Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


Acts 20:15-38
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday Acts 20:15, 16
v15: The next day the ship left Mitylene and sailed about 60 miles south, apparently putting in for the night in a sheltered cove, across from the island of Chios. The day after that, they sailed another 60 miles further south, across a relatively open body of water to the island of Samos and then, on the last day, they sailed the final 20 miles into the harbor for the city of Miletus. The city itself lay a few miles inland along the Maeander River, so Paul and his team must have walked to the city. v16: Miletus was a sizeable city located about 30 miles south of Ephesus, and because he was in a hurry to be in Jerusalem by Pentecost, Paul chose a ship that docked in Miletus rather than Ephesus. Obviously, he knew that if he stopped in Ephesus, the church would press him to stay too long.

Monday Acts 20:17
v17: But Paul’s heart wouldn’t let him pass without at least saying goodbye to the elders, because he knew they wouldn’t see him again, and he felt he needed to warn them about spiritual attacks he was sure would come after he left. Apparently, the ship was scheduled to stay in the harbor for a few days to unload cargo (Ac 21:3), or perhaps they had to wait for another ship headed southeast to the port of Patara, where they could board a larger merchant vessel bound for Tyre (Ac 21:1-5). One way or another, Paul had enough time to send word to Ephesus and schedule a meeting. It would have taken about a day to walk there, and then another day of travel, for the elders to come down to Miletus to meet him.

Tuesday Acts 20:18-23
vs18-20: When they arrived, Paul said (paraphrase), “You know exactly how I conducted myself, from the day I arrived to the day I left, because I stayed in Ephesus the entire time, serving the Lord with all humility and tears, and enduring the trials that came as a result of plots against me that the Jews devised because I refused to stop declaring and teaching anything that would be helpful to you, whether I was speaking in large public gatherings or in smaller meetings in homes. vs21-23: While I was there, I continually witnessed to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus. And now, behold, having been bound by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what circumstances I will encounter once I get there, except that the Holy Spirit keeps telling me that bonds (shackles) and afflictions await me.
Wednesday Acts 20:24-27
v24: (paraphrase cont.) “But I don’t consider my life as something that is precious and has to be protected. This is the attitude I have to have if I’m going to complete the plan God has for me, and fulfill the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, which is to continue witnessing to the gospel of the grace of God. vs25-27: And now, behold, I know, because God has revealed it to me, that all of you among whom I went about proclaiming the kingdom, will see my face no longer. That’s why I asked you to meet with me today. I wanted to declare to you, as my witnesses, that I am clean from the blood of all men, for I did not pull back from proclaiming to you all of God’s will.

Thursday Acts 20:28-31
vs28-31: (paraphrase cont.) “Pay attention to yourselves, and also to the flock among whom the Holy Spirit placed you as overseers. God put you there to shepherd the Church of God which He protects by His own blood. I know (see), that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you not sparing (showing no mercy toward) the flock. Even from among yourselves, men will rise up speaking things that have been completely distorted in order to draw out disciples after themselves. Therefore, stay alert, remembering that for three years, night and day, I did not cease warning each one (of you) with tears.

Friday Acts 20:32-35
vs32-35: (paraphrase cont.) “And now, I entrust you to the care of the Lord and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who have been made holy (sanctified). I did not covet anyone’s gold or silver or clothing. You, yourselves, know that these hands worked hard to meet not only my needs, but also the needs of those who were with me. In every way I showed you that by working hard in this manner it is necessary to help those who are weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus who said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Saturday Acts 20:36-38
vs36-38: After saying this, Paul knelt down with all of them and prayed. And they wept a great deal and fell on Paul’s neck, kissing him over and over again, suffering the most because he’d told them they would never see him again. And then they walked with him back to the ship. 


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