By day, they worked together in making tents and, during the off-time, Paul went to the synagogue for continued dialogue for those gathered there. Verse 5 mentions Silas and Timothy joining the team, allowing Paul to “[devote] himself exclusively to preaching.” This implies that everyone understood their assignment; God called each person to serve His purpose in their unique roles: through preaching, counseling, serving, praying, etc. In verses 18 and 19, Aquila and Priscilla traveled with Paul to Syria and Ephesus; Paul was willing to leave the couple in Ephesus, knowing the people there would be in good hands, as he continued his travels to Caesarea and Antioch. For Aquila and Priscilla, this trust and assignment were especially fruitful as they themselves connected with Apollos, mentoring him in “the way of God more adequately” (see verses 24-28).
In the beginning, God created not just one person, but two, for He knew that it was "not good for man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18). In God's master plan, man would be in communion with Him and in connection with each other, being stewards tending to His creation and serving each other to grow His kingdom. Though humanity consists of many, we are all one body in Christ, each equipped with God-given gifts to proclaim the name of Jesus and restore right relationships with God and each other. Jethro's wise counsel to his son-in-law, Moses, further emphasizes the need to share our burden with others to maximize positive results (see Exodus 18: 13-26).
Cherish the people around you and work together to make the name of Jesus Christ known. God has placed the people in your life for a purpose. If we all do our part of the assignment, this group project will be a great success! And our Teacher will be pleased.
Father, You have created each and every one of us uniquely, yet we are all precious in Your sight. Give us all an urgency to work together to make Your name known to all nations and all people. With you as our Head and our Center, our team is and always will be victorious.
Thought for the Day
"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
Two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."