Unstoppable! 'Tender Emotions, Like Jesus' — Acts 20:36-38

Monday, September 30, 2024

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When [Paul] had finished speaking [with the Ephesian elders], he knelt and prayed with them. They all cried as they embraced and kissed him good-bye. They were sad most of all because he had said that they would never see him again. Then they escorted him down to the ship.

— Acts 20:36-38 NLT

Key Thought

"Never let them see you cry!" That was a mantra for men when I was a boy. It is a wrong-headed principle. Real disciples feel and display genuine and deep emotions, just like their Lord.* This principle is true whether those disciples are men or women. Jesus wept when he saw the pain of Martha and Mary at the death of their brother Lazarus. Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem and its coming destruction because it refused to receive him and the peace he could bring them. Jesus was angry, felt compassion, and experienced great joy. The apostle Paul and the leaders of the church in Ephesus were not afraid to embrace, kiss each other, and weep because they expected never to see each other again. Those around us need to see that we care and can be moved with great emotion so that they know they don't have to try to keep all their feelings locked up inside. God did not call us to be stoic, but Christ-like! That means it matters greatly to share love and to display our emotional connection with those around us!

* See the Related Scripture Readings below for references that show Jesus' emotions.

Today's Prayer

Father, I ask that the Spirit helps me use Jesus as my example in all things, including in my display of emotion. I want my displays of affection and appreciation to bless others and be above suspicion and free of manipulation. In addition, stir my heart to feel deep emotion for and connection to those who are lost, suffering, and in need of friendship and support. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 11:23-44; Luke 13:32-35, 19:41-44; John 2:13-17; Mark 11:15-18
  • Luke 10:17-24; Matthew 9:35-38, 14:13-14, 15:32, 20:34, 21:12-13

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 20:36-38 NLT — When [Paul] had finished speaking [with the Ephesian elders], he knelt and prayed with them. They all cried as they embraced and kissed him good-bye. They were sad most of all because he had said that they would never see him again. Then they escorted him down to the ship.

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.