MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them:
“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews;
Humility and Courage
This passage is the opening section of Paul’s farewell address to the elders of the Ephesian Church. Paul is on his way to Rome via Jerusalem, and this is the last time that he will come face to face with the leaders of this church. Paul gathers the elders one last time to teach and inspire.
In this specific passage, we do not see Paul’s strategy for ministry, but instead, we see Paul’s posture in ministry! Look at what it says in verse 19: Paul was serving the Lord with all humility and tears. First and foremost, Paul’s posture was that of humility! Paul did not think too much of himself, and he didn’t think of himself too much; in fact in other passages we see that Paul embodied a Godly self-forgetfulness! Verse 19 continues and states that Paul did ministry with tears and with trials that happened to him. This shows us that Paul was not only humble but that he was courageous. Paul embraced trials of such severity and cared so deeply for his ministry that he was moved to tears!
What we can take away from this text today is that in our cultural moment, which is an age of unbelief, the posture that we need to take on as followers of Jesus is one of courage and humility!
What is the tension between courage and humility? How can we embrace both?
Thank you for your Word. We pray that by your Spirit, Acts 20:17-19 would change us into the likeness of Christ. We pray that we would take after the example of Paul and that humility and courage would mark us! May we embrace the trials and humbly serve you. We trust you, Lord! We pray all these things in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.