Bound By The Spirit

Paul is led by the Holy Spirit to return to Jerusalem and he has been working in the Gentile Churches to bring a gift with him. This was not the first time Paul had brought a gift, but this time, all along the way, there are warnings to Paul about what will happen. One warning said, don’t go. But Paul was sure that this was God’s perfect will for him. And it was. Sometimes we think that if we are in God’s perfect will, everything will be blessed and good, perfect! The reality is that in God’s perfect will, we often face opposition. Jesus did, the prophets before him did, and now Paul faces prison. Even so, Paul will carry the gospel to Rome. And the gift to the poor? It isn’t even mentioned but now I am ahead of the reading for today. 

He Extended His Message Until Midnight

Acts 20:7–12
Acts 20:7 says “because he was going to leave on the next day, and he extended his message until midnight” which was beyond the normal schedule, and as we see in Acts 20:9 beyond the physical limits of some attending. They wanted to hear all they could from Paul before he went and Paul was full of insight in the scriptures. But one young man fell asleep and fell out the third floor window dead on the ground below.

In Acts 20:10 Paul “threw himself on him” in vs. 11 “when he had eaten and talked for a long time, until dawn, then he departed”. And in vs. 12 “they led the youth away alive”. Notice that it doesn’t say the young man rose up immediately. In fact, it says Paul departed before it says anything about the young man. Some might say, doesn’t Paul care? Isn’t Paul worried about the outcome? Doesn’t Paul want to make sure the young man is OK? Well, Paul has faith in God. Paul prayed, and went on with the work.

To Be In Jerusalem On the Day of Pentecost

Acts 20:13–16
Paul had come from Philippi Acts 20:6 to Troas to stay seven days. Now those with Paul set off by ship to Assos. Paul was going by land to meet them there. This was about thirty miles, ten or so hours across this prominence that the ship sailed around. It was a time for Paul to be alone, to pray, and it would have been a beautiful walk whether he went straight across and up the slight elevation or the longer way around the coast line. Then they went port to port as was likely a trade and supply route.

Bound By The Spirit I Am Traveling

Acts 20:17–27
Paul “sent word* to Ephesus and* summoned the elders of the church” in Acts 20:17 and they joined him. He reminds them of his “serving the Lord” in vs. 19 and how he did not “shrink back from proclaiming” in vs. 20, “testifying” in vs. 21. Then he declares his intention in Acts 20:22-24 “bound by the Spirit I am traveling to Jerusalem … in order to finish my mission and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

And his final testimony to them is in Acts 20:25-27 “you will see my face no more … I am guiltless of the blood of all of you”. This is also a reminder to us that we have also a duty to, as he says in Acts 20:27 proclaim the whole purpose of God to those we come in contact with. 

Shepherd the Church of God

Acts 20:28–38
Paul now warns them as leaders in vs 29 “wolves will come” in vs 30 “speaking perversions of the truth in order to draw away the disciple after them”.

Then Paul charges them in Acts 20:32 entrusting them to God and to the message. His point here is that the power of God and the Word of God are able and this short statement here “to give you the inheritance” is fully developed in Ephesians 1:1-11 and Paul’s prayer for them in Ephesians 1:17-23 or as it is also said in 2 Peter 1:2-7.

We Tore Ourselves Away From Them

Acts 21:1–7
It is sometimes difficult to leave those you love and head off to the work God has called you to. As they were traveling to Jerusalem, there were stops all along the way with people that had been helped by Paul’s ministry and they turned out to see him. When Paul came to Tyre, they stayed for a week and then in Acts 21:5 “all of them accompanied us, together with their wives and children”. We sometimes get the idea that because Paul was not married that this was true of all those that were with him, but God made marriage and family and it is good for us to raise our children in the things of God.

The Will of the Lord Be Done

Acts 21:8–16
Paul is getting closer to Jerusalem, as he arrives in Caesarea and in Acts 21:8 stays with Philip and his family. Philip is an evangelist, his daughters ans Agabus were prophets, Paul was an Apostle, and there were others with them. This is the kind of environment where God can move, and speak. And in Acts 21:11-14 it is clearly spoken that Paul will face imprisonment, and Paul responds that he is ready. They all understood and agreed “the will of the Lord be done”. So Paul and others with him, went up to Jerusalem and stay with Mnason.

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • Acts 20:7-28
  • Acts 21:1-16