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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Acts 20:24b

I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

For further study - Acts 20:17-31

This passage in Acts verifies the "gospel" that we are preaching today, the "gospel of grace", verse 24b, our key verse for our devotional reading today. There is a difference between the "gospel" preached in the "Gospels", which will be preached during the Tribulation Period, and today.

Today, as the text reveals, we are preaching the "gospel of grace". Both, during the time of the ministry of Jesus on earth and the Tribulation, the "gospel of the kingdom" was and will be preached.

The "gospel of the kingdom" is basically that the "kingdom" is coming to the Earth, when Jesus sets up His eternal Kingdom, and that the "gospel", the "good news" is that Jesus will save you, give you "eternal life".

This is the message that will be preached throughout all the world during the Tribulation, Matthew 24:14, and then Jesus will come back at His Second Coming. However, today, before the Rapture, we are preaching the "gospel of grace", verse 24b.

Verse 21
 is a statement by the Apostle Paul who was involved in a ministry of soul winning towards both the Jew and the Gentile. Verse 19 informs the reader that Paul did this ministry "with all humility of mind, and with many tears and testing".

Paul did not even count his life "dear" so that he might finish the "course" that he was following, with "joy" so that he might get the "gospel of grace" out to a lost and dying world. What a description for this Christ-like servant to set as his pattern, for us to follow in this day.

There is a warning from Paul, verses 29-31, which speaks of the time leading up to the coming period of judgment, the Tribulation, when "grievous wolves" will try and devour the "flock", the "Church". Those "grievous wolves" are "false teachers" that will go after the "body of Christ" in the last days. We must be on alert to this warning.

I love Paul’s statement about his ministry over a three year period of time, verse 31. Paul did not cease warning everyone, "night and day", and he did his ministry in "tears". This is again another model for those of us in work for the Lord, to follow as we do the work with "compassion" and do it "continually".

This passage for our devotional today helps us to see how to be involved in preaching the "gospel of grace" in these the last days. Paul did this "night and day" as he waited for the Lord’s return. This is a must program for us to follow as we await His shout for us to join Him in the "air". It could be today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me dear Lord to "continually" preach the "gospel of grace" with "compassion" as I await your shout to join you in the heavenlies.