Tuesday 26 May, 2020

Acts 20:17-24

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.

In this passage, Paul is on his way to Jerusalem, where the Holy Spirit has told him many times that jail and suffering lie ahead for him. If Paul had decided that this journey was going to take a long time, then I don’t think anyone would have argued with him. But is seems here that at this particular stop that he has had to defend his ministry.

And his defence is simple. That he has always spoken the truth to everyone, and that his message is the same regardless of whether they were Jews or gentiles.

All of us need to have someone like Paul in our lives. Someone who will not shrink back from telling us the truth. That might not necessarily be what we want to hear, but we always need to hear the truth, even if it makes us uncomfortable.

I am thankful for all the people who have spoken the truth to me, whether it was what I wanted to hear or not. But the truth is what I always need to hear. The truth has encouraged me when I’m down. The truth has redirected me, re-aligned me, and always encouraged me.

Speaking the truth with love, no matter what, is more important than how the message is received. Speak the truth, and let the Holy Spirit look after the one receiving it.

From the Message: Every truth and encouragement that could have made a difference to you, you got.

Father I thank you for all those who spoke the truth to me. Bless them and encourage them as I have been blessed and encouraged. Help me to faithfully speak the truth always.

Written by Andrew Martin

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