Speaking to the Soul – Wednesday November 17

A short reading and prayers for today

“You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews. I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes.”
Acts 20:18-20 NLT

I want to tell you about something which regularly happens in our home. My son works for a well-known food retailer. When he leaves for work I will naturally wish him well and he always has exactly the same response. “I’ll do my best, Dad.” And what is even better than that is that I know he will. And that’s exactly what we are reading in this passage today. We are meeting Paul as he addresses the leaders of the church in Ephesus and he wants them to know that he did his best. He didn’t hold anything back from them. He suffered with them and told them everything they needed to know, even if they weren’t keen to hear it. He had done his best.

Paul had spent three years with the church in Ephesus which was a very long ministry for him. He clearly loved them passionately and was always keen to take every opportunity to encourage them. On this particular occasion, he was eager to get to Jerusalem in time for Pentecost and so he decided not to make the journey to Ephesus, but invited their leaders to make the 30 mile journey to the coast to meet him at Miletus. His speech to them is deeply moving and reveals his deep love for them and his passionate desire that they should be strong in the face of whatever opposition they might encounter. Paul was sure that this was the last time that he would meet with them, and he was right about that, although he had no idea why that was that was going to be the case. The fact was that when he got to Jerusalem he was going to be arrested and be sent, finally, to Rome to face trial.

Paul wasn’t perfect and neither are you or I. We all fail. But God looks to us, frail as we are, to do our best and, amazingly, our gracious and loving heavenly Father will take that and use it to his glory.


Are you committed to doing your best for God today?


Lord God, I know that I often fail you. Thank you that you are willing to take and use what I give to you today. Amen

Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son was revealed to destroy the works of the devil
and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life:
Grant that we, having this hope,
may purify ourselves even as he is pure;
that when he shall appear in power and great glory,
we may be made like him
in his eternal and glorious kingdom;
where he is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.