Event(s): Journeys in Greece; Paul ministers at Troas
Today’s Text: Acts 20:1-12
Tomorrow’s Text: Acts 20:13-38
Paul continues on his journey, having his heart set towards Jerusalem with an intent to celebrate Passover.
Acts 20:3 “stayed there three months” These three months were spent in Corinth and it was then that Paul wrote the letter we now know as the Book of Romans, in anticipation of his visit there.
Acts 20:4 “Sopater of Berea accompanied him…” Remember Berea? This was the place Paul visited in chapter 17. The people of Berea were the ones who had open mindedly listened to Paul’s message, but then searched the Scriptures daily to see if what he said was true. And all these other leaders mentioned were the appointed representatives to each of the churches in their region. Paul began to reap greatly where he had sown. Those he had invested in were now surrounding his life on every side. If we will just start doing what we are called to do, it may seem lonely at first, but God will bring the right people along for the journey.
Acts 20:7 “continued until midnight” Again, here is Paul, making the most out of every moment he has to invest into others.
Acts 20:9b “he was overcome by sleep” Sometimes this young man gets a bad wrap for falling asleep in the middle of the Apostle Paul’s message. Paul. The Paul. But let’s at least acknowledge that he did what he could to position himself there. That was intentional.
Acts 20:9c “taken up dead” People wonder if this man was really dead or if he had just been knocked out. But remember, our author is Luke, a physician by trade. It’s safe to rely on his diagnosis.
Acts 20:11 “they talked a long while, even till daybreak…” This is quite humorous, really. Paul is speaking, teaching, all night long. He stops suddenly in the middle of the night to pray for someone, performs a miracle, bringing Eutychus back to life, and then as if without even skipping a beat, jumps right back in to teaching. Most would think of their red-eye flight in the morning and try to get to bed as early as possible. Paul just pushed through as if to say, why even bother sleeping? He was so fueled by the Holy Spirit that carry him through.
Can we make today super practical? Let’s talk about sleep. Because one of the most common things people say when wanting to adjust their routines to spend more time with God, is that they’d love to wake up earlier and get into the habit of carving out some prayer or devotion time early in the morning. However, the “reason” that doesn’t happen is because they just can’t seem to make it through the day without that extra hour or so of sleep.
But this is a perfect scenario to exercise what it feels like to be filled with the Holy Spirit! If we’re trusting in our own ability to make it through, we’re probably not tapping into the energizing strength that can only come from the Holy Spirit! His strength is made perfect in our weakness – in both, our body and our soul. If we keep telling ourselves we can’t make it it, then we won’t be able to make it. But if we have an earnest desire to start our day out with God (or even stay up later at night to be with Him) and we believe that God will help carry us through and make up the energy we need, then guess what? He will meet us there.
Today, we simply spring boarded off the story we found in our text to talk about a common desire we hear people share. The real focus however is, what does your personal time with God look like? Do you have a set time and place to meet with Him? Is that place as free as possible from distractions to where you can really focus on His presence, read His word, worship and/or pray? Are there any adjustments you would like to see yourself make in this area?