The life leaving beautiful trace
13 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.
14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene.
15 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.
16 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.
17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.
18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia.
19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents.
20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.
21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.
23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.
24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.
26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you.
27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.
28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.
30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.
35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
36 When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.
37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.
38 What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.
What kinds of traces do you have in your life?
When somebody passes away, we can remember what he/she has done in the life.
When Ephesians looked at Paul’s leaving, what did they think? Because they knew how he was, they worried about his leaving(due to his weak health). Paul has left beautiful traces at Ephesia.
How can we leave beautiful traces?
Walk on the life for calling We may consider some kinds of changes after we believe in God.
We can define the life of Paul as ‘Life called by God’. Paul’s calling was to preach the gospel.(v.9:15)
Acts9:20 - At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.
He began preaching the gospel. It embarrassed people. (v.9:22) - it baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ
At that time, Paul’s situation was bad; hurt, having his colleague left, having long journey, that leaving for another mission trip looked insane. Even though he was in need, he focused to preach, because he was called by God.
v.24 ‘However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.’
Why did he do like this? Because God called him to do so.
A book, ‘Calling’ by Guinness, Os says that the feature and purpose of calling are to stimulate all the people’s imagination and to shudder the mind and the spirit except those who are deaf and insensible.’ We have to live for what God calls us.
Is it right to preach by sacrificing our life? We think it not so important to preach the gospel in our life.
If we lose our goal of life, we may not know what I have to do as a calling. Do you want to live happy life without having anything? Find out how God calls you.
Walk on the the life of sample by sacrifice
Without burning of a candle, how is it valuable?
A movie, ‘Disciple Hanuem, Ok’ shows us how he has sacrificed for the gospel and others. Who can walk on the way of sacrifice? Some of us may say, ‘I can’t live like that!’
Look at the verse on v.18.
V.18 - When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. And we can see how Paul sacrificed for the gospel on v.19-21
- v.19 with great humility and with tears,
- v.20 not hesitated to preach anything
- v.21 have declared to both Jews and Greeks (without constraint)
Do we live for the gospel, or just a life?
Walk on the way by leaving the disciples in a life
What would the elders in Ephesian think when Paul preached for the last time? They would think much in their brain. Actually, after entering Ephesia, Paul had worked so much.
We can see how Paul preached at Ephesia on v.25-28. Paul acknowledged what kinds of suffer and arrest wait for him. But he decided and executed to go on mission journey.
We must remember Paul’s sacrifice even how we live in the life that people don’t make value for the sacrifice. Look back ourselves. What kind of life we have?
Live for saving one life and gospel. I hope all of you to live for the calling by sacrificing as a disciple.