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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 20 - Verse 19

Verse 19. Serving the Lord. In the discharge of the appropriate duties of his apostolic office, and in private life. To discharge aright our duties in any vocation is serving the Lord. Religion is often represented in the Bible as a service rendered to the Lord.

With all humility. Without arrogance, pride, or a spirit of dictation; without a desire to "lord it over God's heritage;" without being elated with the authority of the apostolic office, the variety of the miracles which he was enabled to perform, or the success which attended his labours. What an admirable model for all who are in the ministry, for all who are endowed with talents and learning, and for all who meet with remarkable success in their work. The proper effect of such success, and of such talent, will be to produce true humility. Eminent success in the work of the ministry tends to produce lowliness and humbleness of mind; and the greatest endowments are usually connected with the most simple and childlike humility.

And with many tears. Paul not unfrequently gives evidence of the tenderness of his heart, and his regard for the souls of men, and his deep solicitude for the salvation of sinners, Ac 20:31; Php 3:18; 2 Co 2:4. The particular thing, however, here specified as producing weeping, was the opposition of the Jews. But it cannot be supposed that those tears were shed from an apprehension of personal danger. It was rather because the opposition of the Jews impeded his work, and retarded his progress in winning souls to Christ. A minister of the gospel will

(1.) feel, and deeply feel, for the salvation of his people. He will weep over their condition when he sees them going astray, and in danger of perishing, He will

(2.) be especially affected with opposition, because it will retard his work, and prevent the progress and the triumph of the gospel. It is not because it is a personal concern, but because it is the cause of his Master.

And temptations. Trials, arising from their opposition. We use the word temptation, in a more limited sense, to denote inducements offered to one to lead him into sin. The word in the Scriptures most commonly denotes trials of any kind.

Which befell me. Which happened to me; which I encountered.

By the lying in wait, etc. By their snares and plans were designed to blast his reputation, and to destroy his usefulness.

{e} "humility" 1 Co 15:9,10 {f} "many tears" Php 3:18 {g} "temptations" 2 Co 4:8-11 {&} "temptations" "trials"

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