At Miletus, Paul called for the Ephesian church elders to join him so he could deliver a final exhortation to his beloved fellow servants. He started his address by reminding the Ephesian leaders of the sacrifices he made for the furtherance of God’s kingdom, and the teaching he poured out in Ephesus for over three years, at the synagogue and in the school of Tyrannus.
Now, Paul serves his admonition to the elders which serves as both a warning and encouragement.
“28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
Paul calls on the Ephesian church leaders to pay close attention to their own actions, as well as those of the flock entrusted to them by the divine hand of God.
True ministers of the Lord should continuously be on the lookout for the enemy, both within the church as well as within ourselves.
“29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” (Acts 20:29-30)
Paul warns of false teachers, notably Judaizers who claimed Gentile believers should abide by Jewish laws. Fact is, because of the new covenant made possible by the coming of the Lord, the Mosaic law was abolished and no longer to be held as the instrument of measure of one’s righteousness.
“31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. 32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:31-32)
Paul reminds the Ephesian elders of his sacrifice and diligence while he was at Ephesus, teaching and preaching passionately for over three years. Now, it would be up to the elders to rely on the word and the grace of God as each one furthers Paul’s work in the Greek city, and beyond, thereby earning their rewards in Heaven.
“33 I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. 35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:33-35)
Just as he did in Corinth, Paul’s tent making trade supported him, his fellow laborers and those in need at Ephesus, where he served the Lord and fulfilled his mission to advance the gospel selflessly, and without any other motive than advancing the gospel.
“36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, 38 sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.” (Acts 20:36-38)
As he concluded his exhortation to the Ephesian elders, Paul kneeled and prayed with the brethren, after which the Ephesian elders showed their affection by kissing him as they wept, knowing this would be the last time they saw Paul alive.
After this, the men accompanied Paul to his ship, on his way to Jerusalem. 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