Acts 20:22-24 Finishing God’s Call

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Acts, New Testament

I. Paul’s View Of His Own Life

A. A Bondslave Of Jesus

1. Paul considered himself tied to Jesus, and to the will of Jesus V. 22
2. Paul, a doulos…from the word deo-to tie or bind
Romans 1:1 Paul, a bondservant (doulos)of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God
3. Paul’s life not dear to himself V. 24
4. Lived for His Master- Jesus Christ
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
5. Before this trial, he had long ago bound himself to Jesus
6. Jesus lived the same way; committed to the will of His Father
John 12:27, 28 27“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify Your name.”
7. Don McClure- “The greatest life that was ever lived was the life that was never lived”
8. There is far too little of this among Christians today.
9. We have lost the overwhelming awareness that we are not our own, but servants of Jesus
10. 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 19Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

B. Duty Of A Slave

1. Obey his master; know the will of the master
2. May not have some information V. 22
3. May have some information V. 23
4. Doesn’t matter how much they do or don’t know; obey what you know

II. How A Slave Lives

A. Paul Not Moved Away From God’ Calling

1. Conspiracies. Trouble us w/worries, defensive moves, possible consequences/changes V. 3
2. Tears, temptations/trials, opposition V. 19
3. Bonds & afflictions V. 23
4. Willing to permanently separate from friends V. 25, 36-38
Matthew 8:21, 22 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 22But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

B. Finishing God’s Call Most Important

1. Exhorting, comforting, teaching V. 2, 7, 17

a. parklaleo- to call to your side, console, teach, strengthen
b. Not done from a distance, but closely
c. God’s word, teaches, comforts, consoles, corrects. Even correction brings comfort
d. Paul gave them more than sympathy. Sympathy isn’t enough. Share truth in love
e. 2 Cor. 7:6 6Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.

2. Go to Jerusalem, even though trials awaited V. 16
3. Consistent throughout life; a slave is always a slave V. 18, 19
4. Taught truth, kept back nothing that would help them V. 20, 21

a. Even if it hurt
b. John 6:61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?

5. Finish course & ministry w/joy V. 24

2 Timothy 4:6-8 6For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

a. An athlete has a great sense of the race he is involved in
b. Nothing is more important than finishing the race
c. EX- Dehydrated tri-athlete that tried to crawl across the finish line

6. Sense of stewardship, responsibility V. 24
7. Faithful in ministry V. 26, 27, 33-35

a. In words
b. In deeds

8. Strong exhortation V. 28-31

a. Paul told them to- Take heed- pay attention to your own spiritual well-being
b. He warned them about wolves entering the church
c. He warned them about wolves rising up from among them
d. QUESTION- Where does such boldness come from?
ANSWER- Not your words, but Jesus’ words. Servant speaks for the Master.
Absence of worry about self, b/c self is about serving the Master.

9. Commend loved ones to God & God’s word; freedom to move on V. 32

a. With a clear conscience b/c of his ministry to them, he could leave them to the Lord
b. He had been faithful re. his friends
c. Wasn’t held back by unfinished business
d. Paul was confident in God through experience
e. Paul did not entrust these people to anything else except God and His word

III. How Do You View Yourself?

A. A Self Directed Slave? (Which Is No Slave At All)

1. Lost touch with your Master
2. Not sure what your calling and mission is
3. Quick to listen to the voices of others
4. Moved away from your calling by hardships.
5. Your life is dearer to you than Jesus is
6. Over-emphasize friendship and minimalize obedience to Jesus

B. A True Bondslave Of Jesus

1. Your existence is to be tied to Jesus
2. Your understand His direction for your life
3. Not interested in the popular opinions
4. Endure through hardships
5. Your life isn’t dearer to you than Jesus
6. Obedience at all costs

Jesus did not say, “Come to me and get it over with.” He said, “If any man would come after me, let him take up his cross daily and follow me.” Daily is the key word. Our commitment to Christ, however genuine and wholehearted it may be today, must be renewed tomorrow . . . and the day after that . . . and the day after that . . . until the path comes at last to the river.
Louis Cassels (1922–1974)

“None of these things move me; nor 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 …” (Acts 20:24). That is how to keep going until we are gone from this life.