Paul begins to prepare those whom he loves and who love him for his departure from the earth. Paul has a premonition that he does not have too much longer for this world. This will be the ultimate test for the communities he has established; will they be able to continue to function without his guiding hand? This is the ultimate test for all evangelistic works. In fact, I do not place much hope in the longevity of a group until it has demonstrated that it can move from one generation of leaders to the next. This is the most basic test of a community’s maturity in the Spirit.
17 From Miletus Paul had the presbyters of the church at Ephesus summoned. 18 When they came to him, he addressed them, “You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia. 19 I served the LORD with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews, 20 and I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public or in your homes. 21 I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus. 22 But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, 23 except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. 24 Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the LORD Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace. 25 But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again. 26 And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, 27 for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”
P S A L M
Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21
R: Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
9  A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance; you restored the land when it languished; 10  Your flock settled in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy. (R) 19  Blessed day by day be the LORD, who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation. 20  God is a saving God for us; the LORD, my LORD, controls the passageways of death. (R)
G O S P E L
In His prayer Jesus talks about the glory of the Father and how it will be His glory some day. He is also more concerned about those he leaves behind than himself. This is the sign of a good leader who has sought to raise up new leaders to take his place. As I mentioned above, the maturity of a group is demonstrated first and foremost in its ability to move to a new generation of leaders. The Church has done this now for 2,000 years, for me, a sure sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit with us. What other institution can boast such a long, unbroken line of authority?
1 When Jesus had said this, he raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, 2 just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him. 3 Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. 4 I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. 5 Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. 6 I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, 8 because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, 10 and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. 11 And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”
think: The maturity of a group is demonstrated first and foremost in its ability to move to a new generation of leaders.
God’s special verse/thought for me today_______________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ______________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Psalm 9-16