ENCOURAGEMENT, CONCERNS, CHALLENGES, AND FRIENDS
INTRODUCTION: In the final third of the Book of Acts, Dr. Luke records Paul's journey to Jerusalem, his arrest there, and his voyage to Rome. The Gospel of Luke follows a similar pattern as Luke describes Christ's journey to Jerusalem to die. Much as Jesus set His face ''like a flint'' to do the Father's will, so Paul determined to finish his course with joy, no matter what the cost might be.
Acts 20:24, ''But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.''
Chapter 20 of the Book of Acts has been referred to as the ''Farewell Events'' as Paul closes out his ministry, soon to head for Rome.
Acts 20:25, ''And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.''
He leaves words of challenge to both leader and layman. In Acts 20:18ff, he addresses the Ephesian Elders, and in Acts 20:32, he leaves a word for the whole church to receive.
Acts 20:32, ''So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.''
Note the only quote he gave from the Lord Jesus Christ:
Acts 20:35, ''And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'''
Paul showed such great concern for the church; he was a man with a concerned heart.
(Note 2 Cor. 11:23-28)
2 Corinthians 11:28, ''besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.''
When Paul visited a church he had two goals in mind. His main purpose was to encourage and strengthen the believers so that they could stand true to the Lord and be effective witnesses. His second purpose was to finish taking up the love of ...
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