AM June 10th Acts 20

June 10th

Farewell to the Ephesian elders  (Paul to the Jews)

17: And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. 18: And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, 19: Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: 20: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, 21: Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 22: And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24: But none of these things move me, 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 the gospel of the grace of God. 25: And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26: Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27: For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29: For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30: Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31: Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 32: And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. 33: I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. 34: Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 35: I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. 36: And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. 37: And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him, 38: Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.

When Paul pulled in to Miletus he asked the Elders to join him. Pauls speech to them is wonderful. He reminds them of his behaviour since he first came to Turkey. He reminds them of his temptations and tears and humility. Of how that he did not hold anything back that would benefit them. But that he taught publically and from house to house. He reminds them that he taught the Jews repentance toward God and to the Gentiles faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Then he says look l am going bound like a prisioner to Jerusalem And l do not know what will happen to me there. Except that everywhere l go, prophets testify of the imprisonment and pain that l will suffer. However none of this diverts me from my path. Because l do not count my life dear to me because l want to finish my course with joy and to fulfil my ministry to testify the Gospel of the Grace of God. Now l know that you will not see my face again. I am cleared of your blood because l have delivered the message of God to you. Now think carefully about yourselves and look after the believers under your care. Because when l have gone there will definitely be frightening wolves that will come in to eat the flock. Even from among you some will arise speaking things wich are perverse and they will draw disciples to themselves. Remember what l have said for three years and watch out because l have warned you with tears every night and day. And so brethren I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to strengthen you and to give you an inheretence amoung all the sanctified. I have not done all this because l wanted anything from you. In fact you know that l have worked with my own hands to support myself and those who are with me. I have shown you by my example that you should provide for the helpless and remember the words of Christ that it is a more blessed thing to be a giver than a receiver. Then Paul knelt down and prayed with them all. And when he had finished they all wept in great sadness because they knew that they would not see him anymore. And they kissed him and they accompanied him to the ship.

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