Read This Week: Acts 20

Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. – Acts 20:32-38 NIV

Goodbyes are hard. It is a difficult thing to say farewell to people that have meant a great deal to us; that we have spent a considerable amount of valuable time. But parting ways can also be a beautiful testimony to the deep connections we have made with others and to the things we experienced and accomplished together.

In Acts chapter 20, we see Paul saying goodbye to some of the people that had meant so much to him. He was ready for another part of his journey and wanted to make one more visit to the churches that he helped start. Although he went to take up another collection for the poor and needy in Jerusalem, his purpose was to encourage and strengthen the believers so that they might remain faithful to God and continue the mission and movement of the gospel. Paul tells them in verse 32:

Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 

Paul desired a spiritual legacy for his friends and those building the kingdom in Macedonia, Achaia, and Asia. He gives a farewell message to convey to them the importance of the church and how they should lead and protect it. In addition to proclaiming the Word of God, he tells them out of the example of his own life what they need to do to secure their spiritual inheritance. He writes in verses 32-35:

I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. These hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: It is more blessed to give than to receive. 

A Godly legacy is secured by being careful (v.31) and staying alert to the price one has to pay to speak the truth. It is had by staying close to God (v.32) and being built up daily. It comes by avoiding covetousness (v.33) and being focused on what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our lives instead of what others have. A life that leaves a legacy is not lazy (v.34) and is diligent in the mission. Lastly, if a person wants to honor God, they must strive to overcome selfishness (v.35). Authentic ministry means serving and giving, not consuming or getting.

8 Comments

  1. Ken on March 2, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Couldn’t have done a better job on this one, Jason. I love our adventure with God, so happy God teaches us through the Bible and each other. What a great example Paul leads for us, as he follows God and does the work of the Spirit. Paul’s motives were right and he worked hard serving others. A true recipe for success in the kingdom.

    • Jason on March 4, 2021 at 1:38 pm

      I am so glad and blessed that it spoke to you, Ken. I appreciate your heart and desire to see yourself and people live in a way that leaves a legacy for God. I liked this assertion from your post: Paul’s motives were right and he worked hard serving others. A true recipe for success in the kingdom.

      Truly Paul had a heart set on God, His mission, and serving others, and that allowed him to have a spiritual inheritance and leave an amazing legacy for God’s glory. I pray we can do the same.

  2. Alma Dolores Schmidt on March 4, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    I have a song this week called, “Follow Me”:

    Follow me, follow me, follow me, my children
    I love you, I loved you before you were born

    Always know I am with you
    Even among adversity, we will triumph
    Together through trials and storms
    Feel My hope, faith, and love for you, my children

    Follow me, follow me, follow me, my children
    We will accomplish all things together. Amen.

    God is so amazing, He already knows what we need. We just need to have faith and rely on Him.

    • Jason on March 9, 2021 at 2:25 pm

      I appreciate this so much, Alma. What a comfort and joy to know that God is with us even through adversity and that in His name, we will ultimately triumph. Your song reminded me of the old hymn, “Where He Leads Me”:

      I can hear my Savior calling,
      I can hear my Savior calling,
      I can hear my Savior calling,
      “Take thy cross and follow, follow me.”

      Where he leads me I will follow,
      where he leads me I will follow,
      where he leads me I will follow;
      I’ll go with him, with him all the way.

  3. Heidi on March 7, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    I’m thankful to God for showing me through Acts 20 like Paul he wanted to finish well with joy. Like Paul, I desire to finish well and do it with God’s joy. It’s important to me to finish well. I hope I respond more than missing the opportunities to be a part of what God is doing in me and through me, I desire to keep sharing God’s love more and more.

    Every day is a gift from God, it’s up to me to wake up and spend my day with God, learning and growing every day in the ways of the Lord. Then when I get the opportunity to share with those God puts in my life and I do it as He leads me. I may not see all the fruit from sharing and teaching while I’m here, but I hope when I get to heaven I will.

    My reward is I get to go to heaven someday and finish well. I am thankful to God for His forever love.

    • Jason on March 10, 2021 at 1:14 pm

      This is such a hopeful and inspiring message, Heidi. I think it is one we need to all hear and absorb on a regular basis. This stood out: Like Paul, I desire to finish well and do it with God’s joy.

      It is one thing to finish well in life, but it is a whole different and more fulfilling thing to not only finish well but to do so with God’s joy. What a legacy that would be.

  4. Kathy on March 9, 2021 at 8:57 am

    In reading Acts 20, this was what God was saying to me, “You have your own race to run but I want you to finish it with joy. I want you to continue in the ministry that I have given you, and for you not to be deflected from it. Stay focused. Don’t look for teachers who tell you what you want to hear. I want you to be taught from My word, the Bible. Pay attention to your own life.

    Effective leadership comes from life, not just from knowledge. I want your life to reflect Me to others. Pay attention to My people. Love them, look over them, and care for them. Lead others to where I want them to be. The Church belongs to Jesus. The flock belongs to Me. I and the word of My grace will see you through anything you go through. I want you to be a hard worker for My glory. I want you to have a heart of glad sacrifice for you to truly be effective.”

    What this said to me is we all have our own race to run, and I need to run it with a joyful heart. I need to be taught biblical truth and not just what I want to hear. God wants my life to reflect Him, and bring others to Him.

    • Jason on March 11, 2021 at 11:44 am

      Another great commentary post, Kathy. Your exhortation from God to seek truth and apply it to our own lives while avoiding convenient teachings and false notions were particularly impactful. This line stood out to me:

      Don’t look for teachers who tell you what you want to hear. I want you to be taught from My word, the Bible. Pay attention to your own life.

      What better thing to steer our lives than the perfect Word of God as opposed to the anecdotes and pithy lessons of those who simply want to appease and be popular. Tapping into the objective truth of the Bible is certainly a way we can pay attention to our own lives and grow.

Leave a Comment