Acts 20:17-38 - Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)
King James and other versions... [http://bibleabc.net/bible/kjv/act20-17.htm]
Paul Speaks to the Elders from Ephesus
17In Miletus Paul sent a message back to Ephesus. Paul invited the elders* (leaders)
of the church in Ephesus to come to him. 18When the elders came, Paul said to them,
"You know about my life from the first day I came to Asia.* You know the way I lived
all the time I was with you. 19The Jews planned things against me. This gave me
much trouble, and I often cried. But you know that I always served the Lord. I never
thought about myself first. 20I always did what was best for you. I told you the
Good News* about Jesus in public before the people and also taught in your homes.
21I told all people--Jewish people and Greek (non-Jewish) people--to change their
hearts and turn to God. I told them all to believe in our Lord Jesus. 22But now
I must obey the Holy Spirit* and go to Jerusalem. I don't know what will happen
to me there. 23I know only that in every city the Holy Spirit tells me that troubles
and even jail wait for me [in Jerusalem]. 24I don't care about my own life. The
most important thing is that I finish my work. I want to finish the work that the
Lord Jesus gave me to do--to tell people the Good News about God's grace (kindness).
25"And now listen to me. I know that none of you will ever see me again. All the
time I was with you, I told you the Good News* about the kingdom of God. 26So today
I can tell you one thing that I am sure of: God will not blame me if some of you
are not saved! 27I can say this because I know that I told you everything that
God wants you to know. 28Be careful for yourselves and for all the people that God
has given you. The Holy Spirit* gave you the work of caring for this flock (God's
people). You must be like shepherds to the church (people) of God.* This is the
church that God bought with his own blood.* 29I know that after I leave, some men
will come into your group. They will be like wild wolves. They will try to destroy
the flock (group). 30Also, men from your own group will become bad leaders. They
will begin to teach things that are wrong. They will lead some followers [of Jesus]
away from the truth. 31So be careful! Always remember this: I was with you for three
years. During this time, I never stopped warning you. I taught you night and day.
I often cried for you. 32"Now I am giving you to God. I am depending on the message*
about God's grace (kindness) to make you strong. That message is able to give you
the blessings that God gives to all his holy people. 33When I was with you, I never
wanted anyone's money or fine clothes. 34You know that I always worked to take care
of my own needs and the needs of the people that were with me. 35I always showed
you that you should work like I did and help people that are weak. I taught you
to remember the words of the Lord Jesus. Jesus said, 'You will be happier when
you give than when you receive.'"
36When Paul finished saying these things, he kneeled down and they all prayed together.
37-38They all cried and cried. The men were very sad because Paul had said that
they would never see him again. They hugged Paul and kissed him. They went with
him to the ship to say good-bye.
Footnotes: elders A group of men chosen to lead a church. Also called "overseers"
and "pastors" ("shepherds"), they have the work of caring for God's people (Acts
20:28; Eph. 4:11; Tit. 1:7,9). Asia The western part of Asia Minor. Good News,
message The news that God has made a way for people to have their sins forgiven
and live with Him forever. Spirit, Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the
Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, He does God's work
among people in the world. of God Some Greek copies say, "of the Lord." his own
blood Or, "the blood of his own son." message, Good News The news that God has made
a way for people to have their sins forgiven and live with Him forever.
"Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation
Center, Inc. and used by permission."
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