Not everything is worth remembering. We used to keep scrap books and photo albums to help us remember events and people who have been special to us. Now we use our iPhones, iPads and many other electronic devices to have as instant recall.
The question I pose in this blog is whether we remember the words of those who have invested in our spiritual growth, maturity and effectiveness in ministry. Knowing that Paul would probably never see the Ephesian elders again, he warns them about the “fierce wolves” that would come into the church and “not spare the flock” (Acts 20:29). Then he says, “Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears” (20:31).
What does it mean that Paul “admonish every one with tears?” It was instruction combined with necessary warning out of deep concern about what would happen to this church after he left. Earlier, Paul told them that he had served them “with all humility and with tears and with trials” (20:19). Years later, this church was addressed by Jesus, and He told them, “I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent” (Revelation 2:4–5).
Paul’s warning was completely in order. Often we try to forget stern words because their rebuke got to the heart of our problem and we didn’t like the rebuke. It’s time to go back and remember, repent and do what we should have done at the beginning.
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