Acts 20:1-16; Judges 13; Job 41
Paul knew that the time for this missionary journey was over. He had traveled to many cities. He had spent two years in Ephesus. As he got ready to head back to Jerusalem, the riot began. “After the uproar had ceased, Paul called the disciples to himself, embraced them, and departed to go to Macedonia.” (Acts 20:1)This journey was over and Paul began the long, slow and emotionally painful process of heading back to Jerusalem. While he was headed to worship with fellow believers in the Temple for Pentecost, it was still hard for Paul to leave. Missionary journeys today are short and intense. We drive or fly in for a week or so. We work intensively with people on the field and develop good relationships, hopefully, with the people there. Then we head back home with tears in our eyes, knowing that we have work to do back home. Paul had a chance to say good-bye to many of the people he worked with as he made the long, slow and dangerous journey back to Jerusalem. While they were sorrowful in the separation, there was joy in the fellowship in the Lord that they had experienced. In the short mission trips we take today we need to experience that same joy as we fellowship and work with people who are proclaiming the love of God to others.
Dear Lord, this is Your world that I live in. You created it. You created everyone who lives in it. Help me as I share Your love with others whether it be at home or on some mission field. When I do travel to share Your love, let me develop that love and fellowship with others that is so sweet, that leaving is painful. Let me leave with the resolution to serve You at home.