To Jews and Gentiles alike, I give solemn warning that they should turn from their sins to God and believe in our Lord Jesus.” (Acts 20:21, GNB)
After reading Acts 20:21 above please read verse 22 in your own Bible: “And now in obedience to the Holy Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.” Hmm… I go to the Ark of Faith daily, in obedience, not knowing “what will happen”! Where is Jesus asking you to go?
I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit has warned me that prison and troubles wait for me.” (v.23)
Garry and I take joy in knowing we are called to minister in prisons worldwide. I often say that we love going into the prisons, but hope we never have to stay. We must be strictly legal and obey local, state, federal (or other countries’) rules.
Continuing in verse 24 the scripture says, “I reckon my own life to be nothing to me; I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the good news of the grace of God… among all of you preaching the Kingdom of God.”
We may be seen and heard by someone only one time. We are “not responsible (v. 26a)… for we have not held back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God… so keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God which he made through the blood of his son.” (v. 26b-28) [My emphasis.]
Our giftings are not all the same. You may not have been called to prison or deaf ministry like I was. You must obey God and finish the work that He calls you to start and to finish. I need my church, musicians, theater artists, teachers, lawyers, officers, firefighters, teenagers, babies and more. Without ALL, the entire village, I am not strengthened and encouraged to continue.
“Watch then, and remember that with many tears, day and night, I taught every one of you…” (Acts 20: 31, GNB) Whatever you do, you must do it until God says you are done. Recently, we had a coffeehouse featuring three generations sharing God through testimony and song. Father and mother, children, and grandchildren – it was encouraging to witness the years of fellowship and sharing good news by the grace of God.
At one point, the great-granddaughter (nearly 2-years old) went to the stage, reaching out and calling, “Daddy!” He bent over and picked her up. At the end of the family song, the little one grabbed the mic and started boldly singing “Jesus Loves Me” with great joy!
I was energized and declared, “I think I could work another 10 years if we each do our own job!” You see, in that moment, that family had been serving the Lord with the Ark through four generations. It was God showing all of us there how to continue in fulfilling our purpose.
Like Jesus, and following His example, Paul reported, “I have worked with these hands of mine to provide everything that my companions and I have needed. I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way, WE MUST HELP the weak, remembering that the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.’” (vs. 34-35) [Emphasis mine.]Father, in Jesus’ name, strengthen and empower us with the Holy Spirit’s anointing to complete the work and purpose you called each of us to do!