A Farewell to Ephesus

This week we’re looking into some of the happenings on Paul’s missionary journeys.

When Paul was preparing to leave Ephesus for the last time, he knew he would never see these precious friends again; therefore, he was quite intentional with his words. And because the people knew this was a final farewell, they were no doubt hanging on every word.

You would expect him to say some things that he typically said or wrote such as: “I thank my God for you,” “Grace and peace to you,” “Run with endurance the race set before you,” “Do all things without grumbling or complaining,” etc. That would sound quite Paul-ish.

But his final words were nothing like that. This was his parting instruction just before he prayed with them and hopped on his ship:

“And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)

To set the record straight, Paul was not saying these words just before they took up an offering for him or for some worthy cause. He was saying these words because they needed to be said!
Here are some reasons why this instruction was important then – and is important now:

  • First of all, Jesus said it; and if the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life said it, we need to sit up and take notice!
  • God is a giving God; and if we want to be like Him, we will be a giving people
  • Generosity takes the focus off us and puts the focus on the needs of others
  • Generosity is an outflow of gratitude for the blessings God has given
  • Generosity shows others that we are trusting God to provide
  • Generosity is evidence that we are content with what we have 
  • A generosity mindset seeks creative ways to be generous
  • Joy overflows from a generous heart

Generosity isn’t really about money – it’s about the priority of our heart. Whether It’s our time, our talent, or our treasure – let’s choose to be generous – because I’m sure you’ve heard that God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
By Judy Shrout






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