Paul–An Example of Faithfulness

A father wanted to read a magazine but was being bothered by his little girl, Shelby. She wanted to know what the United States looked like. Finally, he tore a sheet out of his new magazine on which was printed the map of the country. Tearing it into small pieces, he gave it to S … More

Example

After being in service all night, Paul decided to walk from Troas to Assos, perhaps eighteen or nineteen miles (v. 13). He did this undoubtedly to be alone for awhile, rather than being in the crowd on board the ship.  Paul just needed some time to be alone; where he could think over the past, plan for the future, and make sure he was walking in the will of the Lord (v. 14). By the time he arrived, Paul was ready for all the events and adventures that still lay ahead. At Assos he boarded the ship that his traveling companions were already on, and sailed down the Asia Minor coast, finally arriving at the port of Miletus (v. 15). Miletus was a city of considerable size and importance. It was located on the south shore of the Laotian Gulf, at the mouth of the Maeander River.

Paul had decided to sail on past Ephesus, because he did not want to spend too much time in Asia. He was in a hurry and wanted to be in Jerusalem in time for Pentecost (v. 16). Paul had sent ahead for the elders of the Church of Ephesus (about thirty miles away) to meet him (v. 17). In the next few verses (vv. 18-25) we find Paul’s “farewell” to one of his favorite Churches. He had ministered in Ephesus for about two-and-a-half years. His life had been an open book, and he now challenged the Ephesian elders to examine it (v. 18). At this point some of the Jews plotted against him and caused him a lot of sorrow and trouble (v. 19). But he served the Lord and was humble. Happy is a pastor or Christian leader, who having faithfully served a church for a length of time can truthfully say “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God” (vv. 20-21).

Application

One of the things I need to be constantly asking myself is: What kind of an example am I leaving for others to follow? I need to be on guard for anything that will keep me from following God’s will.

Acts 20:13-21 (English Standard Version)

But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene. And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and the day after that we went to Miletus. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost. Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. And when they came to him, he said to them: "You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »