Grace Community Church

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Given on August 20, 2017 by Brett Helvie
Scripture: Acts 20:17-38

As you read through Paul’s description of his time in Ephesus, what do you think were the priorities that guided how he invested his time and energy there? Do you see these priorities embraced by the church and its leaders in our culture? If not, how can you encourage the church to focus more on these priorities?

What aspects of the “whole counsel of God” are we tempted to “hesitate” or “shrink back” from proclaiming to our culture today? What motivated Paul to share even the culturally unpopular truths of God’s word? What do you think would help you stand for the truth even when it goes against the flow of our society?

Paul was realistic and recognized the inevitability of attacks from both outside and inside the church (vv. 29-30). How have you seen opposition from outside and false teaching from inside impact the church? What practical steps can we take in order to “watch ourselves” and our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ so that we aren’t vulnerable to these evil tactics?

Letting go of those we love is tough and we see this clearly in the tears and grief surrounding Paul’s departure. How can verse 32 be an encouragement to us when God calls someone in a new direction and we have to say “goodbye”?