Acts 20:13-38: Paul's Farewell
"I will see you in heaven." I nodded, gave him a hug and a kiss and walked away from his bedside. When I left the room, I wept. Although it was twenty years ago that I said goodby to Pop Z, the memory is still deep in my heart. In this chapter we will enter into weeping as Paul says his final goodby to the elders at Ephesus. He knows that more hardship and prison await him in Jerusalem. And he will never see the faces of these elders again.
Warming Up to God
Is the busyness of the world around you crowding you as you seek the face of God? Thank God that he has given you the grace that brought you to his Word right now, and ask him to still your restless heart as he comes to sit with you.
Discovering the Word
- What does Paul say about his ministry to the Ephesians (vv. 18-21, 26-27, 31, 33-35)?
- What are Paul's priorities (vv. 22-25)?
- What instructions did Paul give to the leaders of the church at Ephesus (vv. 28-31)?
- According to verse 32, why can Paul leave them with confidence?
- In summary, according to this passage, why would Paul be able to say with integrity and humility to these leaders, "Follow my example. Do as I have done"?
Applying the Word
- Who is in your spiritual care?
- How are you preparing those that you nurture spiritually so that you can leave them with this same confidence?
- Paul and the Ephesian elders were given the rare and special gift of being able to say goodby. What would you want to say to those in your spiritual care if you knew that you were going to die? Take time to express your hope and your love to that person in the near future.
Responding in Prayer
Ask God for the courage to say these most important words to those you love and for whom you care deeply.