Redeeming Life Church,
While we officially start our 13-week series in Ephesians, "The New Normal" January 3rd, we're getting a little appetizer this week. Sort of. We'll be considering Acts 20:17-38. What does that have to do with Ephesians, you ask? Well, it's Paul's charge to the Elders in Ephesus regarding the local church. Not only will I provide a little background for the letter to the church in Ephesus, we'll also explore what we know of this church and what Paul instructed them to do.
Pay careful attention to verse 28. It's the one that starts, "Pay careful attention. . ." Paul instructs the Elders to, "Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood" (Acts 20:28).
This Sunday, we'll do our best to take this passage seriously. I'll be sharing a number of things Redeeming Life is doing in 2016 to be sure we pay careful attention to care for the flock. Here's a brief update video:
This passage in Acts is difficult in many ways. Paul knows he will never see these Elders again this side of heaven. They are sad, but he is totally sold out for the gospel. So it is what it is. He's also concerned for the church in Ephesus; but at the same time, he knows they'll drop the ball. He even tells them so. And sadly, we learn in Revelation, that exactly what they did.
In addition, Paul implores the leaders of the local church to hold on tight to God's Word. He wants them to protect the church with God's Word. After all, it's by "men speaking twisted things" that will draw away disciples" (Acts 20:30). We highly value God's Word and through another thing we highly value--team ministry--we hope to keep Redeeming Life Church firmly anchored to God's Word. I look forward to getting into this in more on Sunday.
Take a few minutes and read Acts 20:17-38. Also, turn to the book of Revelation and read Revelation 2:1-7.
Merry Christmas! I pray Christmas is joy-filled and Christ-centered for you and your family this year. See you Sunday!