Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Acts 20:18-35 - Paul's ministry testimony

In Paul's farewell speech to the Ephesian church elders, he said twice that "I did not shrink from declaring to you" the gospel and the whole counsel of God. His experience in Ephesus as recorded in Acts 19 suggests that he faced opposition to his ministry from time to time, culminating in the great commotion that was instigated by Demetrius the silversmith. Under all that threat, his purpose for ministry and life remained clear and unflinching. He said, "I do not account my life of any value nor 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" (v.24).

Wrapping up his work among them, he said, "I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified" (v.32). The Christian is sustained by God and his word.

I am encouraged by his testimony. Will I be faithful in and not shrink from preaching the gospel and teaching the whole counsel of God? Will I consider my life as nothing except the fuel and vehicle and instrument for testifying to the gospel of the grace of God? Help me, Lord, to stand firm.

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