Today you should read: Acts 20:1-38
For anyone who thinks that the Bible is boring and serious at all times have never read Acts 20:9-10. This poor man named Eutychus falls asleep during Paul’s sermon. He happened to be sitting in the window and so when he falls asleep he falls three stories to the ground and dies. However, the story ends happily as Paul goes down and revives him. I don’t care what you have done in Church but I bet it has never been as embarrassing as falling out the window. The irony is that this man’s name means “lucky or fortunate.” So the passage could read, “Lucky” fell asleep during Paul’s long sermon and then fell out the window.” But he lived to tell about it. I have to say that every time I read this story I laugh out loud. However, this is not the part of the passage where I want to land.
My focus this morning is verses 17-38 which is Paul’s last journey to the church in Ephesus. This passage gives us a glimpse into Paul’s heart for the Church in Ephesus and mirrors for us his letter to the Ephesians. There are a few truths that Paul wanted to make sure that the Church in Ephesus did not forget and it is profitable for us as a church today.
- Paul always kept the gospel the number one thing! (vs.18-21, Ephesians 2:4-10). No matter what the cost or what obstacle he faced, Paul always proclaimed “repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” Why? Because it was profitable (v.20). We must understand that the only thing of value to us in the gospel. Without a relationship with Christ our church attendance, our religion, our prayer time, our tithe, our lives mean nothing and we will all face Hell. We are saved by faith in Christ Jesus alone and that is our hope.
- Paul did not view this life as the main thing but he saw things with an eternal perspective (v.24). For Paul proclaiming the gospel and investing in others was the only thing of value. He thought this because it was the only thing that will have any eternal value. I would ask you to think about your life and ask yourself “what are the things that have eternal value?” This does not mean that you only walk around the streets praying and shouting Jesus is coming. What I am saying is, in the influence and the relationships that you have how are you investing in a way that leads people to Jesus. That means spending time with your kids and talking about God and how much he loves us. Spending time with friends and loving them in such a way that glorifies God in hopes of sharing Christ. The point is we have to first believe that the Gospel is most important and view life with an eternal perspective before it will flesh itself out in our day to day lives.
- Paul knows that it starts with belief in God’s word (v.28-32). Paul knew that the church at Ephesus would be faced with false teaching and “wolves” that would come in and try to destroy God’s church. So Paul exhorts them to be alert and to pay attention to God’s word because “it is able to build you up.” Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul echoes Acts 20 when he talks about putting on the full armor of God. However, we as believers only have one weapon and that is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Too many of us as believers do not use our weapon and as a result have been tossed about as if on a wave (James 1:6-7).
Let me ask you today, if you were called to war would you learn how to use a gun? Of course you would. So why get lazy when it comes to learning how to use our weapon, the Bible, which is God’s Word?
Posted by: Chad Wiles