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Journeys End

Journey's End
Words of Faith 6-24-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Acts 18
[19] They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. [20] When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. [21] But as he left, he promised, "I will come back if it is God's will." Then he set sail from Ephesus. [22] When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.
[23] After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

In just a few sentences, Luke relates an enormous journey home! Paul sailed across the Mediterranean first to Ephesus (in modern Turkey) and then to the seaport of Caesarea in Israel. He then traveled over land to Jerusalem before heading home to Antioch in Syria. It was a huge journey.
Apparently there was not much to tell because Paul had a different mission in mind, to get home. He was not planting churches at this point. Paul simply desired to complete his vow through offerings in Jerusalem, then get back to Antioch. He had great news about the successful mission to Europe and shared this with the two great churches of the day, Jerusalem and Antioch.
But verse 23 tells us that the Lord was not at all ready for Paul to retire! After spending some time in Antioch, he headed back on the road to encourage the churches he had planted in Galatia and Phrygia, what is modern Turkey. This journeys end was but another beginning!
So when does the journey end? Of course only the Lord knows that answer. In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9).
We often have in mind our plans and timelines but in reality it is the Lord who orders our steps. When I read of Paul heading out on yet another missionary journey, I find myself thinking, "Is there no rest for the weary?"
In fact, God was not nearly done with Paul! There was about a two year respite in Antioch between missionary journeys, but the Lord had much more in mind. Paul still had ten of his thirteen known letters to write! Most of the New Testament was still to flow from his pen at the inspiration of the Spirit. Antioch may have seemed safe but in spite of the favorable court ruling in Corinth, Paul would see the inside of a Roman prison again.
So what is the message of this God-breathed portion of Scripture for us? How about-- God isn't finished with you until He is finished! He has plans for us we cannot even imagine.
The psalmist declares of the follower of God: Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps (Psalm 85:13). This we can trust.
Have you been wondering if God is finished with you? He is not. He is not finished until we meet Him in glory. Look around today. What is He doing around you? How is He inviting you to get involved with His plan?

Lord, I am ready. Direct me and I will follow. Lead me and I will go. Show me and I will do. In Jesus' name.

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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.