Ask God to help you focus on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right” throughout today (Phil. 4:8).
Read Acts 20:1-16
 When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia.  He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece,  where he stayed three months. Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia.  He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia.  These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas.  But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.  On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.  There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting.  Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.  Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!”  Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left.  The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.  We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot.  When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene.  The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Chios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus.  Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was the result of Paul’s ministry in these places?
Did God put this passage in the Bible to warn those who fall asleep during sermons? Or to encourage preachers who are discouraged by the drooping eyes and nodding heads of their listeners? Probably not! One thing that stands out in this tale is Paul’s ability to keep calm. His focus was his message, and nothing would distract him from it. You can imagine the scene: people rushing to the window out of which Eutychus had fallen, then rushing down the stairs and into the street. There’d be shouting, wailing even. The room quickly empties so Paul goes downstairs, resurrects the young man and sends him off to eat a good meal, then gets straight back to his sermon! When God is speaking, there are always distractions. When you’re trying to pray or read your Bible at home, you can almost guarantee that the phone will ring. During a sermon someone might be taken ill or a child may start to cry. The distraction could be more subtle: your thoughts drift off or, like Eutychus, you fall asleep.
What distracts you from hearing all that God wants to say to you? How can you remove or lessen those distractions?
Lord, I want to fully take in whatever You want me to hear. Help me keep alert and focused on listening to You.
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