17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them:
“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance towards God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- Paul knew that he would not return to Asia and just before he left for Jerusalem to face the persecution, he earnestly talked to the Church in Ephesus and therefore, these words were very important.
- In the first half, Paul reviewed his experiences and trials in serving the Lord. His words revealed that he had ‘no shame’ in serving the Lord and used this to remind and encourage the whole church. How we long for having ‘no shame’ in serving the Lord. For so many times we forget, we ignore or even walk away from our Lord Jesus, so can we say we lack “no shame” in our testimony?
- Paul said “You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you”. Paul loved the brothers and sisters in the Church, but at the same time, he did not give in on things concerning the “truth”, what wisdom he had in his love!
- In the second half, Paul was compelled by the Spirit and was going to Jerusalem even though he knew that prison and hardship were awaiting him. He had no hesitation and this courage came from his obedience to God’s will and he was determined to live a life for Christ.
PRAYING IN FAITH
We pray that God gives us His Holy Love and to be full of wisdom so that we can have testimonies without shame.
For Your Five
We pray that God can help us to support each other in prayer so that when other people see how we love each other, they will know that we are Christians.
For Our Church
We pray that God will lead our brothers and sisters so that we can walk and love in His Truth, and do His great work in our city.