Today we’re going to hear from our first male guest writer. My husband, Matt, is often the victim of my endless verbal processing about what I read in the Bible. I always love his perspective on Scripture and the knowledge he has to share, (the man retains everything he reads and hears, it’s amazing- and impossible to get away with anything).
Let’s call a spade a spade here. Paul is basically a superhero by the time we hit Chapter 19. His sweat is straight up healing people. But we see a shift in Chapter 20 as Paul starts the journey that will ultimately end his life. Don’t worry, Acts ends before that goes down. So, no spoilers. I think it’s interesting to look at his conversation with his friends from Ephesus and understand why he heads off despite inevitably knowing what was coming. (Note: In Acts, when Luke says “we” instead of “they”, that means he was there. So, Luke personally witnessed this moment.)
For all intents and purposes, Paul’s life was incredible. But, it’s only easy to say that now. He soon will walk into Rome, the city he has been trying to get to all along, in chains. And it will ultimately be in that city that he will be killed in a massive outbreak of persecution against followers of The Way. In fact, he will die during an incredibly bleak time in church history. When there was not a lot of hope to go around as the wolves were feeding.
But, Paul seemed to have a vision of God bigger than his life. And that vision sustained him until the very end (see 2 Timothy 4:6-8). I truly don’t think Paul would have considered his life meaningless if everyone he told about the goodness of God ultimately turned their back on that same God. He basically says that in Acts 20:25-27. He was just a part of the many witnesses God has sent to us hardhearted folk throughout the ages to tell us how good He is regardless of whether we will listen because He loves us anyways.
Paul didn’t get to see what sort of fruit all of his work and years of suffering produced. And he didn’t know that we would still be talking about his life 2,000 years later. But, he did the work anyways.
There no doubt has been, and will be fruit from our lives we will never see. Do you need to see results in order to sacrifice your time, your energy, or your space for other people?
Thanks for contributing!