Acts Chapter 20 verses 16 to 38
For Paul had determined to sail past Ephesus, that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening, if it were possible for him, to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.
From Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to himself the elders of the assembly.
When they had come to him, he said to them, "You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you all the time, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears, and with trials which happened to me by the plots of the Jews; how I didn't shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, teaching you publicly and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus.
Now, behold, I go bound by the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there;
except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions wait for me.
But these things don't count; nor do I hold 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 fully testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Now, behold, I know that you all, among whom I went about preaching the Kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
Therefore I testify to you this day that I am clean from the blood of all men, for I didn't shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.
Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and God which he purchased with his own blood.
For I know that after my departure, vicious wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Men will arise from among your own selves, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore watch , remembering that for a period of three years I didn't cease to admonish everyone night and day with tears.
Now, brothers, I entrust you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build up, and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
I coveted no one's silver, or gold, or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me.
In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
When he had spoken these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
They all wept a lot, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all because of the word which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.
Insight- Paul exhorted the elders who had come from Ephesus to take care of the congregation, of whom the Holy Spirit had made them overseers and to carefully shepherd the assembly of God. Prophetically he warned them of vicious wolves or false teachers who would try to destroy the faith of true believers. He entrusted the elders to God and to the word of his grace which was able to build up and give an inheritance to them among all those who were sanctified.
Do you pray to God for discernment to differentiate between true ministers of God and false teachers?
Prayer- Dear Father in heaven, grant me discernment in my spiritual walk. Let your Holy Spirit guide me in the truth at all times. In Jesus name. Amen.
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