Acts 20:17-38 Paul’s Farewell to Ephesus

No safer place for those you love

We are on the way to Jerusalem with Paul. Today he calls the Ephesian elder to him. He didn’t want to go to Ephesus himself though. That would have been even harder on him than saying goodbye to this group.

Paul wants to say a personal farewell to these men. He has worked with them for three years. He trained them for the work himself, along with some of the other brothers who went with him.  This farewell is not easy.

Paul reminds them of his example while he was living among them. He worked tirelessly for the gospel. He helped the sick and poor with his own hands as well as cared for those who accompanied him in this work. He asks this group of elders to continue with that same kind of work and heart for others.

Paul also warns them that there are going to be problems. Once he is gone there will be those that try and lead the people down the wrong paths. Even some of these men “will arise mem speaking twisted things” (verse 30). Paul has done all he can personally to ensure their proper development in Jesus but once he is gone Satan will creep in. They need to watch out for each other as well as watch each other.

All Paul can do at this point is to turn these men and their charges over to God. A much as he would like to protect them forever, he can’t. God has other plans for him. “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (verse 32).

When we reach the end of our time together, I feel this verse will be our closing too. Who knows when that day will come. At the rate we are going through the scriptures it will be YEARS away. Honestly though, we need to do this with our children every day as well as with each other. We don’t know how long each of us has. God is the ONLY one who can care for and keep watch over those we love. So for tonight I commend you to His care. May we meet again tomorrow to see what more He has in store for us.

Father God, I think one of my biggest faults with my children was/is not giving them over to You fully. I always try and hold on just a little bit. I’m sorry for not trusting You completely with their salvation. I honestly don’t know how to do this. I want so much for them to know You personally and deeply. But I have found that I can’t make that happen. I want the same thing for each of my grandchildren. Please help me leave them in Your hands or at least to turn them over again to You each day.

I’m not asking to be passive where You are concerned in their lives but to love them into Your Kingdom. Show me when to be bold, when to shed tears, and when to simply sit and listen. Help me trust like Paul did.

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