When they arrived he declared, "You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now
I have done the Lord's work humbly -- yes, and with tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews.
Yet I never shrank from telling you the truth, either publicly or in your homes.
I have had one message for Jews and Gentiles alike -- the necessity of turning from sin and turning to God, and of faith in our Lord Jesus.
"And now I am going to Jerusalem, drawn there irresistibly by the Holy Spirit, a not knowing what awaits me,
except that the Holy Spirit has told me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead.
But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus -- the work of telling others the Good News about God's wonderful kindness and love.
"And now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the Kingdom will ever see me again.
Let me say plainly that I have been faithful. No one's damnation can be blamed on me, b27
for I didn't shrink from declaring all that God wants for you.
"And now beware! Be sure that you feed and shepherd God's flock -- his church, purchased with his blood -- over whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders. c29
I know full well that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock.
Even some of you will distort the truth in order to draw a following.
Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you -- my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.
"And now I entrust you to God and the word of his grace -- his message that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.
"I have never coveted anyone's money or fine clothing.
You know that these hands of mine have worked to pay my own way, and I have even supplied the needs of those who were with me.
And I have been a constant example of how you can help the poor by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)