Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:9-13
Acts 18; Romans 16:3-5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19
Luke makes it a point to mention a married couple named Aquila and Priscilla in the book of Acts. While originally Jewish residents of Rome, the Emperor Claudius had apparently exiled the Jewish people from the city. It is believed that the reason for this exile was the trouble arising in the Jewish community over the spreading teachings of Christ amongst them. While we may not know exactly when they became Christian, they spent upwards of a year and a half in Corinth walking with Paul through all he was doing. They even began a tent making business with him in order to support their ministry. It would be safe to say that they were extremely close in that they taught together, traveled together, did ministry together and even worked together.
After their time in Corinth, we know that they were absolutely on fire for Jesus. They went with Paul to Ephesus where they stayed for a time preaching, training and making their home available to both churches and believers. When they are mentioned afterwards, it is always in the context of them serving people. Apollos was personally discipled by the couple and they stand as quite possibly the best New Testament example of a marriage that were partners in Christ and with each other. So much so that they are only mentioned together.
Aquila and Priscilla came to know Jesus and decided that they would dedicate their life to serving both God and others through hospitality. When they invited people into their homes, they were serving in the best possible way they could. They risked their life for Paul and ended up impacting many churches by taking care of those who came to them for help and teaching. Teachers and Pastors who wanted to share Jesus were blessed by and taught by them. Paul even went as far as to say that all the Gentile churches were thankful to them. We all have our own social circles and respond differently based on what resources we have available, but when we love and therefore serve others, God works through it and transforms everyone involved in the process.
Questions to think about:
- Regardless of whether it is in your schooling, job or ministry, you are around people. What are some ways you already find you are able to serve others?
- God created us to be in community with Him and with each other. Who are some people you can reach out to that would help you either find good opportunities to serve or to train you to be more effective?
- Serving can be a matter of perspective. Can you think of a situation in your life right now where you can change your perspective from “this person is telling me what to do” into “God has me here to serve this person right now”?