Acts 20: 17-24

Throughout the Easter Season, the daily devotions have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church. Today’s writer is Zhen Zhou.

“From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When the 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. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. 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. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20: 17-24

It seems as if I were sitting with the group of elders in front of Paul when reading this passage of Scripture, I can feel the fruit of the Holy Spirit – joy and long-suffering, from the bottom of his heart through his words. Because Paul had met the resurrected Jesus and had strong faith that the judgment of God and the kingdom of God would eventually come, he could discern and enjoy the joy from sufferings in the real world.

Joy does not mean feeling happy all the time or with everything, on the contrary, suffering and pain often accompany with us for most of the time and contribute to achieve the final joy. Then, what can we do? The answer is – What would Jesus do?

Since we could find guidelines in God’s words through the Holy Bible, we need to confess and focus on refreshing ourselves, and do everything under the guidance of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. At the same time, pray for others and pray for the coming of the kingdom of God. Thus, others will notice the image of God inside you and they will be attracted by God. We will have fulfilled the way of delivering Gospel from God via both actions and words, just like Jesus Christ and Paul did two thousand years ago. Finally, we will gain more fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Let us Pray: Our heavenly father, please give us strength and courage to overcome each temptation and suffering. Give us wisdom while delivering your Gospel and love to the world. With your guidance, we’re filled with joy. In your name we pray, Amen!

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