Summary: This passage provides for us a remarkable description of the ministry involved in being a messenger of God. What is at issue is not what kind of messenger of God you are – teacher, preacher, or a witnessing believer, but the principles that are applicabl
SERVING FROM HERE TO THERE
INTRODUCTION: This passage provides for us a remarkable description of the ministry involved in being a messenger of God. What is at issue is not what kind of messenger of God you are – teacher, preacher, or a witnessing believer, but the principles that are applicable to all who are messengers!
This passages gives us five, no six principles for messengers. Each of us is a messenger!
I PRINCIPLE #1 – Messengers complete the jobs where they are. 15:23-24
A We need to resist the temptation to move on while there is still work where we are
B Paul stayed where he was until the gospel had been introduced.
1 Churches were established
2 Churches would continue the work
C There will always be problems
1 Ministry struggles
2 Personal attacks
D Paul had a desire to move on, but no definite time to do it – movement was dependent on the task.
1 When – indefinite, “Whenever”
II PRINCIPLE #2 – Messengers have a vision bigger than where they are. 15:24
A We should always have a desire to reach father than where we are
1 There will always be a place for the message we have
2 We need to avoid thinking there is no place left for the message
B We need to be consumed with a passion for the gospel
C We should expect help from other believers
1 Those who can do – DO!
2 Those who cannot do – SUPPORT
III PRINCIPLE #3 – Messengers confirm the foundation as they move forward. 15:25-28
A Paul saw the immediate needs
1 We need to meet the true needs of our ministry
a Paul had a responsibility to deliver the contribution – “share with them”
b Paul had a responsibility to see it through – “made sure … received this fruit”
2 Pattern is “out from Jerusalem”
B Serving the saint – ministering to the saints is more than an obligation
1 Notice – twice Paul used the phrase, “were pleased”
2 Others rightly saw these as opportunities of fellowship, not obligations of guilt
IV PRINCIPLE #4 – Messengers realize who and what they serve. 15:28-29
A Serve the gospel
1 Cor. 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
B Keep the vision despite the pressures of what you are doing
C There is no more important message in this world than the message we carry!
V PRINCIPLE #5 – Messengers beg for prayer. 15:30-32
A Prayer delivers us from those who do not obey the truth
B Prayer satisfies those who we serve – “be acceptable”
Col. 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
1 Prayer is not something we can afford to do sporadically
2 If we do not pray we have nothing to watch for
3 If we do not pray we will have nothing to be thankful for
C Prayer enlarges our vision
1 Interesting to note that:
a Paul desired (prayed) to get to Rome
b Paul got arrested in Jerusalem
c Arrest got him what he prayed for – just not the manner he anticipated!
D Prayer can only be accomplished effectively through the reception of divine love
1 The love of God in us motivates us to pray