After the riot in Acts 19, we see Paul taking his disciples and spending time encouraging them in Acts 20 before he left for Macedonia.
Scripture – Acts 20
v. 1 “Paul sent for the believers and encouraged them”
- Encourage– speaking comfort, hope, being with them
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)
You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. Hebrews 3:13 (NLT)
“but exhort one another daily…” (NKJ)
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJ)
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
1 Thess. 5:11
Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
1 Thess. 5:14 (NLT)
v. 4 “These men who were traveling with Paul represented churches that Paul had started in Asia. Each man was carrying an offering from his home church to be given to the believers in Jerusalem. Having each man deliver the gift gave, it gives a personal touch and strengthened the unity of the believers. This was also an effective way to teach the church about giving because the men were able to report back to their churches the way God was working through their giving. Paul discussed this gift in one of his letters to the Corinthian church. (2 Cor. 8:1-21)” [NLT life application commentary]
Warning! This is a small rabbit trail…
- Giving is a privilege and a biblical discipline (Proverbs 3:10-11)
- Giving is a place where the Lord says test him and see what He will do for you (Malachi 3:10)
- Giving is a biblical discipline, support the house of God (Nehemiah 10)
v. 7 “Paul continued his message til midnight..”- it was a long night of listening
v. 8 “many lamps in the upper room where they gathered”- the atmosphere was warm and low lit
v. 9 “in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus”- the night and atmosphere caused him to feel drowsy and he fell asleep which caused him to fall from the window 3 stories, and he died
v. 10 Paul went and embraced him and encouraged everyone not to worry for Eutychus was alive
v. 11 So they went back to sharing in the Lord’s Supper, and Paul continued to share
v. 12 Eutychus was taken home and everyone was relieved
The people were not detoured from the almost tragic incident, but they remained focused on Paul and being together. Eutychus was brought back to life and the people were relieved! The Lord desires to bring us back to life. Awaken us!
- How can you encourage someone this week? How can you bring hope and care to another?
- What about you, what kind of care and hope or encouragement do you need? Ask the Lord to encourage you personally.
- Be intentional with your time and take interest in another. What does that look like for you?
- Do you support the house of God financially? Do you trust God to do as his word says, “I will open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that where will not be room enough to receive it.” Do you believe that God will fill you barns with plenty and cause your vats to overflow as it says in Proverbs? Receive the challenge to give and watch God work in miraculous ways on your behalf. Talk to one another about the blessings of giving.
- When tragic things happen in your life, how do you handle them? Discuss and pray about remaining focused on Jesus and not allowing your circumstances to detour you.
- Do you need to be awaken in Christ again? Do you need life brought back into your heart?
Father may we as church be marked by encouraging one another. May we be a voice that speaks comfort and hope to one another. Lord, know our unspoken needs of encouragement and speak to us personally. May we be a church who “puts our hearts into caring”(Proverbs 27:23) for one another daily. May we also care for our church and support the work you are doing through it in our community.
Give us the faith to trust you with our finances and let us know that you will bless us for our sacrifice. May we always be provided for and beyond.
Bless your house of worship, bless your this heart of worship and may we not allow tragedy detour us from you. Let us see your hands at work and in faith believe that that you will take great care of us. Lord, awaken us spiritually. Revive us in you. Let us not allow ourselves to spiritually separate from you. Keep us close to your heart and responding to your Spirit. Breathe life into our lungs and awaken us to righteousness.