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Words of Faith 7-12-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Acts 20
[13] We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot. [14] When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. [15] The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Kios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus. [16] Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost.
[17] From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. [18] When they arrived, he said to them: "You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. [19] I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. [20] You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. [21] I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

Once Paul got down the coast he called the elders of the church at Ephesus to come and meet him. He had avoided returning to Ephesus probably because another farewell to all the people would have been too emotional. He wanted one last time of prayer with the leaders.
Paul’s farewell address to the Elders of Ephesus in [18-35] will sound familiar because it is the one section of Acts that addresses Christian leaders and sounds most like Paul’s letters in language and style. In his address, Paul reflects on the past, present and future. Today we hear his reflection on the past.
In v18-21, Paul recalls the trying times he had shared with the believers at Ephesus. These times had created a powerful bond. Paul had lived out a life that proclaimed the Gospel. He had sought with humility and tears to bring the message of Christ even in the face of various plots and dangers. He had proclaimed without fear the truth of God and taught in their homes. He never varied from the call of God for all people to turn in repentance and place their faith in the Lord Jesus. It is little wonder that this was an emotional departure.
In our lives, there is a time for remembering. We gather strength from remembering the victories God has won in our lives. We gather wisdom from remembering the trials we have endured. We gather courage to move ahead in life by recalling the wonder of God at work among us in the past. We are not to cling to the past, but we are to learn from it. There is a powerful bond in remembering. That may be why God’s Word calls his people so many times to remember His mighty acts of love and redemption.
The Gospel calls us to never forget the great price that was paid for our redemption. Jesus shared with His disciples broken bread and a cup at the Last Supper saying, “Do this in remembrance.” Never forget the love poured out for you.
Paul called his friends together not knowing if he would ever see them again. He reminded them and himself of the remarkable days of ministry they had shared together and the power of God they had witnessed. This would be a source of strength in the future. We are not to live in the past but we are not to forget it.
Have you stopped lately to recall the power of God in your life? Have you remembered the remarkable way that God has faithfully worked in your life? Have you called to mind the powerful times shared with other Christians in ministry? It is good to do so, and give thanks.

Lord, I give thanks to You for Your faithfulness in all generations. I give thanks that You have brought me to this day. I give thanks for Your provision in my life. I give thanks for the many ways that I have seen You at work. I give thanks for the Gospel of Jesus that has set me free. In His 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.