Paul Never Say Die attitude for God’s Kingdom
It is simply facinating to observe Paul’s ‘never-say-die’ attitude in his working for God’s Kingdom! Just after the riot that took place in Ephesus in Acts 19, Paul calls for the disciples, encourages them and sets out to Macedonia, vs 1!
After encouraging them there too, he goes on to Greece where he stays for three months, vs 2. How could he encourage others while in the midst of such severe persecutions himself, unless he consistently found his strength and encouragement in the Lord?
He was intending to set sail for Syria, but changed his mind and decided to return through Macedonia on hearing about a plot made against him by the Jews, vs 3!
From there he headed to Troas where he was joined with his other travelling companions, vs 4-7, and here they stayed for seven days. Before leaving that place, on their last night there, the breaking of bread meeting extended well into the night and a boy named Eutychus dozed off and fell to his death from the third storey!
Paul however, in a very composed manner went downstairs, threw himself on the boy and raised the boy up from the dead, and went on with the meeting and then left after dawn, vs 8-12! Thus we see that his extended meeting time was not just done by way of a ritual or as a means to throw his weight around, but as per the leading of the Holy Spirit, and ‘raising the dead’ seemed to be the new normal for them after all!
Traveling from Assos to Mitylene to Chios to Samos and then to Miletus, Paul was bent on doing as the Holy Spirit directed, no matter what the consequences or how difficult the journey. While at Miletus, he called for the elders of the Church of Ephesus and in his conversation with them gave us the blueprint for the way in which he did ministry unto the Lord, 13-17.
He served in humility, with tears and trials.
He did not hold back from proclaiming to them anything that would be helpful for their salvation.
He taught publicly and from house to house.
He testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.
He was led by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem and went there, although he knew he would face dire consequences.
He was warned by the Holy Spirit that in town after town imprisonment and persecutions awaited him.
He did not consider his life worth anything, so that he may finish his task and the ministry that He received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace. Yet, it must be noted that he never began anything until he was specifically empowered and sent
Therefore, he declared to them that he was innocent of the blood of them all.
He knew that he would not see them again, and warned them that after his departure fierce wolves would come in among them, not sparing the flock, even from among their own group men would arise, teaching perversions of the truth in order to draw the disciples away after themselves.
He warned them to be alert and watch out for themselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit had made them overseers.
He desired no one’s silver or gold or clothing, instead his own hands provided for his needs and the needs of those who were with him, showing by all these things, that one must help the weak.
He entrusted them to God and to the message of His grace.
He then knelt down with them all and prayed before he left them, while they wept loudly, on hugging and kissing him, saddened especially on hearing that they were not going to see him again, vs 18-38.
The above gist gives us an understanding of the kind of man the Apostle Paul was. One whom God used to write a major portion of the New Testament! Neither persecution nor death could stop him from becoming the person that God desired him to be, both in life and ministry too!
We will do well to ask God to search our hearts in the light of his lifestyle and see if there is any way in us that is not pleasing to the heart of God, so that we too can follow him, even as he himself followed hard after the Lord Jesus! Amen.