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Sermon Notes: 10/16/22

Hidden Figures

Pastor Albert Almore



We often hear a lot about Paul, and rightfully so, but this morning I want to introduce you to one of Paul’s ministry partners by the name of Apollos. Make no mistake about it, Apollos was a bad man too. Paul had his following, Apollos had his. Comparing the two must’ve gotten out of hand and to this Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:4,

“When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:4‬

“After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭

“I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:6‬ ‭

“So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:7‬ ‭

Apollos is known for his heavy involvement at the church of Corinth, and many believe the church of Ephesus. Acts 19:1 says,

While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭19:1‬ ‭

As powerful as Apollos was, and as well known as he was, something else caught my attention about his story. Acts 18:24‬ ‭says,

“Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt.”

‭‭Acts 18:24‬ ‭

“He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism.”

‭‭Acts 18:25‬ ‭‬‬

“When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.”

‭‭Acts 18:26‬ ‭‬‬

This verse changes EVERYTHING. In 1 Corinthians 3 when it said who is Apollos, who is Paul, in this verse Priscilla & Aquila were nowhere to be found. In 1 Corinthians 3 when it said Paul plants, but Apollos waters, NOTHING was mentioned of Aquila & Priscilla, but it was Aquila & Priscilla that took Apollos aside and explained the way of God to him more accurately.

Paul would later note that he came to Corinth in this manner according to ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:3,

“I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:3‬ ‭

It was there that Aquila & Priscilla first encountered the Apostle Paul in weakness, fear, and trembling. We know this because Acts 18:1-2 says,

“Then Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he became acquainted with a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife, Priscilla. They had left Italy when Claudius Caesar deported all Jews from Rome.”

‭‭Acts 18:1-2‬

“Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as he was.”

‭‭Acts 18:3‬ ‭

Similar to what they did for Apollos, Priscilla and Aquila took him aside, showed him agape love, welcomed him into their workplace, providing him with meaningful employment that facilitated his missionary activities. We hear so much about Paul, but if it wasn’t for Priscilla & Aquila, there literally wouldn’t be a Paul. In Romans 16:3-4, Paul writes,

“Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭16:3-4‬

We don’t know what this great act of bravery was, but it was sufficient to have impacted Paul long after the fact. Did they smuggle him out? Did they publicly defend him? Did they borrow a great deal of money to facilitate his work? The details are unclear, but the importance was not.

It’s no wonder in Paul’s final greetingshe says in 2 Timothy 4:19,

“Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and those living in the household of Onesiphorus.”

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭

Aquila & Priscilla were our sermon title for today…

HIDDEN FIGURES

📝 Behind every well known figure, is a HIDDEN FIGURE.

What if your assignment is to be part of the story, but not the headline of the story? Are you ok with that?

What if you’re calling isn’t the stage, but instead the steps for that person to reach the stage?

What if your assignment is to be supporting cast and not the lead roll? Are you ok with that?

Even if you’re called to the stage, you’re still called to be a hidden figure to someone else’s life.

We call that discipleship.

We call that mentorship.

Let’s look at Acts 18:26 again,

When Priscilla and Aquila heard Apollos preaching boldly in the synagogue, THEY TOOK HIM ASIDE and explained the way of God even more accurately.”

‭‭Acts ‭18:26‬ ‭

Who has God placed in your life, for you to take aside, to be a hidden figure to?

And here lies today’s message—The moment that I compelled you to take someone aside, is the moment that reasons took you aside to tell you why you couldn’t do it.

Reasons such as…

You’re too young.

You’re too old.

You’re too messed up.

You’re too good.

You don’t know enough.

You know too much.

Nobody wants to hear anything from you.

These reasons go by another name called Lies.

📝YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE.

“Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he. But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭32:4-5‬ ‭‬‬

“So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said: “I am young in years, and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭32:6‬ ‭‬‬

“I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’”

‭‭Job‬ ‭32:7

‬‬ “But IT IS THE SPIRIT in a person, THE BREATH OF THE ALMIGHTY, THAT GIVES them understanding.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭32:8‬ ‬‬

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:7‬

📝 You have something to contribute, because God contributed HIS SPIRIT in you. You have something to contribute, because God contributed HIS SON for you. Regardless of what you did, or didn’t do, you still have something to contribute because God contributed HIS GRACE to you!

📝 Find your PAUL, find your APOLLOS, make your contribution.

Find your Paul who may feel out of place with fear and trembling, maybe needing a hand during this season. Find your Apollos who has great potential, but just has that piece that’s missing that’s called discipleship, or mentorship. Because behind every well known figure, is a HIDDEN FIGURE.

Just in case you don’t know where to start…

📝 Contribute your STORY.

📝 Contribute His WORD.

📝 Contribute FAITHFULNESS.

Find your PAUL, find your APOLLOS. Contribute your story. My story? What’s the big deal about my story?

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb AND BY THE WORD of THEIR TESTIMONY, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭12:11‬

📝 People OVERCOME when they hear how you OVERCAME.

Some of the most powerful words that you could ever say to someone is, "I too know what it’s like to be…”

You have to get over, "What will people think if I share my story?” You have to get over, "What will people say if they heard about what I went through? Will they think less of me?”

📝 Your testimony doesn’t DIMINISHyour faith, it SOLIDIFIES your faith.

When Jesus Christ rose from the dead, His scars rose with Him! Whatever pain, whatever trauma, God has resurrected you from, be sure that your scars rise in your sequel. Roll up your sleeves and tell somebody what God has done! These scars tell a story! These scars declare to you that I’m a survivor! These scars let you know that life took its best shot at me but I’M STILL HERE!

Who has God placed in your life, for you to take aside, to be a hidden figure to? Show them your scars. Next, Contribute His Word. Acts 18:26‬ ‭‬‬says,

“When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.”

‭‭Acts 18:26‬ ‭‬‬

They pulled Apollos to the side. They didn’t give him a house. They didn’t give him a car. They didn’t give him a new savings account. They give Him the word. They gave him the way of God, the Word of God, even more accurately. This is big because…

Words carry power.

Words carry weight.

Words carry vision.

Words carry faith.

Words carry hope.

Words carry love.

Contribute your STORY. Contribute the Word. How powerful is the Word you may be thinking? Well Hebrews 11:3 says,

📝 "By faith we understand that the worlds were FRAMED BY THE WORD OF GOD, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:3‬ ‭‬‬

God framed the earth and everything that we see by His Words.

You have the power to frame someone’s life by the words that you speak.

Gideon was afraid, Gideon was hiding, yet still Judges 6:12 says,

“And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, AND SAID TO HIM, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!””

‭‭Judges‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭

Through the words that the angel spoke, He created A BIGGER FRAME for Gideon to see. Through the words that the angel spoke, he created A BIGGER FRAME for Gideon to believe in.

And here’s the good news….You don’t have to come up with the words, JUST USE HIS WORDS. Find your PAUL, find your APOLLOS, and contribute HIS WORD.

His Words are greater than our words. His promises are greater than our promises. His affirmations are greater than our affirmations. Affirmations such as:

We are His beloved.

We are fully known.

We are fully seen.

We are fully called.

We are fully equipped.

Fully forgiven.

Fully redeemed.

Fully charged to declare the works of the Lord!

Find your PAUL, find your APOLLOS. Contribute FAITHFULNESS.

Declare to the weak. Declare to the uncertain. Declare to the afraid God’s faithfulness.

He’s been faithful before, and He’ll be faithful AGAIN! Psalm 119:90 declares,

Your FAITHFULNESS endures TO ALL GENERATIONS; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. Psalm 119:90

He doesn’t skip generations. He doesn’t abandon generations. He doesn’t check out on generations. No, His FAITHFULNESS endures TO ALL GENERATIONS! Therefore Psalm 89:1 says,

I will sing about the LORD’s FAITHFUL LOVE forever; I will proclaim your FAITHFULNESS to all generations with my mouth. Psalm 89:1

Heres what I know to be true…

He’s been faithful to the hidden figures who remained faithful.

When it came time for Israel to choose their new King, David wasn’t even invited to the selection process. David wasn’t even considered. David wasn’t even thought about by his brothers or by his own father. David’s father Jesse made his seven sons pass before Samuel to see which one would be the next king. Jesse made them walk before Samuel twice. Samuel looked at Jesse and said something isn’t right. God hasn’t chosen any of these. 1 Samuel‬ ‭16:10‬ says,

“Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.””

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16:10‬

“Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s OUT IN THE FIELDS watching THE SHEEP and GOATS.” “Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.””

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16:11

Just to think, that David wasn’t even invited to the sacrifice. David was an after thought. David wasn’t even considered worthy to be the next King by his brother’s or his own father. Yet still, verse 12 says,

“So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!””

‭‭I Samuel‬ ‭16:12‬ ‭‬‬

He was good looking but he was covered from the fields. He was good looking but he was covered with grass, dirt, and the stench from being outside all day from the animals. But hidden underneath of all of that rejection. Hidden underneath of all that pain. Hidden underneath of all that dirt and sheep dong was Israel’s next King.

But even greater than that, hidden underneath all of that distress was FAITHFULNESS.

Yet you tell me that God can’t use you as His Hidden figure.

Little do you know that hidden in you is worth. Little do you know that hidden in you is great value. Hidden in you is a purpose tailored just for you. You just have to remain faithful to where you are. He’s been faithful to the hidden figures who remained faithful.

David’s life is a testimony to us all that…

📝 Hidden figures TO MEN, aren’t hidden figures TO GOD.

We know that this isn’t just word play because II Samuel‬ ‭7:8‬ ‭‬‬says,

“Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I TOOK YOU FROM THE SHEEPFOLD, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel.”

‭‭II Samuel‬ ‭7:8‬ ‭‬‬

📝 Before David was KNOWN by all of Israel, he was first LOVED by God.

I can hear God saying to David, "When everyone else overlooked you, I knew exactly where you were. Before you had the title, you first had My love.”

Somewhere along the way David tapped into this love and it sparked faithfulness.

David’s faithfulness was his call sign to God.

📝 The key to your NEXT is being FAITHFUL to your NOW.

“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, Nor from the south. But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭75:6-7‬ ‭‬‬

Jesus Himself said in Matthew 6:6,

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:6‬ ‭

‬‬Hidden figures to men, aren’t hidden figures to God. I say to you in this moment,

You are not forgotten.

You are not insignificant.

You are not overlooked.

You are seen.

You are significant.

You’re on schedule.

You’re God’s hidden figure.

📝 Even when you feel HIDDEN, remain FAITHFUL.

After all, Colossians 3:23 says,

And whatever you do, do it heartily, AS TO THE LORD and not to men,

Colossians 3:23

After all on that day, Matthew 25:23 tells us what He’s going to say.

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and FAITHFUL servant; you have been FAITHFUL over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Matthew 25:23

📝 Our response to His FAITHFULNESSis our FAITHFULNESS.

David’s response to God’s faithfulness was Psalm 23:6,

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:6‬ ‭‬‬

Even when you feel hidden, remain faithful.

When Aquila first met Apollos, and as they pulled him to the side to be those hidden figures in his life, I wonder if they ever imagined all that he would go on to become for the Kingdom of God.

When Priscilla & Aquila first laid eyes on Paul in Corinth, he was fearful, weak, and trembling. As they became a hidden figure to him, even to the point of saving his life, I wonder did they have any idea just how much they were really saving that day.

The only reason I’m standing before you today is because of Hidden Figures. Hidden figures such as my dad. Hidden figures such as my mom. Hidden figures such as….

Hidden figures make special appearances all throughout our lives. They show up in our words. They often show up in our mannerisms. They show up in our teachings and in our everyday lives. I guarantee that inside of Paul, inside of Apollos is a piece of Priscilla and Aquila.

So the next time you make mention of Paul, or the next time you make mention of Apollos, be sure to thank God for Priscilla and Aquila. Hidden Figures.

Reflection Question: CAN GOD COUNT ON YOU TO BE A HIDDEN FIGURE?

You are not forgotten.

You are not insignificant.

You are not overlooked.

You’re just right to be used by God.

God you can’t use me. All I have is just nothing except my little ol testimony. All I have is just nothing except a few scriptures that I know. All I have is just nothing except this little ol word of encouragement that I like to say.

📝 What you call JUST NOTHING, God calls JUST ENOUGH.

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