Summary: My Last Sunday and the time to say goodbye has come.
No need to say Goodbye
How do you say “goodbye” when you leave friends?
Gotta go. Bye
It’s been fun.
Take it easy
After while, crocodile
Catch you later
Goodbye and God bless you
Perhaps Paul Harvey’s , good day.
This morning we are once again dipping into the wealth of knowledge in Acts. This time we are looking at the 20th chapter. We will be using pieces of the chapter as we listen for God’s wisdom today.
We are looking at how Paul says goodbye to the Elders of the church in Ephesus. He seems to have three points, the past, the present and the future.
Listen to what he says about the past, “From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When they arrived, he said to them: "You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.”
Paul explains his service to the people in Ephesus. How he had lived in a way to demonstrate his faith. How he has shared tears with the people he loved so much. I suspect that it was not just one kind of tear. Every body of Christ has sadness over loss and hardship but, when we balance the emotions felt over the years we will also remember tears of joy. Perhaps even a few occasions were tears flowed uncontrollability because of laughter. Which would be my favorite memories.
Paul continues and briefly mentions troubles with people, what he preached and where. Basically he is saying that he placed no limits on what he would do for Jesus Christ.
There was a pastor had a stray kitten that climbed up into a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, called to it, got catnip, etc., but the kitty seemed frightened of would not come down.
The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree would bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.
He used a weight to throw the rope as high as he could securing it to a good sized limb and attached the other end to the back bumper of his car. Then he drove the car slowly, watching the tree’s progress as it bent lower and lower to the ground. He was about to get out of the car and reach for the cat when the limb with the rope snapped and the tree shot up with a tremendous whoosh. The pastor caught a glimpse of the kitten in the side mirror as it sky rocked toward heaven and out of sight.
The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they’d seen a little kitten. No, nobody had seen a stray kitten. So the pastor prayed, “Lord, I just commit this kitten to your safe keeping,” and went on about his business.
A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman was a known woman cat hater and she made everyone aware of that fact whenever cats came up in a conversation.
So the pastor asked her, “Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?”
She replied! “You will not believe this,” and told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept telling her, “No!” She said, “This kept up every few days.” Her daughter would beg again and again. Finally, she said that she told her daughter, “If God gives you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.”
She said, “Pastor, I watched my daughter go out in the backyard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. Pastor, you won’t believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. As my daughter was praying suddenly a kitten came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed in front of her. This is why I am buying cat food!”
In this illustration, the cat represents ME.
6 ½ years ago I was comfortable where I was, I was serving Jesus in my church and I had lots of church family that loved me and my family. The still do.