Acts 20

Author

Joel King

Scripture

Acts 20:1-38

Observation

· Paul traveled with his companions through Macedonia to Greece and back through Macedonia to Troas.
· Paul celebrated the Passover (feast of unleavened bread)
· Paul taught on a Sunday evening a long time because he was leaving the next day.
· He taught so long that a young man fell asleep and fell out a third story window and died, but by God’s power Paul raised him from the dead and then finished speaking at daylight.
· Paul and his companions were traveling fast so Paul could het to Jerusalem by the day of Pentecost.
· He passed Ephesus and sailed to Miletus so he wouldn’t get sidetracked
· From there Paul sent for the elders of Ephesus

· Paul declared to them the following . . .
· He had served with humility and tears (care for them)
· He served faithfully though there were plots to kill him by the Jews
· He also preached the word boldly
· He told Jews and Greeks that they must repent and follow Jesus the Messiah
· He then shares that he is going to Jerusalem and that the holy Spirit told him there will be hardship waiting for him there
· He is not deterred for he is determined to finish the work God gave him which is to share the gospel
· He declares they will never see him again
· He also declares that he is innocent of the guilt of people because he has shared the whole will of God with everyone

· He then gives a last charge to the elders
· First they must care for their own spiritual health, and second they must continue to lead and care for the believers they have been charged to oversee
· He charges them to shepherd the sheep that Jesus gave his life for
· He warns them that some will come to hurt the sheep but their charge is to protect the church
· He warns that these wolves may even come from within the church itself
· As Paul was diligent, they too should be diligent

· Paul then gives them his last charge
· He challenges them to keep their eye and energy on the Good News of God’s grace which is the way to eternal life
· He reminds them of how he worked hard not just for himself but to provide for others, and that they too should help the weak.
· He gives them the spiritual principle that it is better to give than to receive.
· Then he said goodbye and they wept together.

Application

· There is a time and place for teachers to declare the word of God with no limits or clock watching. But this is the exception and not the rule.
· Elders and leaders of the church need to give concerted energy to care for their own soul
· The elders should take personal the spiritual life and health of the church they lead
· The main thing a church does is continue to share the good news in boldness
· The other thing that the church needs to do is care for those who are poor and weak
· The lives of Christians should be deeply intertwined and fully bonded.

Prayer

Dear Father,
Thanks for adopting me into your family by the sacrifice and resurrection of your son. May this good news continue to stir in me and become the center of my life. Open my eyes and heart to those I need to share with. Also open my eyes and heart to those around me who are in need. May my life be imbalanced, in that I give more than I receive. Help me love my brothers and sisters in Christ well that the watching world may know that we are Jesus’ disciples by the love we have for one another. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Phil Payne wrote:
In the past few chapters I have been impressed by Paul's unswerving obedience to the Holy Spirit.

In this chapter, he has set his feet to go to Jerusalem, just as Jesus was resolute in submitting to the cross -- both Jesus and Paul having been warned about the suffering to come. (Acts 20:22-23)

In the matter of Ephesus - we have learned it was a city of deep Satanic power through worship of Artemis (Acts 19:28,35) It was the leading city of the Province of Asia, just as Phillipi was the leading city of Macedonia. Initially, the Holy Spirit forbade Paul to evangelize in Asia (Acts 16.6). He was to go to Macedonia and Greece first. Then, when Paul leaves Corinth he travels to Ephesus with Priscilla and Acquilla, and enters the synagogue to reason with the Jews. They invite him to stay longer but he refuses to stay (Acts 18:20),saying
he might return if God allows that in the future (Acts 18:21). He instead goes to Jerusalem (via Caesarea), to Antioch, and returns to stengrhen the churches in provionces Galatia and Phrygia - provinces adjacent to Asia (Acts 16.6). But this tiome there is an open door for Paul to return to Ephesus(Acts 19:1). he teaches for az few months and revival comes to the city as Satanic strongholds are broken down.

God knew the right timing and kept Paul out of Ephesus until the church in that city was strong enough to begin breaking through the spiritual strongholds. There is time for battle, and there are times to wait or stand aside.

Prayer point: That I may be quick to hear and obey the Holy Spirit in matters both small and great. That I may have confidence in God's sovereign will and grace when a) He redirects my life or b) I encounter persecution or suffering while serving Christ.

Tue, March 3, 2015 @ 8:57 PM

2. Rob Schulze wrote:
Recently I read... "This implies that leaders who want to build a platform need to start thinking of ourselves as stewards of an ecosystem rather than heads of an organization. We must shift our focus from building up the organization to enabling the ecosystem. In other words, from avoiding risk to embracing it!"

Paul's a great example of being used by the Spirit in creating an ecosystem for the church to be a movement. After two years in Ephesus and Asia he probably developed close friendships and while many of us may have thought-- wow, God's really giving me favor here... even handkerchiefs and aprons that I touch are bringing God's healing to others. I've paid my dues... I'm going to just stay here and pastor this church. Yet by creating the "platform" of elders Paul imparts leadership and "stewards the ecosystem"

Father, thank you for your Word and how SOAP is helping me to abide in you. Father, renew the elders in our land. Draw them to yourself and renew their first love for you and their love for your flock. May they proclaim he whole will of God to their flocks and shepherd with grace and truth. In Jesus name.

Wed, March 4, 2015 @ 8:41 AM

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