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Quiet Time in Acts 20


EXPAND TO READ: ACTS 20 (HCSB)

 

PERSONAL JOURNAL:


SIN (verse 33): There have been many times in my life, even to this day, which I have coveted the possessions and wealth of others instead of being satisfied with what You have blessed me with. In this verse, Paul states that he has not coveted anyone’s silver, gold, or clothing. Unfortunately, I cannot say this same statement truthfully about myself. Please forgive me for my coveting, Father. Forgive me for often looking at others and wishing I could have what they have in some respects. Forgive me for often not being grateful for what I have and instead wanting more of what others have. I know this is not Your way of thinking or living and I am sorry for this. Help me to be better at living in contentment, regardless of what I have at any given time, Father. I know that all can be taken away at any time, so I need to remember to be grateful for what I have no matter how much or how little it is, because You are enough.

 

PROMISE (verse 35): I love the words that Paul chose to say here as it resounds in my experience with this exact topic: it is more blessed to give than to receive. How so true is this promise to Your followers, Father? I have experienced the blessings of giving to others more times than I can count, yet for some reason I still feel the want to receive at times. I know that I am more blessed by giving than receiving, yet for some reason I still allow my fleshly urges and desires to take over every now and then. Continue to remind me to live in this promise, Father. Continue to work in my heart to always feel more blessed in my giving than receiving. Help me to be better at putting in the effort to be a true giver for Your kingdom at all times, Father.

 

ATTITUDE (verses 34-35): Paul is definitely a great example to live by from these two statements. He always tried to work to “earn” the things he was given by others while doing his ministry for You. Wherever he went, he says that his hands have provided for his needs and for those with him. He didn’t want to accept shelter nor food without laboring to “earn” such a privilege. I do feel like I am the same way most of the time, but sometimes I also feel that I just sit around and receive instead of earning. Help me to reach a true balance in my life, Father, to where I live in an attitude of humility and labor, so that as I visit others or travel, I am earning what is given to me in those places instead of living in expectation for those things. Thank You for this reminder, Father.

 

COMMAND (verse 20): I find Paul’s statement here as profound yet commanding to others. He says that he did not shrink back from proclaiming to them anything that was profitable or from teaching it to them in public and from house to house. I see this as a command because he says he did not shrink back from it. He was bold and trusting in You fully to the point that he did not allow anything this world would throw at him to prevent him from following Your will for him to share Your truth to others. I have failed to follow this command quite often in my life, unfortunately. At times I’ve felt insecure in my knowledge of Your truth. At times I’ve felt it wasn’t my place to speak Your truth as others were doing so. At times I’ve felt like since I was the younger one in the group that I should allow the older ones to continue speaking even if I felt a great perspective being revealed to me by the Holy Spirit. Help me to be better at being comfortable, confident, and vocal about the message You want me to share in any given situation, Father.

 

EXAMPLE (verses 35-38): Throughout Paul’s message to the Ephesian elders, he consistently gave great examples of God’s grace, God’s mercy, his humility, and his example of earning along the way for God’s ministry. Never once did he beg them to shelter him from the atrocities he was likely to face in Jerusalem. Never once did he ask them to protect him from the chains and shackles that he was about to receive from the Jews, per the Holy Spirit. Instead, he gave them great hope and always pointed them back to the cross. He finished off his testimony to them with a prayer that was obviously extremely heart-felt and God-driven as there were quite a bit of emotions drawn out through the prayer. Help me to be better at praying over others, Father, so that You are the driver of the prayer and not me. Help me to be better at always speaking in a way that glorifies You and not myself. Help me to follow Paul’s example in this speak to the Ephesians, so that as I speak they are at peace with what is to come, but also so that they are always looking at You through it all and not me.

 

*DAILY NOTE: I love reading the travel stories that You are giving me in the book of Acts. There are so many interesting things that occur along Paul’s travels and so much to learn from. Today You spoke to me about humility and prayer for the most-part. As Paul travelled, just like Jesus, he knew the end was not going to be a peaceful ending. He remained faithful, however, to delivering Your message to as many people as he could up until the time came for his ministry to be finished. He never once tried to hide from what was to come, because he knew that it was in Your will for it to happen. Help me to be okay in my heart with anything that is in Your will for my life, Father. I know I struggle quite often with truly following Your will for my life and most of my pain, misery, and brokenness is from my own transgressions and from my own disobedience to Your will for my life. When I try to be in control of all outcomes, I tend to screw things up. When I release control to You for my life, then Your glory shines through everything. Thank You for today’s conversation, Father. Thank You for the grace and joy You’ve shown to me through my faith in Your Son, Jesus.

 

EXPAND TO READ: GENERAL NOTE FOR MY QUIET TIMES


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