Today we mark the celebration of a precious friend who is now sitting at the feet of Jesus. Her life was marked by a sweetness that only comes from spending time in the Word and serving Jesus moment by moment and she left her footprints in our lives and others with her ministry to the shut ins along with her card ministry to those who celebrated their special days. She lived in one home for many years and served in her home church and community in that time frame as well. As we celebrate today we will hear the words of those who knew her for many years and they will recollect and will share their memories. Acts 20 is like a celebration of memories as Paul who was “always on the go” and lived out of a suitcase was once again leaving. He will leave his footprints where he ministered for several years but God was calling him to Jerusalem even though the Spirit has told him that with that persecution awaits. Our special friend and Paul alike left us “instructions” which included:
- Remain steadfast.
- Raise up faithful men and women to pass the torch on to others.
- Recall memories of sweet fellowship: Paul ministered with humility, tears and trials and therefore we should seek to serve in likewise manner.
- Remember your calling: do not consider your life worth just a moment in time but consider that you have a task to finish which is to testify to the good news of God’s grace.
- Renew the charge: now I entrust you to God and to the message of his grace. This message is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Yes, they were especially saddened by what he had said that they were not going to see him again. Yet they were encouraged that although they would remain in Ephesus and Paul would be “on the go” once again, the ministry would go forward and the book of Revelation reveals to us how that actually took place as the Apostle John recalls their footprints. Twice John noted that they labored steadfastly, endured and did tolerate evil. They even put to the test those who referred to themselves as apostles (but were not), when they discovered that they were false. This was the footprint they left for us…even though later Jesus notes that they had left their first love.
Beloved, whether you live in one place from birth to death or are like Paul, living out of a suitcase always on the go from place to place, you are leaving your footprint in the sands of time. Be encouraged to remain steadfast, enduring to the end that one day you may hear from the Savior: You have been faithful to the end, enter into my joy and my kingdom!