Today’s reading shows the account of the farewell message from Apostle Paul to the elders of the church at Ephesus.
Apostle Paul recounted how he served the Lord among them with humility, with tears and with trials. He testified that he declared a complete gospel to them and he is therefore clean from the blood of all men.
He was not afraid of the imprisonment and suffering that awaited him in the hands of the Jews because of the gospel of Christ as he went to Jerusalem.
Apostle Paul warned the disciples at Ephesus to be at alert because of some men who will give wrong teaching after his departure in order to draw away the disciples after them. He admonished them also on the need for them to be hard working so that they can be able to give unto others as it is more blessed to give than to receive.
He prayed with them as he took his journey to Jerusalem. It was an emotion laden departure.
In our journey of life as Christians, we may be faced with persecution. This should not deter us as it did not deter Apostle Paul who was determined to suffer imprisonment because of the Gospel. As Christians we should be alert in the spirit to be able to recognize those who give wrong teachings.
I will not faint in the days of trial and temptation in Jesus name.
Reading – Acts 20:17-38
17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdomwill ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.Be shepherds of the church of God,[a] which he bought with his own blood.[b] 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciplesafter them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
36 When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. 37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. 38 What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.
- Acts 20:28 Many manuscripts of the Lord
- Acts 20:28 Or with the blood of his own Son.