Live in Preparation, Not In Fear

  1. Message: In Acts 20 Paul was saying is final goodbyes to some of the churches because he knew the Holy spirit was warning him about some tough times ahead. The Jews were constantly plotting against him and he seemed to believed this would be how he would end. He spoke to them at length and told them that their blood would not be on his hands because he had truthfully presented the gospel to them without holding back. Paul was clearly tying the loose ends of his ministry and preparing for the end. He seemed to be in a rush to get to Jerusalem where he believed he would face the worst and he was preparing everyone for it. He wanted to leave no stone unturned, and no loose ends to his ministry. He wanted to say goodbye to people he cared about, and he wanted to give them instructions to continue the church before he died.
  2. Command: Live like you may not see tomorrow. Leave nothing unsaid or undone. Share the gospel and resolve any conflict that is undone.
  3. Promise: Living like this will make us more fruitful, more honest and more effective.
  4. Warning: Don’t fear the end. Prepare for it. Paul was preparing but he was trying to get to Jerusalem as quickly as he could. He was not running from the things he thought would end him. He was facing them head-on.
  5. Application: If you have ever faced a near death situation or have walked with someone who had been given a diagnosis with a poor prognosis, you have probably seen the kind of preparation that Paul was doing. When people know they are dying they want to tell their loved ones that they love them, they give things away and share their last wishes or instructions with those who will still be living. After I had a brain hemorrhage in 2016 I remember realizing I had a close brush with death and it gave me that kind of urgency for preparation. I wanted to make sure nothing I would say or do would leave any shame if my family were to discover things I wrote or things I saved after my death. I wanted to make sure my girls had the password information to my blog so they could carry it on, and I wanted to make sure there were no secrets left to be discovered. I felt this way for quite a while because I had faced the possibility that I could die at any time without warning. Even though I wasn’t leading churches all over the world, my story is similar to Paul’s. Like Paul, I felt like my end might be near and I made mental preparations for it. My life was far from over and neither was Paul’s but that’s a spoiler alert for the weeks to come. What is important is that we constantly live in a state of preparation. We are not promised tomorrow and although we should plan for our future, we should also live in a way that puts us at peace if we were to die today. Paul made sure he shared the gospel without holding back and that other people would be able to carry on what he left behind. We need to live like that too. If we do we’ll find that we procrastinate less and that we do more things on purpose in our lives.

Leave a Reply