Watchful and thorough!
Scripture reading for May 3rd: Acts 20
Key Scriptures: Acts 20:24-28 “But I do not account my life of any value no as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained by His own blood.”
Paul was on a mission to Jerusalem and he had been warned prophetically of coming dangers awaiting there. As he traveled by ship in order to arrive there, he avoided a stop at Ephesus where he had spent three years. He called those in leadership at Ephesus to meet him a short distance away at Miletus where he shared words of encouragement and warning. His main focus was to finish the course and ministry laid out for him by Jesus Christ. This involved testifying to the Gospel of God’s grace. Paul had fully declared this message to the Ephesians and the responsibility to believe and act in faith in Jesus Christ rested on them. The leaders must be watchful over their own lives as examples and the church there belonging to Jesus. Ferocious wolves (false teachers) would try to tear the church apart!
Acts 20:29-30 “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”
Faith confession and prayer: Jesus, thank You for the Gospel message of salvation by faith through grace. Help me to fully preach the whole counsel of God. Give me watchful eyes over my life and those under my care.
Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”