After the apostle Paul traveled to Macedonia, Greece and then raised a teenager from the dead who fell asleep during one of his sermons and fell out of a window, he preaches his last sermon during the course of his missionary travels to the elders of Ephesus. Professor & Acts Commentary author, John B. Pohill calls it Paul’s “conscious final legacy” for the apostle Paul did not expect to return to Ephesus and he loved them so much. In this final legacy speech, he wants to make sure that this church and their leaders know that we are to live for something way beyond ourselves. In fact verse 24 sums it up.
But 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.
As Christians we all have a calling beyond our job, passions and hobbies. A calling rooted in our identity in Christ.
Even if it’s not to full-time ministry, God has called you to be set apart as a Christian to the roles and responsibilities that you have as parents, to the mission of this church, all because of the Gospel.
And even if you have been called to ministry, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be in the most radical way where a million people come to Christ and you have a ministry or church of thousands. It may seem quite ordinary to everyone else but it could be extraordinary in kingdom impact that you won’t know about this side of heaven.
There’s a calling to the Gospel that we have received. In fact we’re entrusted with it according to Acts 20:24. And as a church we have been “entrusted” with this calling of the Gospel. However it’s easy to either forget about this calling or become apathetic toward it. That’s because we lose sight of perspective or where our priorities should be and we drift without the right perspective or priorities.
In the Life Application commentary it says “Paul’s words here reveals his priorities and values and is a great perspective for any believer of any age.”
That’s why the apostle Paul points out some of these things in this legacy sermon to the elders of Ephesus AND to us today. He says…
- The right perspective toward God = SERVICE (v. 19)
- The right perspective toward the church = BIBLICAL TEACHING & COMMUNITY (v. 20)
- The right perspective toward the lost = EVANGELISM (v. 21)
- The right perspective toward self = SACRIFICE (v. 22-23)
- The right perspective toward life & ministry = BEING ALL IN & FAITHFUL (v. 24)
And when we have the right perspective & priorities concerning the calling He’s placed on our life or on this church, we will leave a legacy in what matters most, the Gospel.
Do you have the right perspective & priorities in your life? At church? with the legacy you will be leaving behind?
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor