now from miletus he sent to ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. and when they came to him, he said to them:  “you yourselves know how i lived among you the whole time from the first day that i set foot in Aasia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how i did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to jews and to greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. [acts 20:17-21]


o that i would be able to look back on 2024, the next decade, and the rest of my life and say that of my own ministry!


o that you would be able to say that of yours!

make no mistake, paul is able to look back over his ministry in ephesus and say this because of the work of the Holy Spirit in his life. radical transformation from the old man to the new man.

this is not to say paul never sinned while he was in ephesus. he probably did.


you and i have a lot in common with paul: we’re men and women who have sinned against God and need salvation through his son, Jesus.

yet, what a grace it is, that through the work of Jesus on the cross, we have the opportunity to repent of sin and start again as ambassadors! his mercies are new every morning!


that leaves us with a choice:

do we live comfortably, not wanting to make anyone uncomfortable and not wanting to address sin?


do we choose to follow wherever the Holy Spirit leads, speaking whatever he prompts, and acting as he prompts?

i pray that a line in the sand is drawn today in my life and yours. a line that declares the grace you and i have received from God and our intention to live out our ministry for God with all we have.

and though we won’t live this out perfectly, i pray that through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will live it out faithfully.


empower us, Holy Spirit.


~ john sandman