If you’ve got a Bible – and you should have one, turn over to Acts 20 where the Apostle Paul gives a warning to key Christian leaders about six essential things to which they need to pay attention. These are six imperatives that every Christian benefits from if they take heed to what the apostle is saying here.
- The first thing we pay attention to is ourselves. God wants to make his mark in our lives and anoint us for his purpose. Are we cooperative? Do we make the work of transforming our lives easy or difficult for God? How are we staying near to the Lord?
- The second thing that gets our attention is our flock. Everybody’s got one. It may be your family, your co-workers, your parents, your rec league team or any group of people for which God has given you the responsibility for making your mark on their life.
- What we are going to feed our flock and how are we going to tend to them is the next thing for which we need to pay attention. What good does it do for us to have people if we don’t have something to give them, some way of leading them into “green pastures or beside still waters”, (Psalm 23) working with Jesus to restore their souls?
- Jesus has with great blood and sacrifice purchased people for himself. This is why we have to pay attention that no influential “wolf” gets a hold of anyone in our flock, depriving them of God’s goodness and causing them to pull back from any or all of God’s blessing and benefits for them.
- We also have to pay attention to the “sheep” and other peers of our flock who through fear, greed, or unbelief steer them away from being the disciples that are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Our love and integrity has to be kept on high alert and highly active. We are not measuring ourselves up against Little Bo Peep but up against Jesus.
- The final thing that Paul tells us to pay attention to is the Word of God, “which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” (Acts 20: 32) It’s the word of God which refreshes the soul, is trustworthy, and makes us wise. It’s the word of God that gives joy to our heart, light to our eyes, and warning to our spirit. (Psalm 19) We can’t pay attention to everything else if we forsake or neglect the Word.
Let us pray for each other that we will pay attention – so the good news of God’s grace becomes the unavoidable experience of multitudes of people!