Read Acts 20
One message (Acts 20:20-21). One destination (20:22). We all have a part in this job (20:28). Lift up the poor and weak; remember what Jesus said (20:35). Jerusalem and the brethren (21:15-25). People riot — Paul arrested (21:26-36). Paul's defense (21:39; 22:1-29).
The Apostle Paul met with the Ephesian elders at Miletus, saying: I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall (happen to) me there: Save (Except) that the Holy Ghost (Spirit) witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide (await) me. But . . . neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify (solemnly affirm) the Gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:22-24).
The indwelling Holy Spirit will strengthen us to withstand our trials and temptations as He did for Paul. Jesus promised believers: I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide (remain) with you for ever (John 14:16). We have not been left alone but are strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man (Eph. 3:16). With the assurance of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, we can face life with certainty concerning our future. This enables us to enjoy a deep, inward peace that comes from God alone (John 14:27). We experience a contentment that passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:7), one that outward circumstances cannot affect. Because God is within us, we can respond to others with love and mercy that sweeps away all prejudice, jealousy, hate, and envy. No opposition can rob us of the peace God bestows when we permit Christ the King to reign over our emotions. Though we have not always permitted Christ to rule our emotions, we can say: "Though I'm not what I ought to be, I'm not what I used to be; thanks to Christ, I'm becoming what I was intended to be."
Spiritual growth takes place as we give, not just material things, but our love, our forgiveness, and our understanding. As we do this, we become more like Jesus. Paul never denounced the evil Roman Emperor Nero, but he prayed for him. Even as a prisoner in Rome, Paul wrote: I exhort therefore, that, first of all . . . prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (I Tim. 2:1-4).
Thought for Today:
Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee (Prov. 9:8).
20:12 not a little, reatly; 21:15 took up our carriages packed our baggage; 21:24 be at charges with them, pay their expenses.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Irwin & Joyce Koopman • Government Official: Gov. John deJongh, Jr (Virgin Islands) • Country: India (986 million) in southern Asia • Major languages: Hindi and English • Religious freedom, but increasing harassment and persecution of Christians by religious radicals • 78% Hindu; 12% Muslim (mostly Sunni); 3% Christian; 2.5% Indigenous; 2% Sikh; .9% Buddhist; .5% Jain; .3% Parsi; ..2% Baha'i; .1% Jewish; .5% non-Religious • Prayer Suggestion: The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips (Prov. 16:23).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Timothy 4:5