Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Acts 20: 17 - 27
Paul sent word from Miletus to Ephesus, summoning the presbyters of that church. When they came to him he delivered this address: "You know how I lived among you from the first day I set foot in the province of Asia - how I served the Lord in humility through the sorrows and trials that came my way from the plottings of certain Jews. Never did I shrink from telling you what was for your own good, or from teaching you in pubic or in private. With Jews and Greeks alike I insisted solemnly on repentance before God and on faith in our Lord Jesus. But now, as you see, I am on my way to Jerusalem, compelled by the Spirit and not knowing what will happen to me there - except that the Holy Spirit has been warning me from city to city that chains and hardships await me. I put no value on my life if only I can finish my race and complete the service to which I have been assigned by the Lord Jesus, bearing witness to the gospel of God's grace. I know as I speak these words that none of you among whom I went about preaching the kingdom will ever see my face again. Therefore I solemnly declare this day that I take the blame for no man 's conscience, for I have never shrunk from announcing to you God's design in its entirety."
Psalm 68: 10 - 11, 20 - 21
A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance; you restored the land when it languished; your flock settled in it, in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.
Blessed day by day be the Lord, who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation. God is a saving God for us; the Lord, my Lord, controls the passageways of death.
Gospel of John 17: 1 - 11
After he had spoken these words, Jesus looked up to heaven and said:
"Father, the hour has come! Give glory to your Son that your Son may give glory to you, inasmuch as you have given him authority over all mankind, that he may bestow eternal life on those you gave him. (Eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and him whom you have sent, Jesus Christ.) I have given you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. Do you now, Father, give me glory at your side, a glory I had with you before the world began. I have made your name known to those you gave me out of the world, these men you gave me were yours; they have kept your word. Now they realize that all that you gave me comes from you. I entrusted to them the message you entrusted to me, and they received it. They have known that in truth I came from you, they have believed it was you who sent me.
For these I pray - not for the world but for these you have given me, for they are really yours. (Just as all that belongs to me is yours, so all that belongs to you is mine.) It is in them that I have been glorified. I am in the world no more, but these are in the world as I come to you, O Father most holy, protect them with your name which you have given me that they may be one, even as we are one."
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Acts 20: 28 - 38
At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus:
"Keep watch over yourselves, and over the whole flock the Holy Spirit has given you to guard. Shepherd the church of God, which he has acquired at the price of his own blood. I know that when I am gone, savage wolves will come among you who will not spare the flock. From your own number, men will present themselves distorting the truth and leading stray any who follow them. Be on guard, therefore. Do not forget that for three years, night and day, I never ceased warning you individually even to the point of tears. I commend you now to the Lord, and to that gracious word of his which can enlarge you, and give you a share among all who are consecrated to him. Never did I set my heart on anyone's silver or Gold or envy the way he dressed. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have served both my needs and those of my companions. I have always pointed out to you that it is by such hard work that you must help the weak. You need to recall the words of the Lord Jesus himself, who said, 'There is more happiness in giving than receiving.' "
After this discourse, Paul knelt down with them all and prayed. They began to weep without restraint, throwing their arms around him and kissing him, for they were deeply distressed to hear that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.
Psalm 68: 29 - 30, 33 - 36
Show forth, O God, your power. The power, O God, with which you took our part; for your temple in Jerusalem let the kings bring you gifts.
You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, chant praise to the Lord, who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens. Behold, his voice resounds, the voice of power: "Confess the power of God!" Over Israel in his majesty; his power is in the skies. Awesome in his sanctuary is God, the God of Israel; he gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!
Gospel of John 17: 11 - 19
I am in the world no more, but these are in the world as I come to you. O Father most holy, protect them with your name which you have given me that they may be one, even as we are one. As long as I was with them, I guarded them with your name which you gave me. I kept careful watch and not one of them was lost, none but him who was destined to be lost - in fulfillment of Scripture. Now, however, I come to you; I say all this while I am still in the world that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world has hated them for it; they do not belong to the world anymore than I belong to the world. I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but to guard them from the evil one. They are not of the world, any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them by means of truth - 'Your word is truth.' As you have sent me into the world, so as I have sent them into the world."