Summary: Paul models Christ. Who you are is more important than what you can do. Our life ought to be walking sermon that people remembers.
I learn this from Paul – don’t just do ministry, live your ministry.
• Let your life be a walking sermon. People see you and they see a glimpse of Christ.
• They can see hope, love, joy, and purpose in our lives, because Christ dwells in us.
• WHO you are has a greater and longer lasting impact in people’s lives, than just WHAT you do.
• We want our life to be a ‘walking’ sermon that people never forget.
We know more about Paul from his farewell speech with the Ephesians elders [20:17-38].
This is probably one of the most moving scenes in Acts.
• Paul was heading back to Jerusalem in time for Pentecost. He would not be returning this way and said this was to be his last meeting with them.
• He called for the elders to meet him at Miletus, some 30km South of Ephesus. Paul had spent 3 years in Ephesus, so they know him and he knows them well.
• He spoke his heart with them for the last time.
Parting words are always the most significant. No idle words, not casual talk.
• We share our deepest concern and what is most important.
• This farewell talk reveals a lot about Paul – his person, his motivations, and his calling.
• I just want you to quickly go through some of these verses and fill up the blanks. Doing it this way will give us a deeper impression and understanding of this man. [Give out handouts]
v.19 – great humility v.33 – honest, not greedy
v.24 – selfless, committed v.34 – work for his own & companions’ needs
v.31 – caring, compassionate v.35 – hardworking
v.19 – serve the Lord v.24 – finish the task of sharing the Gospel
v.20 – preach anything that is helpful v.35 – proclaim the whole will of God
v.31 – getting Jews and Greeks saved
v.18 – You know how I lived… v.32 – prays for them
v.20 – taught publicly and house to house v.35 – In everything I did, I showed you….
v.31 – giving counsel night and day
No wonder they were so sad to part with Paul. I would be.
• He has become such a blessing in their lives. Paul models Christ.
Paul did not just preach Christ – which he has been doing amazingly well, wherever he went he proclaim the Gospel relentlessly.
• But he also lived Christ. He walks his talk. For 3 years, the Ephesians’ believers saw that with their own eyes.
• You can’t fake something like these. You cannot bluff those who have been with you for 3 years.
• Paul lived the message he preached. The people knows he cares about them, the people know he loves them.
WHO you are is more important than WHAT you do.
• If you take a moment to think about the people who have impacted you the most, you’ll most likely discover that it was their character that made the biggest impression on you.
• It’s not their talents, gifts or abilities, but their humility, their kind heart, their compassion.
Who you are as a person will have a greater influence than the specific thing you do, whether it is preaching, singing, or whatever.
• If I preach with eloquence but arrogance, you know it and it turns you off. If you sing to glorify yourself, people sees it and they will leave not with an impression of your song but your pride.