MID SOUTH REHAB GATHER 11.16.22

Reprovability

 

Acts 18:24-28

24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.
 

Team I am very thankful to get to come together this Wednesday.  What a blessing it is that at the mid-point of every week our company takes time to encourage us to hit the reset button and remember where our help comes from.  This is a beautiful time to pause, meditate on truth, learn, and be strengthened by God for the good He has left for us to do today and every day.

            I want us to consider something together today that I have been thinking a lot about, and I think this passage above is a great one to highlight someone who was highly skilled and yet highly coachable.  So often in my life I have run into situations where I know I have tried my absolute best and done what I thought was an exceptional job only to find out later that my performance fell short of my desired outcomes.  I typically find this out by other peers or supervisors I have bringing this to my attention at a later date.  When we run into this situation, we are left with 2 options with various spectrums in those options.  Option #1 would fall into the category of a foolish response and option #2 would fall into the category of a wise response.  Proverbs 9:8-9 says 8Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. 9Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.  And Prov 15: 5 says A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.  So ultimately the question we have to ask ourselves is do we want to fall into the category of a foolish scoffer or into the category of the wise and prudent? 

            Most of the time our initial, gut reaction, is to tighten up and buck against reproof.  But if we can pause and consider the above principals, I think it could help us all gain a heart of wisdom that would lead to better lives for all of us and much better work relationships.  Consider Apollos above.  This man is a Jew who was raised in the scriptures, new the Lord rightly, was fervent in Spirit (a command from what we went over 2 weeks ago), and spoke and taught accurately concerning Jesus BUT even his knowledge was limited and needed instruction.  This wise man was approached by a married couple (Acts 18:2) who had been taught fully the way of salvation through Jesus Christ from the apostle Paul himself.  Although Apollos knew the message of God up unto the ministry of John the Baptist (a message of God’s holiness and righteousness, man’s sinfulness, and our need to repent and get ready for the Lord’s Messiah/Christ/Chosen one), Apollos did not yet know that Jesus Christ had come and fulfilled all that the prophets had said of Him!  Think of what would have happened if Apollos would have been a fool?  He would have scoffed at a woman coming to lecture him about what he already knew.  He would have mocked these common tent makers for daring to try to teach him.  And he and others would have missed out on so many blessings that come from knowing the Lord more intimately.  Instead, Apollos proved to be wise.  He humbly listened to the reproof of these faithful brothers and sisters, and he changed for the better.  He was already competent, but he became even more competent.  And because of this, many believers were helped and he proved to many that Jesus Christ is indeed the way to eternal life.

            I think these principals have profound application for us in the work place.  Many of us are experts in our fields.  We have long lists of work experience and have years of specialized training under our belts.  But none of us knows all things fully as we ought.  If we can approach life humbly with open ears and soft hearts for receiving correction, we will grow more and more in our competency every day of our life.  I am a sinner and I need Jesus.  I need help in being able to humbly receive correction like Apollos did here, and I truly want to grow in this personally and to see a Spirit of reprovability permeate our work culture.  2 Timothy chapters 2-4 also commands us to be ready and able to reprove our brothers and sisters with gentleness and love while using the scriptures whenever possible.  So not only is this message about a positive example in Apollos, it is also about a positive example in Aquilla and Priscilla.  This married couple did not shirk back their responsibility to pull aside and gently reprove a man who was mighty in the scriptures and eloquent in his speech.  One thing I love about Mark and Mr. Cole who are both my bosses is that I know I can go to them with any genuine concern I have if I see a deficit in our company, they will receive the correction, and they will do everything possible within their power to help me correct any chinks that are present in our armor.  I love that and it means a lot to me.  We all need that in our lives.  It does no one any good if everyone is a yes man who cannot speak honestly about needed improvements.  Every one of us will need to have a mirror held up to us at some point to help us see how we need to improve, and I pray that the Lord would give us the courage, love, wisdom, and gentleness to do this well for others like Priscilla and Aquilla did for Apollos and that the Lord would help us all receive correction in wisdom like Apoloos did from Priscilla and Aquilla.