Summary: Will you be missed when you are gone?
How Not To Depart Without Being Desired
Will you be missed when you are gone? The Apostle Paul spent 3 years with these believers in Ephesus, and they were saddened by the fact he was now going to leave them. Paul had led them to the Lord, and now he is leaving them.
They must have watched with tears streaming down their faces as he ascended the ramp to the ship. He would be sorely missed.
Will you be missed when you are gone? Will it affect the church? Will it affect the offering? Will it affect your Sunday School class? Will a ministry suddenly be in need of a new worker to take your place?
Now these Ephesians must carry on for God without Paul. Now don’t follow man, because he’ll let you down. God can move a man to another place, but God is always the same. He never moves. He never changes.
Sometimes I hear people say to me, “Preacher, I missed several weeks and no one called but you.” [That’s not really an indictment on the church as much as it is on them. I’d to admit that I can miss and not even be missed.]
Apparently, some people don’t leave any holes to fill. Just try it at work sometime……miss work several days, and don’t call in, and see if you are missed. If you are doing your job, then you’ll be missed when you stop doing your job!
Paul left a big hole in the hearts of these dear friends; as a result, he was missed. Will you be missed when you are gone? Are you missed now when you are absent from the services?
I. Paul was missed because of the MANNER of his life (17-20).
Paul had left quite an example for them to remember and follow.
A man once purchased a car. “What is it?” asked a friend. “It is not a ,” he answered. “It is a horrible example.” However, Paul was an example to emulate.
A. He set an example of lowly service.
Paul had served with all humility. He had always taken the lowly place. Paul was a servant of others. He was faithful in his service.
You‘ll be missed if you are a faithful servant. However, if all you do at church is SIT, SOAK, and SOUR, yet never SERVE, you won’t be missed!
A husband who is faithful to his wife part of the time is not faithful at all.
Don’t be like the little who suggested to her sister that they should play church. Her sister answered, “Alright, but let’s play I am absent.”
B. He set an example of godly sorrow.
They had seen his frequent tears. He had wept over their sins. He had wept with them over their sorrows. He had gone forth weeping bearing precious seed.
Show me a person who is tender-hearted in their caring for others, and I’ll show you a person who will be missed when they are gone! There’s something attractive about an unselfish, caring person.
C. He set an example of patient suffering.
The Jews had been the plague of his life, persecuting him continuously.
See verse 23,24.
II. Paul was missed because of the MESSAGE of his life.
Whether we’re missed or not, we’ll all be remembered for things we have done or said.
See Acts 20:20-21. By lip and by life, by exposition and by example, Paul’s message was made known. Paul was known for proclaiming the gospel. A church used to have as their motto: “Famous for the Gospel!”
Adrian Rogers died several months ago, and at his funeral the preacher asked the congregation what Dr. Rogers was famous for saying, and in unity they all said, “Come to Jesus!”
An evangelist preached a revival and on Sunday he preached, “You must be born again.” Again on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday he preached the same “You must be born again.” Someone asked him why he had preached on that all week. He said, that’s simple: “You must be born again!”
What matter most to Paul was getting the message of the gospel out! See verse 24. Paul was not ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16).
A. Not ashamed of the content of the gospel
The gospel came of divine presentation (Galatians 1:11,12) and concerns a divine person.
You can not preach the gospel without preaching Jesus Christ.
B. Not ashamed of the intent of the gospel
C. Not ashamed of the extent of the gospel
III. Paul was missed because of the MOTTO of his life.
See verses 33-35. We all have a motto Maybe you’ve put it into words or maybe not. Your motto is what motivates / compels / constrains / drives you. Paul’s came from Jesus himself. Look at the end of v. 35 - “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”