Daily Devotional: Day 226
“Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27, NKJV).
Today’s opening passage is part of Paul’s parting words to the church in Ephesus. After his ministry among them came to an end, he sent for the elders of the church to meet him in Miletus. Paul had many things to say in his farewell message. Among other things, he stated that he was innocent of their blood. That was a strong statement, one that should cause all ministers of the Gospel to carefully evaluate their own fidelity to the mission God has entrusted to them.
Paul’s conscience was clear that he had been a faithful minister of the Gospel at Ephesus. Like all ministers of the Gospel, he had a duty to proclaim the whole truth of God, and nothing but the truth. The elders of Ephesus were Paul’s witnesses that he had “kept back [from them] nothing that was helpful” (Acts 20:20). Paul added, “I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). Having delivered the whole counsel of God, Paul knew he was blameless before God. What can we learn from this?
The main lesson here is: God wants you to know the complete message of His salvation plan as revealed in the Scriptures. He wants you to receive the whole package. It is the responsibility of those who shepherd souls to deliver the complete message, and not add to, or take away from, what God has revealed in the Scriptures. Certain ministers of the Gospel have the habit of selecting only portions of Scripture which appeal to their taste, while ignoring everything else that the Word says. If they do that, they are not preaching the whole counsel of God, and they will be held accountable before God.
That said, the ultimate responsibility lies with you to ensure that whatever you are receiving is the whole counsel of God, and not bits and pieces of God’s word.
Fortunately for us, Bibles are common today, and there are may ministries which will give you a free copy of the Bible if you can’t afford one. Make sure that whatever you hear on television or radio, read in books, listen on CDs, or hear from the pulpit, you can go back to your Bible and verify its accuracy. You will be amazed at the rate at which God’s word is distorted, diluted, truncated and manipulated – even by ‘trusted’ teachers.
God has done His part by revealing His plan of salvation. Your part is to ensure that the package you receive has not been tampered with, and that you are receiving the whole truth. Don’t settle for some of the truth. Hold on to your Bible for dear life. Get the whole package. Speaking of the whole truth, pay attention to the Bible translation you are using for your spiritual growth. Bible publications today is BIG business. And you know that wherever money and profit are in play, integrity is not always a priority. Another time, if God wills, we shall talk more about Bible translations.
For now, keep your eyes open. Question things. Discern all things before you consume. And enjoy the fullness of God’s plan for your salvation.
Until next time, may God bless and keep you. Amen.
For further study: 2 Timothy 3:10-17