PAUL'S FAREWELL MESSAGE TO THE EPHESIAN'S ELDERS - PART I
Updated: Mar 1
Paul left Troas and decided to return to Jerusalem in time for the Festival of Pentecost. On returning to Jerusalem, he went through Assos, Mitylene, Chios, and stopped at Miletus. While in Miletus, he asked the elders or leaders of Ephesus to come to Miletus so that he could encourage them for the last time. Paul began to encourage them by saying, "You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now I have done the Lord's work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews. I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes. I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus" (Acts 20:13-21). (Third Missionary Journey Map).
The truth of God's Word never changes and will remain forever because it is God's Word. The message of God to the whole world is summed up with Paul's words, "the necessity of repenting from sin, turning to God, and having faith in our Lord Jesus." Repenting from sin means turning away from our sins. Anything that the Spirit of God convicts us of wrongdoing is sin. If we belong to our Lord Jesus and the Spirit of God is in us through genuine faith, we will know when we sin because the Spirit of God who lives in us will convict us. Once the Spirit of God convicts us of our sins, we must ask God for forgiveness, stop our sins, and turn to God. Turning to God means doing what is right before our God. It also means going back to church and fellowship with other believers so that we may be encouraged and continue to grow in our walk with the Lord. Lastly, having faith in our Lord Jesus requires us to trust Him in every area of our life and live out our faith in our family and community so that they may see God in us.
Our daily devotion is meant for God to encourage us every day to turn from our sins, turn to God, and walk in our faith in God. Since God saved us from our sins, He wants us to live according to these three principles and not get sucked into the thinking and ways of this world. We are no longer of this world, for we have been bought by the precious blood of our Lord Jesus (1 Peter 1:18-19). We now belong to Him.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully and meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speaks to you). Am I turning away from sin? Am I turning to God? Am I walking in faith that my family, friends, and community can see?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, forgive me for every sin that I have committed. Please cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I turn away from my sin and am now turning to you. Please help me to walk in your way today and do what is right. Please help me to go to church and to fellowship with my brothers and sisters so that I may continue to grow in my walk with you. And help me to live out my faith that others may see you in me. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.