Almighty God, You’ve promised, “Call to me and I will answer You and show you great and mighty things” (Jer. 33:3).
Read Acts 20:1-16
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.
“Jesus’ approach to discipling the Twelve was to make them self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers. They internalized his message and mission” (Greg Ogden).
I’ve fallen asleep in church services and I’ve certainly caused people to fall asleep; but I’ve never preached throughout the night and I’m not aware of anyone having died during my preaching! But Paul’s sermon at Troas was no ordinary church service. The newly found faith of those in Troas had them bursting with eagerness to hear more about what it meant to follow the Lord Jesus. Staying up all night was worth it, even with the prospect of a hard day’s work the following day. We need to jettison our blasé attitudes and recapture something of that hunger.
As for Paul, he is desperate to lay a foundation against all kinds of false teaching that these new believers might encounter. On his farewell tour, bringing words of encouragement to the believers in Macedonia, Greece, Mysia and beyond, he will nurture their nascent faith. Making disciples is an energy-sapping and time-demanding activity. It is what we are called to (Matt. 28:19), and it should be the focus of our lives. It will involve disruption to our routine, early mornings, late nights; its focus will be faithful and repeated teaching, formal and informal.
As a discipler of people, Paul models himself on Jesus. Like Jesus, he values team work and he demonstrates his teaching in his actions. The death of Eutychus becomes an occasion to exhibit the power of the risen Christ. Paul’s mission is not just to stuff heads full of knowledge. It is a continuation of all that Jesus “began to do and to teach” (1:1). We see pointers to Jesus in this miracle (Luke 8:50-55) as well as echoes of the ministry of Elijah (1 Kings 17:17-24). We, too, live out the reality of the risen Christ in word and deed.
Someone might say “I practice daily what I believe: everything else is religious talk.” What do you believe?
Lord, I thank You for those who mentored me in Christ. Bring alongside of me someone I can invest in for the Kingdom’s sake.
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