Coney Hill Baptist Church

Demonstrating God’s Love Together

Falls and Farewells

Acts 20:1-38

 

Intro:

A busy chapter giving us a whistle-stop tour of Paul’s movements from place to place and province to province.  But with one over-arching theme...

Encouragement ... (v’s 1 & 2)...

 

Living with ... sharing life (v.18)

Paul emphasises how he was an open book to those communities to whom he went, he didn’t go to them as a visiting speaker but one willing to share his very life.

 

Weeping with ... experiencing testing (v.19, v.23-24, v.31)

Most powerfully of all of course, he was with them when things went wrong.  They saw him experience testing times at first hand, the watched him weep.

 

That goes against the conventional image of Paul but it’s crucial. His theology has him know the leading and the promise of God, but not what will happen to him, he is confident only of hardship and was frequently brought to tears.

 

Talking with ... boldly proclaiming (v.20, v.25-27)

He spoke, proclaimed, declared...

 

 

Challenging with ... pressing forward (v.28-31)

Key to his message was personal charge and counsel ... ‘Keep watch ... be shepherds...be on your guard’

 

Generous with ...  living graciously(v.33-35)

To end close to where he began in this farewell section, he emphasises how little material things mean to him, promoting instead a lifestyle of simplicity justice and generosity

 

Conc.

It was all of these things, his passion and his personality, his persuasiveness and his openness, that drew so many so close to him, and led to this farewell being such an emotional moment, this was a set of real relationships ... (v.36-38)

True ministry, real discipleship comes not in the spoken words, but in the shared lives.