November 29, 2015 Sunday School Commentary
Lesson Guide, FAITH Series
Speak without Fear
Background Text: Acts 18
Highlighted Text – Acts 18:1-11, 18-21a
Key Verse – “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘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’.” Acts 18:9-10, NIV
God has called every Christian to do ministry work. No one has been called to merely be a bench member. The work entails discipleship (indoors) and evangelism (outdoors). There will never be an easy time on earth to share the Gospel. Adversity will always exist. But we must not allow challenging situations to cause us to be silent. We have been given spiritual gifts to edify the Body of Christ and in order to be a blessing to others, they must be used.
Speaking in a Rejected Place (Acts 18:1-8)
While Paul was in Corinth awaiting for Silas and Timothy to arrive from Macedonia, God positioned for him to meet a married couple, Aquilla and Priscilla. They were tent-makers and so was Paul. Paul stayed with them and helped them work. Paul also remained focused on his assignment and preached in the Jews’ synagogue so that he would compelled them to accept Jesus as their Savior. The Jews totally rejected Paul’s message. This caused Paul to start focusing solely on the Gentiles.
Point to Ponder: Even when it appears that you are at the wrong place, God is using it as part of the process in your preparation.
Staying in a Rejected Place (Acts 18:9-11)
Although Silas and Timothy’s arrival in Corinth allowed Paul to do ministry full time, Paul had become a bit fearful and discouraged by his rejection. God spoke to him one night in a vision and instructed him to not be afraid because God was with him. Paul was instructed to continue to minister in Corinth and he stayed for the duration of a year and half.
Point to Ponder: No one likes to be rejected. Those that work in ministry, especially leaders, are often rejected in different capacities. When God has given you an assignment, you will be victorious even in a rejected place.
Success in Rejection (Acts 18:18-21a)
When it was time for Paul to leave Corinth, accompanied by Aquilla and Priscilla, he left for Antioch. Paul left them upon their arrival in Ephesus where he himself went to the Jews’ synagogue. He tried to persuade the Jews and apparently was successful. When Paul tried to leave, they asked him to stay longer, but he refused. He encouraged them that if God instructed him to return he would do so.
Point to Ponder: When Paul was in Corinth, it didn’t seem like he would be able to have favor at all with the Jews, but out of obedience to God he stayed. He was able to see fruit from his labor later on in Ephesus.
God doesn’t always give us the big picture and step by step instructions all at once. He gives us what we need when we need it. But we will not be able to receive any instructions from him if we are not positioned to hear from him. If you are dealing with discouragement or even fear because of what God has assigned you to do, be encouraged. Today could be your first time leading a ministry at your church, teaching Sunday School class or going to do outreach work with a team. Do not be fearful of doing something new or even what you have been doing, but in a new area or place. God is with you and this is a part of your process of preparation. Now go Speak without fear!
Commentary by, Evangelist Shulanda Hastings
Senior Ministry Leader
Spirit Realm Divine Manifestation Ministries