REFERENCE TO JESUS

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 and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. 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. Acts 20:17-21

Paul knew that his time was short and that his mission was nearly complete. His ministry career was impactful and far-reaching. Not only did God use him to spread the gospel during his time on earth, but even today we read these words and experience mentoring from this man. As he traveled toward Jerusalem, he made a point to speak one last time to the church leaders in Ephesus. How he talked to them was potent because he had transparently lived among them.

Paul referenced his own life as a testimony to Jesus. He generously demonstrated resolve to share Christ with them, even in the midst of persecution. There was no hesitation to teach the gospel he did so with complete transparency. As men, we should ask ourselves if our life is an example, a testimony to the message we share verbally. Can we leverage our life as Paul did with his? Be encouraged that Paul recovered from many missteps early on, but be challenged to live in a manner worthy of saying, "you know how I lived..."

DO THIS TODAY: Start thinking about your life as a reference to Jesus.

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