Day 181

2 Kings 17:1‐18:12; Acts 20:1‐38; Psalm 148:1‐14; Proverbs 18:6‐7

The Word of His Grace

Today’s reading, Acts 20, relates Paul’s journey through Macedonia, Greece, and parts of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) on his way to Jerusalem, where he expected to encounter “imprisonment and afflictions.” As he meets with believers, he encourages them, observes the Sabbath with them (Acts 20:7 is the first reference to worship on Sunday), raises a young man from the dead, preaches, and probably partakes of communion in the context of a shared meal.

Paul also gives a “farewell address” to the leaders of the church in Ephesus, where Paul had lived for three years. Aware that he might not see these elders again in his lifetime, Paul encourages them to follow his example of serving the Lord and reminds them that he taught them about repentance toward God and faith in Jesus, and “the whole counsel of God.” They are to continue Paul’s teaching and to give careful attention to their own spiritual lives as they care for the church of God.

Paul essentially releases them from his oversight with his words, “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified” (v.32).

These words should give us all hope and assurance. While we need the example and counsel of wise leaders and preachers, our ultimate trust is in God and “the word of His grace,” which is able to build us up in all ways into the image of Christ as we inherit all the blessings our Father has in store for us. As Psalm 148 repeatedly reminds us, “Let us praise the name of the Lord!”

Laura Madison
Summit Church
Lake Mary, FL