Sermons

Summary: Pastor’s farwell address to the church.

New Beginnings

Acts 20:17-38

[17] From Miletus [Paul] sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. [18] And when they had come to him, he said to them: You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, [19] serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; [20] and how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, [21] testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. [22] And see, now I go bound in spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, [23] except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. [24] But none of these things move me; not do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. [25] And indeed, now I know that you all, among who I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. [26] Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. [27] For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. [28] Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. [29] For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. [30] Also from among yourselves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. [31] Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. [32] And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. [33] I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. [34] Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. [35] I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. [36] And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. [37] Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, [38] sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.

INTRODUCTION

The Pastor’s Cat –

The pastor had a kitten that climbed up into a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, called to it, got catnip, etc., but the kitty would not come down.

The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.

Once securing a rope to the top of the tree and to his car he began to slowly drive away from the tree carefully watching his progress. With only a little bit further to go to bend the tree sufficiently for him to reach the cat he kept moving the car slowly. Just as he was about to stop – the rope broke, the tree flipped back, and the cat went flying into the air out of sight.

The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they’d seen his little kitten. No, nobody had seen the cat, but assured him if they saw it they we let him know. So the pastor prayed, “Lord, I just commit this kitten to your safe keeping,” and went on about his business.

A few days later while at the grocery store, the pastor ran into one of his church members. While they were talking He happened to look into her shopping cart and was surprised to see she was purchasing some cat food as well as other items to be used in the care of a cat. The reason he was surprised is that this woman just absolutely hated cats and she made everyone aware of that fact whenever cats came up in a conversation.

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