a brilliant, gifted, talented failure
"When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him home and explained to him God's new way in greater detail." —Acts 18:26
Apollos was "eloquent," "an authority on Scripture," "instructed in the new way of the Lord," "full of spiritual fervor," and both accurate and fearless in his speech and teaching (Acts 18:24-26). This man had a lot going for him. Yet when Priscilla and Aquila heard Apollos speak, they knew he had everything but what he needed most. Apollos knew about Jesus, but didn't know Jesus. He only knew of John's baptism of repentance. He had not received a new nature or life in the Spirit by being baptized into Jesus and filled with the Spirit.
Many people today, even those baptized, are like Apollos. They have everything going for them but what they need most. They have sinned, stifled the Spirit, and are no longer living out their baptisms. In this condition, it's impossible for them to please God, no matter how hard they try or how talented they are (see Rm 8:8). They should stop everything, repent, renew their commitment to Jesus, and receive the Spirit (Acts 2:38). Then they will receive power from on high (Acts 1:8). Only then can they go make disciples of all nations and build God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, on this second day of the Pentecost novena may I resolve to never try to go on without You.
Promise: "Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full." —Jn 16:24
Praise: St. Isidore and his wife, St. Maria, lived lives of such obvious holiness that they were both canonized as saints.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Hearing God or our tape on audio AV 45-1 or video V-45.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 9, 2009
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