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” ‘For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God’ ” (Acts 20:27, NKJV).

In his farewell speech to the elders of the church of Ephesus, the apostle Paul thought it necessary to communicate the fact that he had fulfilled his duty among them. He had not held anything back, but instead declared to the people of Ephesus the entire counsel of God. He exhorted the elders with his own example of preaching a complete and balanced doctrine that eradicated any doubt or lack of knowledge.

As ministers of the gospel today, it is our responsibility to do the same. We must spiritually feed the flock, ensuring that not only are they fed, but also that they are nourished. Just as in the physical realm there are foods that quench the pangs of hunger but offer very little nourishment, some try to sustain their spiritual lives on “food” that may quiet the hunger pangs but does not spiritually nourish.

I believe the call of the Lord for us today is this: to declare the entire counsel of God. We are called to do more than preach superficial messages that temporarily quench hunger. Instead, we should declare the entire counsel of God that not only satisfies, but also nourishes. 

In Luke 4, Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 8: ” ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God’ ” (v. 4). Physical food brings temporary rectification, but spiritual nourishment from the Word of God brings true nourishment and satisfaction.

I want to encourage all of us as ministers to not cower from declaring the entire counsel of God, even when it is unpopular to do so. May we, like Paul, recognize our extreme responsibility as shepherds and ensure that our words are His words that nourish and satisfy, producing eternal evidence and life more abundant.

By: Marcus Ellington, Southwest District NextGen director and senior pastor of Living Hope Christian Fellowship (Dana Point South Foursquare Church) in San Clemente, Calif.

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is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Orlando, Fla.