Accompanied by a small group of disciples, now on his third missionary journey through Asia Minor, Paul had traveled from Philippi to Miletus, where he summoned the Ephesian bishops to join him.
“17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.” (Acts 20:17)
Because he was at the root of church planting in the region, it was Paul’s custom to ordain elders, or “bishops” at every church. Miletus was located about 15 miles south of Ephesus, a day’s hike on foot.
“18 And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, 19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; 20 how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, 21 testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:18-21)
In his pastoral address to the Ephesian elders, Paul first calls attention to himself, describing his own experience as a humble one, driven by purpose and fueled by his faith in the risen Christ.
Paul also mentions his preaching in Ephesus, where he taught three months in the synagogue, two years in the school of Tyrannus as well as countless teaching opportunities within the assembly. His teaching focused on the pillars of Christianity, which are repentance of our sin against God, and faith in the Lord, in His life, death and resurrection.
“22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:22-24)
In spite of his conviction that chains and tribulations were to come in Jerusalem, Paul sacrificially surrenders himself to the Lord’s perfect plan for his life as he strives forward to advance the gospel and further the Kingdom of God.
“25 And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” (Acts 20:25-27)
Paul shared his conviction that he would not see these men again, as he endeavored further along his missionary journey to Jerusalem, where persecution awaited. For a time, he received indication from the Holy Spirit of the tribulation that would come in Jerusalem, and still the disciple continued to serve faithfully from one city to the next.
Lastly, Paul washes his hands of the lost, those who refuse to believe his tireless preaching of the truth about Jesus, that He is the Lord, the Savior and promised Messiah. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre