These notes accompany the sermon found here.
- Today’s Text: Acts 20:1-12
- Setting his face to go to Jerusalem: While at Ephesus, Paul resolved “in the Spirit” to go to Jerusalem, and then Rome. See Acts 19:21. Compare Acts 20:24 and Luke 9:51.
- Paul’s 3rd missionary journey: Beginning at Antioch, Acts 18:22; Galatia and Phrygia, Acts 18:23; Ephesus, Acts 19:1-40; Macedonia (Philippi?), Acts 20:1-2; Achaia (Corinth?), Acts 20:2-3; Macedonia, Acts 20:3, 6; Troas, Acts 20:6-12; Other Asian cities, Acts 20:13-21:1; Rhodes, Acts 21:1; Patara, Acts 21:1; Tyre, Acts 21:3-6; Ptolemais, Acts 21:7; Caesarea, Acts 21:8-14; Jerusalem, Acts 21:15-17.
Paul was gathering financial support for the poor Christians in the Jerusalem area. The extra people with him were representatives of the churches that were sending support. See Acts 20:4, 24:17; Galatians 2:10; Romans 15:25-27; 1 Corinthians 16:1-9; 2 Corinthians 8-9.
In the Christian context: Our primary driver is faith – so it is safe to say that encouragement is the increasing of one’s faith. How? By drawing focus to the person and work of Jesus Christ. We increase in our faith when the object of our faith is enlarged and brought into focus.
- Support the people of God however you can.
- Give encouragement. Regardless of your position among God’s people, we are called to love one another, and encouragement is a basic expression of that love.
- Get encouragement. Gather with the people of God and learn His Word late into the night. (But don’t sit by the window.)