A MESSAGE FROM THE APOSTLE PAUL

I. I plant the seed

II. God produces the fruit


Acts 18:1-11 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he

met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from

Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to

leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as

they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned

in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. 5 When Silas and

Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to

preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when the

Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest

and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my

responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 Then Paul left the

synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of

God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in

the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were

baptized. 9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid;

keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is

going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11

So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

A MESSAGE FROM THE APOSTLE PAUL

I. I plant the seed II. God produces the fruit

Priscilla and Aquila, it has been so good to meet you and work alongside of you.

You have become trusted friends. It is so endearing to get to know more believers in

Jesus.

You are excellent at what you do. These tents are terrific. Those sails are so

sturdy. Those ropes are rugged and ready to go.

I’ve learned so much from both of you. Even though I was taught this trade from

my youth— in keeping with what the rabbis say that if you don’t teach your son a trade

then you raise him to be a robber— I didn’t have to use my skills very much, as you

know, because I chose to dedicate my life to persecuting Christians and was supported

well by other like-minded individuals.


A MESSAGE FROM THE APOSTLE PAUL

I. I plant the seed

II. God produces the fruit


2

But all that changed when I was converted to Christianity by the power of God!

Along with a change of heart from unbelief to faith and a change of life from persecuting

Christians to proclaiming Christ, there was a change of vocation. Now my days are spent

traveling to proclaim the good news of Jesus wherever God sends me.

And because I don’t get paid to be a traveling missionary, I accept assistance from

fellow Christians for food and lodging. But I occasionally pick up my stitching needle

and leather and secure some extra funds by making tents. So, thank you for letting me

work with you and helping me better my skills and get a little more income for God’s

ministry.

Of course, tomorrow is the Sabbath and, as usual, I will be in the synagogue,

trying to persuade Jews and Greeks that Jesus is the Savior of all people. This town of

Corinth is so immoral and the people so impure. They deny Jesus as their Savior, they

depend on their own wisdom for their life, they disregard all of God’s instructions. They

are lost, condemned sinners.

But so was I! I know that I was the worst of sinners. I know that I was on my

way to hell.

But God changed me! I am now a saint-sinner! I am now on my way to heaven!

Jesus is my Savior! Jesus is why I do what I do! God produced in me the fruit that

shows I am his child!

So, Priscila and Aquila, I plant the seed by speaking God’s Word to others, but I

count on God to produce in them the fruit which is faith, Christian love and a servant’s

life. Here is what I expect: as I plant the seed of God’s Word, some will not listen and I

will be very sad. They will turn their backs on God. They will turn against me and want

to hurt me, imprison me or kill me.

But, some will listen! Some will believe! God will produce the fruit! And how

awesome that is to see! Hearts changed! Attitudes reversed! Motivations switched! I

am proof of that! You are proof of that!

I also expect God to remain with me, as he tells me, “Do not be afraid; keep on

speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and

harm you, because I have many people in this city.”

Priscilla and Aquila, I won’t be making tents with you in the coming weeks either

as Silas and Timothy [are coming] from Macedonia. With their help I will be

[devoting myself] exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the

Christ. This is the most important thing you and I can be doing! I know there may come

a time when the Jews will no longer welcome me, but I still need to plant the seed of

God’s Word as much as I can so they can believe and be saved!

Just as we work so well together making tents, so we can work together in

spreading the gospel. Will you please offer up your many prayers for me that God give

me courage to continue in this ministry, that he give me faithfulness to his Word and that

he give success to my planting as he produces fruit in the form of more people knowing

Jesus as their Savior? Will you also look for ways to plant the seed of God’s Word as

you interact with others? In your tent-making and selling, you will have plenty of

opportunities to plant as you interact with our fellow Christians who need you to help

build them up in their saving faith and with unbelievers who need you to reach out with

the saving message of Christ crucified for the salvation of all!


3 Thank you again for letting me work together with you on these tents and thank

you for your partnership in the gospel! God be with you, as he has promised!

Priscillas and Aquilas of the 21st Century, if I were alive today, I’d tell you the

same things I told your predecessors. You live in a horribly corrupt and broken down

world. While God has given you incredible blessings, so many are misusing and abusing

them. Hearts need to be changed, so lives and attitudes and motivations can also be

changed.

Continue to plant the seed. Bring up your children in the training and instruction

of the Lord. Have them baptized as soon as they are born to receive the gifts of saving

faith, the forgiveness of sins and the assurance of eternal life. Make home devotions and

public worship part of your family time. Teach them the Word at home, bring them to

Sunday School, enroll them in Lutheran Pre-, Elementary and High School.

When your kids become adults, continue to plant the seed with life’s teachable

moments, pointing out their sin when you see it, announcing to them their forgiveness in

Christ, guiding them to make right choices, complimenting them on their godly living.

When you meet the unbeliever, be aware of how you can reach out to them. Look

for ways to share the good news of Jesus who lived for them, died for them, rose from the

dead for them. In other words, plant the seed!

Then watch as God produces the fruit! Think about your adult children who have

remained true to Jesus in faith and life and thank him for his work in their lives. Be

confident that those who have strayed have the seed of saving faith in their heart through

their baptism and the power of God’s Word and that God can bring them back in line

with his Word so they can continue to produce fruits of faith that will please him and

benefit others. Trust that the seed you plant in the life of an unbeliever God will produce

with the fruit of saving faith and a Christian life.

As I did, so you get to do! Plant the seed! Then, watch as God produces the fruit!

Thank you for your partnership in the gospel! God be with you, as he has promised!

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