PAUL BID THE EPHESIAN ELDERS FAREWELL
Paul concluded his farewell message by committing the Ephesian elders to God and the Word of God's grace, which can build them up and give them an inheritance with all those God set apart for Himself. Paul worked very hard to supply his needs and his companions so that he could minister to them. Paul worked as a part-time tentmaker to support himself in his journeys. Likewise, Paul wants the elders to work hard to help the weak. He then reminded them with our Lord Jesus' words, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." After speaking to them, he knelt and prayed with them. They all cried and embraced and kissed him goodbye. They were sad because this could be their last time seeing Paul. Then they escorted him down to the ship to travel back to Jerusalem. (Acts 20:31-38).
God provides everything we need to bless us and become a blessing to others. God wants us to be the channel of his blessing. The more we are generous to others who need our help, the more our Lord will bless our lives. I remember how God blessed me by providing for my needs through others. When I returned from the mission field for five years to go to Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) to further my training in studying the Word of God, I desperately needed a car. I prayed for a vehicle, and God touched my sister's and brother-in-law's hearts to give me their used car. It was an old police car 1996 Crown Victory. God then touched my heart to use the car to teach many refugees in Dallas how to drive and transport many of them to the hospital and stores. God provided me with a car so that I could be a blessing to others. I was very happy to bless them as the Lord used me to transform many of them. The car lasted until it was stolen and totaled. However, God provided me with another car. We can help and bless others not only through financial or material things but we can also bless others with our time and encouragement.
God's blessing is like a river. It flows through us, and not meant to keep it for ourselves. God knows that we are responsible for supporting ourselves and ensuring that we are paying our bills and having enough food for our family. However, we need to be willing to bless those in need and let God use us to transform others.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) Am I willing to become a channel of God's blessing? What is God's expectation of me as He provides for my needs? Is there anyone that I can bless today?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for blessing me with everything I need. Please protect my heart from selfishness and self-centeredness. Please forgive me if I have not been a blessing to others. Would you please change my heart and teach me to bless those I can help? In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.