God’s Word Says….
Acts 20:31-33 (NCV)
31 So be careful! Always remember that for three years, day and night, I never stopped warning each of you, and I often cried over you. 32 “Now I am putting you in the care of God and the message about his grace. It is able to give you strength, and it will give you the blessings God has for all his holy people.
I am reminded of program implementations at my workplace. When we purchase a new program, we are given an implementation team to work with us to insure that everything works flawlessly on the actual day of implementation. This often involves long tiring days by this team to insure success. A few days after implementation and the program is working flawlessly, we are then turned over to the regular support team so the implementation team could give their full attention to the next customer who is ready for the program. Paul had spent about three years ministering with this church at Ephesus, and we know that his work was heartfelt and sincere because he shared how he often prayed and ministered both day and night through hours of tears, concern and love for the people. Friends, I believe that many of our pastors today have this same genuine concern for our spiritual wellbeing. I hear words from my pastor often that tells me that his heart is burdened for the flock God has given him charge of. No doubt our pastors that decide, like Paul, to move on to another church or area of ministry, must really have a heart-to-heart session with God and ask for His ongoing tender loving care over the flock being left behind. From previous moves to different locations, I know how hard it is to leave dear friends behind, hoping that their success will continue even without you in their lives.
Friends, this passage was not placed in the Bible just for pastors, although I feel it is very applicable to them. But how is your concern level for the salvation of family members, friends or other church members? When last have you gone to bed praying for them, awaken the next morning with a burden to pray for them again, or shared with them about the love of Jesus and His desire to see them surrender their lives to Him? Do they see enough evidence (gifts of the Spirit) in your life that they would respect hearing your concern for their salvation? Are you ever burdened to the point of tears? How serious are you, really, about the salvation of those in your realm of influence? This chapter shows us that Paul labored without pay from the church, but with such passion that he was often brought to tears and endless hours praying and/or ministering to the people. I believe that God can use more folk like that today – you and I!
Dear Lord, in Your powerful name, I want to ask that You work on the hearts of Christians – my friends and I, that we may be more concerned/burdened for the souls of those that we know and love. Our family and friends are dying all around us and we are missing opportunities to show them the way to salvation. I thank You Lord for saving my soul, please help me now to use this enriched life to minister to my family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances, so that they too might accept You as Lord and therefore ready themselves for our hallelujah meeting in the air with You one day. Oh, what a day that will be! Lord, we Your soldiers are living under the radar, and friends are not seeing enough evidence in our lives for them to want any part of what we may boast of at times. Please forgive us, but do strengthen us with the boldness and heart of Paul, so that we will not rest until we see results in the lives of those that we are praying to accept You as Lord. I humbly ask all this in your matchless and wonderful name, the name above all names, JESUS. AMEN!
In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.