Summary: HERE AS PAUL PREPARES TO RETURN TO JERUSALEM, UNSURE OF HIS FUTURE, HE SPEAKS VERY CANDIDLY OF HIS LIFE OF MINISTRY, AND IN THE PROCESS OUTLINES FOR US THE ACTIVITIES THAT MADE HIM SUCH AN EFFECTIVE SERVANT FOR CHRIST.
Acts 20:36-37 When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.
37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.
INTRODUCTION: JAMES BOICE WRITES, “It is helpful too because we see Paul toward the end of his ministry among these people looking back and pointing out, not in any boastful manner but rather in an honest way, what he considered to have been the important features of his work, those blessed by God and for which he praised God. Clearly, these are characteristics that ought be present in the life of any Christian minister and of all Christians.”
FOR THE PERSON WHO DILIGENTLY SEEKS TO FOLLOW CHRIST, IT IS FOUNDATIONAL TO SEE THE “FOLLOWING” EXHIBITED IN OUR ACTIONS.
HERE AS PAUL PREPARES TO RETURN TO JERUSALEM, UNSURE OF HIS FUTURE, HE SPEAKS VERY CANDIDLY OF HIS LIFE OF MINISTRY, AND IN THE PROCESS OUTLINES FOR US THE ACTIVITIES THAT MADE HIM SUCH AN EFFECTIVE SERVANT FOR CHRIST.
1. IT IS NEVER TOO LATE OR OUR PAST IS NEVER TOO GRIM TO BE A SERVANT OF CHRIST!
a. THERE IS NO VERSE FOR THIS FIRST THOUGHT, YET IT STEMS FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF OUR INTERACTION WITH PAUL IN THE BOOK OF ACTS.
b. ACTS 9 RECOUNTS FOR US THE ENCOUNTER OF SAUL (WHO WOULD BECOME PAUL) AND THE RISEN CHRIST.
c. PAUL WAS ORIGINALLY TO GO UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE SANHEDRIN AND ROUND UP CHRISTIANS.
d. JESUS CHANGED THAT AND CHANGED THE WAY PAUL WOULD END HIS LIFE.
NOW, BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER TODAY, I WANT TO TELL YOU THAT JESUS CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HIM, HE WANTS TO GET TO KNOW YOU. THE BIBLE SAYS THAT HE CAME TO GIVE YOU AN ABUNDANT (NOT EASY) LIFE AND A NEW ENDING TO YOUR LIFE.
IT IS AS SIMPLE AS A DEFAULT PASSWORD – ABC123
A1 – ADMIT THAT YOU HAVE SINNED
B2 – BELIEVE WHAT JESUS DID FOR YOU
C3 – CONFESS AND ACCEPT CHRIST INTO YOUR LIFE
WE WILL TALK MORE ABOUT THIS LATER
2. PAUL SERVED CHRIST WITH HUMILITY
Acts 20:19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews.
a. THE WORD MEANS HUMBLENESS
b. HUMILITY IS NOT SOMETHING THAT CAN BE BROUGHT OUT ON EXHIBITION.
c. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT, HUMILITY IS SEEN WHEN WE ALLOW GOD TO WORK IN OUR LIVES – GIVING UP OUR PERSONAL OWNERSHIP.
i. PAUL WOULD RIGHT IN THE BOOK OF 2 CORINTHIANS THAT WHEN WE ARE WEAK THEN HE (GOD) IS STRONG.
d. HUMILITY IS SEEN IN OUR SUBMISSION TO CHRIST.
i. PAUL SUBMITTED IN HIS TRAVEL
ii. PAUL SUBMITTED IN HIS PRAYERS AND EVEN HIS INFIRMITIES
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.