Paul didn’t have things easy. He had a ‘thorn’ in the flesh. He must have had guilt from being an advocate on killing early Christians before his conversion. He was beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked (just to mention a few of highlights of his ministry. No, Paul learned early in his ministry that being a Christian ‘ain’t easy’!
And because of his lesson, he was careful to warn Christians about the path they would walk having to LIVE in the world but not BE in the world. Two very important messages were pointed out to me when I read Acts 20: 28-32–Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
WOLVES/TEARS/I COMMEND YOU TO GOD–
Wolves are social creatures that form packs. They are territorial in nature and usually have a male and female leader. Other than man and environmental issues, most deaths come from them fighting amongs themselves in direct attacks.
Tears are salty liquid that come from glands in eyes.
Commend means to entrust somone to care for something.
Obviously, Paul felt that when he left teaching groups of people in one area, they needed to be issued with a warning of what they would face once he was gone. His ‘flock’ would be subject to predators who would attack it directly–to the point that some of his flock would withdraw. Such attacks would be so violent in word and deed that it drove Paul to cry just thinking about it.
To ENTRUST these members of his flock to God by way of the Holy Spirit and the written word/messages/Bible and the GRACE therein which could help build us up to get through darkness. We walk through this life at odds with the world…for we have been blessed by the grace to understand the difference between good and evil. Many don’t. Many don’t care. Many still can’t, or won’t, even say the word SIN–for that would make them look inside themselves.
There are wolves howling at our doors. Sometimes, they drive us to tears. They urge us to step away from grace and God’s message. It is in these moments we must entrust ourselves to quiet; to invoke the Holy Spirit to bring us the messages that we need to hear to help us weather the packs around us that are howling.
Stay strong. Pray. Read God’s message. Remember His grace. Rejoice that Jesus has given His own blood to save us. Then walk on….