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After the Uproar

After the Uproar
Words of Faith 7-8-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Acts 20
When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia. [2] He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, [3] where he stayed three months. Because the Jews made a plot against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. [4] He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. [5] These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. [6] But we sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.

Ephesus was a trying time to say the least! When the uproar ended, Paul was probably due for a long vacation at a Mediterranean resort, but instead he dove straight back into the business of the Gospel. A remarkable amount of ministry lies behind these few sentences penned by Luke.
Paul set out to the north probably for the port of Troas so that he might retrace his previous steps into Macedonia. We can put together from other letters of Paul that he accomplished several major efforts during this time.
Among those accomplishments was that Paul wrote 2 Corinthians! While at Philippi, Paul met Titus who brought him good news regarding the Church at Corinth. The Lord had used the first letter to the Corinthians. In response, Paul wrote 2 Corinthians. Paul also received an offering for the church in Jerusalem everywhere he went (Romans 15:25-32; 1Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8-9).
Paul also wrote the letter to the Romans! Paul went to Corinth, where he stayed for three months, probably during the winter of 57-58. While there, and before his final trip to Jerusalem, Paul wrote his letter to the church at Rome (Romans 15:17-33). This was a huge accomplishment.
Right here in these few verses we have Paul’s most human letter and his most theological letter!
After three months in Corinth, Paul wanted to set sail for the Syrian coast in order to be there for the Passover. He probably planned to travel on a Jewish pilgrim ship. A plot to kill him at sea was uncovered and he decided to travel overland through Macedonia. Representatives from the various churches accompanied Paul on the journey.
How is that for a busy guy? In these few verses, Paul wrote two major Epistles, ran a finance campaign for the mother church and headed home with a delegation. No rest for the weary. Sometimes when I read about Paul I am astonished at all that the Lord accomplished through him. Even more, I am in awe that at the very time we might have expected him to collapse in exhaustion, he forged ahead with his greatest contributions to theology.
But that is the great truth here. Romans was not written at the Holiday Inn Express. Paul was no ivory tower theologian. The theology of the cross was etched in Paul’s heart in the torment of Ephesus and on the gritty roadways of Macedonia. Christian theology is not disconnected from hardship and suffering. In fact, the opposite is true!
It was not long after the uproar of Ephesus that Paul wrote of the magnificence of God that is evident in the hard journey. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you” (2 Corinthians 4:7-12).
Paul had learned that when he felt weary and weak, this was not a reason to quit but a reason to rejoice because God’s power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).

O God, when I am weary, reveal Yourself in the most energizing ways! When I am weak, may Your grace abound! When I am struggling, may Your life in me be evident to all around me. Amen.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2001, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.