And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied
him to the ship.
Fridays with the Apostle Paul
Much of the Apostle Paul's story is written in fervor. He seemed to live with an intensity that allowed amazing achievement, but may have put some people off. In fact, in his early years it seems Paul was most likely to leave town dodging rocks, or with
the escort of local law enforcement.
But this passage shows us something much deeper. When Paul would insist to the Corinthians that nothing matters without love, it's clear from this moment that he knew what great love for people was really all about. His were great relationships where extraordinary
commitment and sacrifice were spent for others. So when it's time to leave these Ephesian friends, tears flow freely.
Think about your own relationships. Have you given yourself so fully to others that your departure would leave such a void? Surely in our homes, such depth exists. But what about in the workplace, in your local church, and in your neighborhood? Have you
lived in a loving and dependable way, such that people truly need you in their lives?
Those who live self-focused lives may cross others' paths in occasionally meaningful ways, but those who serve the people around them make a mark in the lives of others. It seems quite evident that this is what God wants us to become.
---Dr. Mike Clarensau serves as Dean-Elect for Southwestern AG University's College of Bible and Church Ministries.
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