February 17 - Acts 20
BORED TO DEATH: We've been noticing Luke's dry, understated sense of humor (Luke is the author of Acts). The story of Eutychus falling asleep and plummeting down three stories to his death only to be brought back from the dead by the same preacher who bored him to sleep is at the same time tragic, miraculous & ironic, but it's hard to read this passage without laughing. I love how Luke puts it in v9: 'as Paul talked on and on...' I also love the fact that after raising him, giving him some food (which seems to be a thing for people who've been raised... go back and look of the examples of resurrection in both the OT & NT), Paul gets right back into preaching mode and goes on till dawn (v11). Luke didn't need to add that last fact, but for some reason he felt obligated to! As I interpret this important verse, I think God is telling preachers we need to preach longer sermons. Let me know what you think of my exegesis here!
FULL ALIGNMENT: Every time Paul goes into a new city, the Spirit warns him there will be prison & hardships waiting for him. Yet, Paul perseveres, because he 'considers my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race & complete the task of testifying to the gospel (v24).' Most of us are struggling just to consistently read the Bible each day (myself included), much less sacrifice all of our plans & ambitions for the sake of the gospel. Pray that God will align us with His will and that we will spend our time & energy on building up treasure in heaven.
IT'S A BIG JOB: The final instructions Paul gives the the Ephesian elders shows how massively important elders are to the church. The church will be attacked by 'savage wolves,' from both within and the outside. Elders must 'be on guard' and 'work hard' for the sake of the church. If you're an elder, take these words to heart. If you're not, pray for the work your elders do and thank God for them.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God has the power to break the bonds of death (v9-10)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will both keep you on the course and help you finish the race (v24).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: