Summary: I would like to thank Pastor Jerry Shirley for sharing this series on Acts. It has been a blessing as well as a great help. I have used these for our church, as I spend my days caring for my dying father.
Developing the Heart of a Servant part 1 Acts 20:18-38
The Apostle Paul is about to head out for Jerusalem, but, before he leaves, he wants to say goodbye to the believers in Ephesus. The time he’s spent with these believers has been a special time and Paul has grown to love each one. In these verses we find one of the most moving and heartwarming farewell speeches ever recorded in literature.
In his farewell speech we find 3 attributes that each of us should desire and strive for. Today we’ll only see the first one, which is:
1. Faithfulness: Look at verse 18
In this verse Paul reminds them that for 3 years he was faithful to them.
Notice that he says “From the first day.”
Paul got busy from the moment he arrived and even in the face of many hardships he was dependable. The word quit was not in Paul’s vocabulary.
I believe faithfulness is the most important quality any person can possess.
There are many right here who are faithful in a number of things but there may be some things you simply cannot do. You may not be able to get up here and sing. You may not be able to teach a Sunday school lesson like your teacher did this morning. You may not be called to preach a sermon…but there’s one thing you CAN do. There is one thing we ALL can do.
No matter what you do, you can be faithful in what you do!
Faithfulness is a fine quality to find in a person …BUT more than anything, faithfulness is a quality which God requires!
Paul says in [1Co 4:2 NKJV] “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”
Let’s examine some areas where each of us must be found faithful:
a. We must be faithful to our family.
Faithfulness begins at home or it doesn’t begin at all!
Remember the ’96 presidential campaign? People were pushing the idea that a candidate’s private life was his own business, and has nothing to do with how he would lead our nation. (Clinton’s little Whitehouse fling. Funny how a pastor gets thrown to the wolves for the same thing)
But if you ask me, that is just a whole stick of bologna! That’s pure hogwash! Public office is a matter of public trust, and if a person can’t be faithful at home, he/she won’t be faithful anywhere. If a person isn’t faithful in their own house how can I expect them to be faithful at my house, your house or the White House? If a person is not faithful in their own house they will not be faithful in God’s house.
I’m not necessarily talking about having some physical affair because a person doesn’t have to be physically unfaithful to be considered unfaithful.
Some people have affairs with their jobs and spend more time at work than at home. Others have a love affair with shopping or sports…
Being faithful involves beginning and preserving proper priorities, even outside the bedroom.
We must be faithful at home and NOTHING should be so valuable that we would refuse to give it up for our spouse.
No bass boat, no job, no golf outing.
No friend should come before your spouse.
Your coworker should not know secrets you won’t tell your spouse!
Here’s one that you may not like BUT your children and may I add, your grandchildren should never come before your spouse.
Faithfulness is an awesome quality but it begins at home or it doesn’t begin at all!
So first we must be faithful to our family…
b. We must be faithful in our finances—
OH I KNOW YOU’RE NOT PASTOR… Yes I am because I have to.
Do you remember the question last week? What would you do FOR ten million dollars?
Well my question today is, what would you do WITH ten million dollars?
Would you say “I’d give some to the church, pay off all my bills and the rest I’d put in savings”
I have a feeling that I know what you’d do if you had $10 million dollars.
You would do exactly what you’re doing with the $10 you have right now.
In other words, if you’re not putting God 1st now and tithing now, you wouldn’t tithe if you had ten million dollars.
If you’re not paying your bills now, you’ll find something else to spend it on. If you’re not generous now you wouldn’t be any more generous if you were rich.
In other words, if you’re not faithful in your finances now you wouldn’t be if you have $10 million dollars!
You may be having trouble believing that, so check out what Jesus said in:
[Luke 16:10 NLT] “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities.”