Acts 20:1-6 It’s Not About Getting Your Way
When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia. 2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed three months. Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.
Living God’s Word: A reading of the first few verses of Romans (especially Romans 1:13) relates Paul’s ardent desire to visit Rome and the sovereign hand of God that had prevented him from getting there up to this point. The combination of these two factors—Paul’s impassioned desire to go to Rome and God’s sovereign “no”—resulted in his sitting down to write the letter to the Romans—the undisputed “Magna Carta” of the Christian faith. Perhaps there are some “no’s” in our lives that God is planning to use greatly, if we would just faithfully do what lies directly ahead of us instead of worrying about why we didn’t get our way.
Words to Live By: Paul and his companions begin the trip back to Jerusalem, encouraging fellow Christians along the way. Our faith is often not what it should be. However, Jesus encourages us in the faith through His Word. “A bruised reed He will not break, and a faintly burning wick He will not quench” (Is 42:3).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in Your mercy You always encourage us to remain in You. Through that same mercy, remind us to encourage our fellow Christians, especially in difficult days. Amen.
Living and Sharing the Word of God… because it matters!
Pastor Rod Lindemann
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The Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Words to Live by and Prayer: Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (2002). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Purchase a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible at www.cph.org or contact Rod Lindemann.
Living God’s Word: Adapted from Life Application, Barton, B. B. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.