Project 119: Acts 20:1-16

 |  Project 119

This week's devotions are written by MBBC Student Ministry Intern Allison McSwain. 

“Listening in the Late Night”

I am a very scheduled, time-conscious person. I’m impatient and like the day’s events to unfold on my terms. I like my early bedtime. I like my routine.

I am so impressed with the group of believers that accompanied Eutychus in listening to Paul preach. We’re told that Paul “prolonged his speech until midnight.” I don’t know about you, but as I mentioned, I like my sleep. However, it seems as though the group gathered in the room that night recognized that Paul’s message of Christ was far more important than sleep and schedules. Those people wanted to soak up every bit of God’s message that they could. Time was not a factor. How convicting for me.

We see that even a fatal freak accident didn’t stop these attentive believers for long. Eutychus fell to his death, but Paul, through the power of the Holy Spirit, raised him back to life. We then see that the group carried on as if nothing happened: “[Paul] conversed with them a long while, until daybreak.” I think about how easily distracted I get when listening to a sermon, praying, or reading Scripture in my personal quiet time. Within seconds of opening my Bible App, I end up scrolling through Instagram. To think that these believers went from witnessing a deadly fall right back to listening to Paul astounds me.

In all reality, the most valuable thing you and I can do with our time and attention is listen to God. Join me in the challenge to let God interrupt our schedules. Perhaps you may want to start by adding ten extra minutes to your daily quiet time or by appointing a time in the afternoon solely for prayer. Make the most of every opportunity you have to hear the Lord’s word proclaimed. May our passion for Him be so great that everything else pales in comparison.

Acts 20:1-16 (ESV):

After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. 2 When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. 3 There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. 4 Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. 5 These went on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas, 6 but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days.

7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. 9 And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed.12 And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.

13 But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene. 15 And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and the day after that we went to Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.