Acts 20:32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
Every minister needs to take this verse to heart. Even if we are able to be with someone long term, the time will come when we are taken from the earth, and what will they do then? For that matter, this applies to every parent in relation to their children. There is nothing higher to which we can commit someone than God, and in practical, day-to-day terms, that means His Word. We can do absolutely nothing better for someone than to instill in them the practice of taking in the Word of God daily, along with a hunger to hear from Him. Today we have the great luxury of having the Bible very readily available, even in electronic form on our phones, so we have it with us all the time. Unfortunately, that very availability tends to make us take it lightly. We don’t value what costs us so little. We always have the challenge of applying what we read and hear, (James 1:22) but we need to grasp it in the first place. Dennis Prager has said that his goal for his children, and for his students/disciples, which are another kind of children, is that they be good. Not rich, successful, intellectual, or anything else, but good. This verse amplifies that and puts a point on it, all the way to “holy,” which is what “sanctified” means. Being holy is the ultimate kind of being good!
This of course applies to me all over. I can have no greater goal for my physical children and my spiritual children than what Paul expresses here. For much of my ministry my chief desire has been that those around me develop a firm pattern of daily devotions that centers on hearing God through His Word. It is a continuing sorrow that so few have really seemed to take that up. For a long time I have been very aware that I can’t guide people perfectly, and at 72, I am increasingly aware that even if I could, I won’t be around to do so indefinitely. However, God and His Word have no such limitations. I have been greatly blessed by Wayne Cordeiro’s SOAP system of devotions. (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer) However, that’s certainly not the only way to do it. I cannot force anyone into such a habit, and even if I could, external pressure wouldn’t produce the desired results. That’s why I need to pray for those in my charge, that they would have a hunger for God and His Word, and so partake of the riches that are available to them.
Father, thank You for this reminder, and for showing me how to formulate this into Sunday’s message. Wisdom is never a problem for You! I pray that I would be fully useful to You in raising up the children You desire, in greater and greater numbers, for their eternal blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!