24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
You know, fierce wolves did just start when Paul checked out. From Stephen’s synagogue onward, the biggest opposition from the church were people they had already known for years. Some of the Rabbis on the Sanhedrin that sentenced Jesus to death could have been some of the same men amazed at his teaching when He was a teenager staying at “His Father’s house” for 3 days.
But notice that Paul’s prescription isn’t paranoia, fear, or distrust. The remedy is to boldly proclaim the whole counsel of God, pay attention to yourselves, and to care for the church of God.
Paul is giving his farewell address and he is confident that he did all he could to preach the Gospel to them. Think about that. He is confident that he did all he could.
As I look back on different things, I’m not totally sure I did all I could in this or that circumstance. I mean, I just wasted a half an hour this morning reading memes and watching tutorials on 2006 Cadillac transmissions. (I’m not doing that. No way.)
The reality is that today is part of the past that we’ll get to look back on in the future and say “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”
It is astounding to think of all of the chances we have to show love and care for one another. We have so many opportunities to show, in one way or another, that God loves each and every one of you (us)(them)(those people too).
What a great feeling it is when your head hits the pillow or when your box is lowered into the ground to say “I finished my course of testifying to the grace of God.” We have a zillion tiny chances to move toward that today. Let’s do it.