Acts 20:18–38 (ESV)
Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders
18 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, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and
with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance
toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions
await me. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you
among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Pay careful attention to
yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from
among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and
to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those
who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that
they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.
There are a lot of churches in this world that are preaching “Health, Wealth, and Prosperity”. Where is this present
in Paul’s ministry? It is not there. Anyone seeking health, wealth, and prosperity would run away from Paul’s lifestyle. He has been beaten, arrested, thrown out of towns... is this what the world seeks? What mansions did
the apostles live in. What castle did Jesus live in? Paul is speaking about his life, which is not self-centered, but Christ-centered. Paul puts everyone before him. He has been called to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul believes in and doesn’t run away from hard work for the Lord. Paul says the words of Jesus “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” It seems that health, wealth, and prosperity is all about receiving instead of giving.
Paul is headed to Jerusalem and he doesn’t know what is going to happen to him and he knows that he will not see them again. What does Paul do? He knelt down and prayed with them all.
O Lord, help me to be a joyful giver and not put my needs before others. Help me to kneel down and pray when times are uncertain. Help me in good times to kneel down and pray too. Help me to be thankful and keep Christ and the ministry
first in my life. Amen.