Unstoppable! 'Authentic Ministry' — Acts 20:18-27

Monday, September 27, 2021

When [the elders of the Ephesian church] arrived [Paul] declared, "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.

"And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don't know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus — the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

"And now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the Kingdom will ever see me again. I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it's not my fault, for I didn't shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know."

— Acts 20:18-27 NLT

Key Thought

As Paul reminds the Ephesian elders about his ministry with them, he is giving us a good list of the traits of authentic ministry:

  • Humbly doing the Lord's work.
  • Willingness to display emotion and love for those one serves.
  • Faithfulness in the face of adversity, opposition, and persecution.
  • Doing ministry both publicly and privately as circumstances and opportunities warrant.
  • Consistently teaching the full message of Christ to all who will listen.
  • Calling people to turn from sin and commit to living for Jesus.
  • Giving the highest priority to one's mission given by God.
  • Commitment never to stop life's mission of sharing the Good News about God's wonderful grace.

I don't know about you, but that list is a challenge worth my life!

Today's Prayer

O, Father, forgive me when I lose sight of my goal as your child. Convict me and reawaken me to the high purpose you have for my life. I want to live with purpose, mission, and meaning. Stir my passions and teach me how to fulfill your mission for me. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Thessalonians 2:1-19
  • Philippians 2:12-13; Romans 8:28-29

Comments

Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Monday, September 27, 2021

A daily devotional about God's power for our battles.
"Gain wisdom, gain insight; don’t forget or turn from the words I am saying. Don’t abandon [wisdom]; then she will preserve you; love her, and she will..."
The classic twice-daily devotional from Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Knocking was not enough, for my heart was too full of sleep, too cold and ungrateful to arise and open the door, but the touch of his effectual grace...."
Features the apostle Paul's writings turned into daily, powerful prayers.
"Dear Father, Help me to keep my eyes on Jesus. Despite the hostility poured on him by sinners, he obeyed you, even to the point of death. Help me..."
A daily devotional featuring wise counsel found in Scripture.
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

Illustration

Illustration of Acts 20:18-27 NLT — When [the elders of the Ephesian church] arrived [Paul] declared, "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.

"And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don't know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus — the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

"And now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the Kingdom will ever see me again. I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it's not my fault, for I didn't shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know."

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.