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Who Holds Tomorrow

Who Holds Tomorrow
Words of Faith 7-14-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Acts 20
[25] "Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. [26] Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. [27] For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. [28] Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. [29] I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. [30] Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. [31] So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
Past, present and future. First, Paul called to the Elders at Ephesus to remember the past trials they had shared (vv. 18-21). Then, he shared the present call of the Holy Spirit (vv. 22-24). Finally, Paul shared a warning regarding the future that was ahead (vv. 25-31).
Paul was now looking toward the future. He was fairly certain that he would never see any of these dear brothers again, but his great concern was not for himself. He was concerned for the flock. In departing, Paul had no regrets because he had faithfully proclaimed the whole will of God. He had done his part. The challenge for the leaders at Ephesus in the future was to keep careful watch, first over themselves, and then over the church. Paul called these leaders to shepherd the flock entrusted to them by the Holy Spirit. Paul knew, either by prophetic insight or by his knowledge of the church that savage wolves were going to arise against the church and from within the church. Some would distort the truth of the Gospel in order to divide the church. What is the bottom-line regarding the future? Be on guard.
The key thing to notice is that though Paul warns the leaders regarding the future, he has no hesitation about walking into the future. Tough times were ahead, yet clearly Paul was not afraid. Though there were frightening possibilities, he knew that God was in control of all these things.
Jesus gave a similar warning. "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains (Matthew 24:4-8).
We turn on the news and wonder if we are not in those times today. Is the end near? Yet Jesus said we are not to be alarmed. The future may be filled with uncertainty. We may not know what will happen tomorrow. The world seems more fragile than ever. Yet we are not to be alarmed. We are not to fear. Why? The Apostle John put it this way, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4).” I love the way an old song put it-- “We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we know Who holds tomorrow.”
Paul did not dwell on the future. We should not either. Paul did not fear the future. We should not either. We should be on guard. We should keep careful watch over ourselves and those entrusted to us. But we do so trusting that God is on our side and He wins in the end. If God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31b)?

Loving Father. The future can look so very uncertain but I know that You are my rock. You are my fortress. You are my deliverer. In You will I trust. Draw me close to You and give me eyes to watch over myself and those entrusted to me in vigilance. 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.