Setting the example Jesus left for us to follow
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Paul's Mission Journey Continues- He Bids Farewell to the Ephesian Elders
Our Weekly Bible Study begins with us reading the assigned scripture ahead of time and preparing our hearts for study and discussion. When we meet (virtually or in person) we first read the scripture as a group, and then take turns sharing and discussing what impacted us the most, and our general interpretation of what we read.
Making Notes as we go through Bible Study is always encouraged, as it helps to increase our understanding of what we have read, and also allows us to become more comfortable and familiar with the Bible.
To make participation easier and more memorable for our younger children, we will include a link to Storybook Bible images of the readings whenever these are available.
This week’s virtual Bible Study focused on Acts 20. After praying and reading through the chapters, we discussed the verses at length, and shared our personal views on what we had read.
Verse 3: Another plot forms against Paul, but he is led to change course along his journey, and in so doing he avoids yet another snare.
Verse 6: Luke, the writer of Acts, uses “we” to describe the journey, indicating that he had rejoined Paul at this point.
Verse 18: Paul discusses his character with the elders. It is important to see how consistent his character was. He did not have a “church personality” and a secular personality. He was the same no matter who he was dealing with.
Verse 19: Paul served with humility and he endured many trials without complaint as he knew that trials were a necessary part of the refining process.
Verse 22-23: Paul states that he is “bound* in the spirit”- He had mixed feelings about going to Jerusalem but still wanted to make the journey for the advancement of the Gospel. He recognized also that tribulations and chains awaited him in every city that he would visit. (*Ref. Romans 9 to 10 where Paul speaks in more detail on things that have bound his spirit).
Verse 24: Paul’s powerful testimony which he actually lived out in his life.
Verse 27: Paul states the importance of giving the full counsel of God. It is important for all ministries to follow this principle.
Verse 28-35: Paul urges the elders to take heed to themselves in addition to taking heed of the flock. He made it clear to them that elders are not just bosses, they are shepherds, and they must therefore guard their own behaviour as they are in a position of influence. He also recaps his ministry, and clears his name and conscience by reminding the elders of all his actions, and his teaching, and informing them that after his departure they would be in the gracious hands of the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s discussion with the elders is very important as it sets a Godly standard for ministry. In his talks with them he also makes reference to giving. It is important to remember that we too must be wise in our giving. When you are led to give, be sure that you are giving unto the Lord. (Also Ref. Galations 6:10: “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith)”.
As you read through this week’s Bible passage, ask yourself:
What are MY thoughts on what I am reading?
How can I apply this to MY life?
Paul's Farewell to the Ephesian Elders
Images Courtesy of: Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org.
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