March 23 – Acts 20

Lesson: He Selects Overseers

Dear Lord, bless our time with you today.  Meet us where we are at, guide our minds, and hold our hearts as we search for Your truth.

First, do your own quiet time with God and 4R journaling.  When you are complete, come back here for the lesson.


Request Gods’ help

Read Acts 20

Record a verse that stands out to you

Respond to God

Paul tells us in Acts 20:28 that it’s the Holy Spirit who selects the overseers of the church:

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” What is the job of an overseer?  To care for the church of God.  Since this is so, it makes sense that the Spirit chooses who is to care for the church.

Yesterday we read Hebrews 13:17 where it says,

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

This verse is interesting to me, and perhaps it hails back to my military days. But this makes me think of standing a watch: being war ready, and ready to defend my ship with all power that was given to me at the time.  That phrase ‘keeping watch’, quite literally means ‘to be sleepless, keep awake, watch. To be circumspect, attentive, ready.’ (Strongs). There is intent there, vigilance. It’s the same term used in Luke 21: 36, “But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” And in Mark 13:3, “Be on guard, keep awake.  For you do not know when the time will come.”

Always be on the ready!  The Spirit selects overseers, people who are ready to stand watch over us, ready for battle, who are our walls of protection against the enemy.  We are to submit to them as persons?  No, submit to the gift that they were given, submit to the Spirit who gave them that gift.   And with that submission should come mutual respect, joy and encouragement.  That word ‘submit’, we generally don’t like that word, especially as women! There can be some trauma with that word and it can be a trigger for many.  But know when it’s mentioned in the Bible it’s meant to bring with it mutual respect.  It’s not a term of being overpowered by someone or inflicting hurt for another’s gain.  It’s to be a gain to those who are not called to be watch standers of the church, too.

We have the obligation to encourage joy in their spiritual gifts and duties, for they will be judged far more by the Judge than we.  There is great responsibility on their shoulders.  If we aren’t the ones selected as a keeper of the watch, we are to make sure we are not a deliberate burden to those who are called. We are to ensure that they can minister in and with joy.  It is expected of us to support and obey them, we are to be gracious and lift them up in prayer.  Pray for your church leaders.  And then pray for them some more.

You are not alone; whether you have been selected as a watch keeper or selected to be the one watched over.  You are not alone.  The Spirit will give you the strength and ability to carry out the task entrusted to you.  Fear not, for God is with you, His Spirit within you.


Dear Heavenly Father, we praise You for You are the Shepherd, the example to us of how we are to keep watch over Your flock. We thank You that You care so much for us that You would task the Holy Spirit with calling overseers for Your church. We pray for discernment and wisdom to recognize those leaders who would lead us astray.

(Further reading: 2 Timothy 3:1-7)


What’s next?

As the Spirit leads, in the comment section below, share what He has laid on your heart.

Then join us again tomorrow to learn about the ministry of fellowship.

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Sharon Gamble
    March 23, 2024 11:16 am

    My verse: Acts 20:21 “I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike – the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.”

    My response: The one message distilled down to its essence. We must repent when we sin, and humble ourselves, confessing that we did wrong. We must turn to You, Lord God, with that repentance and come closer, having faith in Jesus, who took our punishment on Himself so we are made clean. Help me, Lord, to always draw nearer – repenting and believing. Help me to join Paul and so many others over the centuries in “the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God” (vs 24).


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