Re:Verse reading–Acts 20:17-38 (day six)

“You yourselves know how I lived…”-Paul, Acts 20:18

Paul spent more time in Ephesus than any other city on his missionary journeys, all together almost three years. He knew these elders better than most; he was their father in the faith and mentor. They had likely planted churches together throughout the region, even experienced hardship together. So when he says, “You yourselves know how I lived,” it makes complete sense. Of all people he had invested in on his missionary journeys, the Ephesians knew him best; they knew what his life was all about.

This got me thinking about my own life. How would my wife or my kids describe my life? How about those I work with? Or the guys I train jiujitsu with during the week? Do they know how I live, or what matters most in my life? And if they did would it have anything to do with Jesus? Do I even have the kind of relationships that allow others to see beyond the surface, or is everything always “fine?” (That word is full of nondescript superficiality.)

Do the people I spend time with know me? Maybe the better questions is, does what they know about me really matter? I mean, really matter? Paul’s life mattered, and the Ephesians knew it.

Looking for leaders

Re: Verse reading–1 Timothy 3:1-13 (day one)
“An overseer (Pastor) must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach. . .Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain.” v2, 8.

His life is almost over.  After 3 decades of missionary/pastoral ministry, the Apostle Paul sits (again) in a Roman jail cell.  He will be executed soon.  He is not, however, afraid.  His concern is for the churches, for his Christian friends.  With clear confidence in the future and the Lord who will guide His church into it, He writes to Timothy.  Appoint leaders!  Set the bar high!  In character, in ability.  Look for men who are filled with the Spirit, self-controlled, respectable, good examples that others will want to follow!   “I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself.”–General Robert E. Lee.  Then, and now, the church is looking for leaders.