TO LIVE IS CHRIST: Acts 20:17-27

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SCRIPTURE

Acts 20:17-27 17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them: 

“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there,23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. 

BIG IDEA

By looking to Paul as an example of what it looks like to follow Jesus, we see at least four major things we are called to as Christians. 

First, we are called to humbly serve. Though greatness by the world’s standards is often marked by being served, greatness in Jesus’ kingdom is marked by being a servant, even a slave to all. 

Second, we are called to boldly declare what is profitable, willingly teach the Bible, and persuasively testify (to all!) the gospel of God’s grace in Jesus. Jesus commands us to “go and make disciples.” Are you obeying? 

Third, we are called to expect tears, trials, and afflictions. Does your worldview include the expectancy of these? It should. Both Jesus and Paul were not shocked when they suffered, and neither should we be. Jesus is working in it a peculiar glory, making you more like Him and preparing you all the more for when He comes back and makes everything new. 

Fourth, and lastly, we are called to count our lives as nothing, because Jesus and His mission are truly valuable and precious. The only way Jesus is going to be the One that is valuable; the only way you’re going to see His mission as ultimately precious, is if you see and trust Him for who He truly is. He’s the truly humble Servant; He’s the great Evangelizer and Discipler; He’s the true Mourner and Sufferer; and He’s the ultimate Self-Sacrificer, who “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” for His glory and our good. 

DISCUSSION

1. Study through Acts 20:17-27 together. What stands out to you and why? 

We are called to humbly serve. Though greatness by the world’s standards is often marked by being served, greatness in Jesus’ kingdom is marked by being a servant, even a slave to all. 

2. Why do you think that being a “servant” or even a “slave to all” is typically seen as a negative thing to the world? Why do you think it is seen a positive thing to Christians?

3. Everyone turn and read Mark 10:42-45. How can you better serve Jesus, your church, and the world? Try to avoid being vague; be specific.

We are called to boldly declare what is profitable, willingly teach the Bible, and persuasively testify (to all!) the gospel of God’s grace in Jesus. Jesus commands us to “go and make disciples.” 

4. In the sermon, pastor Brett used Francis Chan’s illustration about the problem with many Christians today. Do you remember what it was? How can you move beyond memorizing the great commission and toward obeying Jesus’ command? A better question may be this: who can you start discipling or being discipled by or both at the same time?

We are called to expect tears, trials, and afflictions. Does your worldview include the expectancy of these? It should. Both Jesus and Paul were not shocked when they suffered, and neither should we be. Jesus is working in it a peculiar glory, making you more like Him and preparing you all the more for when He comes back and makes everything new.

5.  From your own experience, how have you seen the world typical talk about and deal with suffering? How does that differ from the Christian Worldview?

Fourth, and lastly, we are called to count our lives as nothing, because Jesus and His mission are truly valuable and precious. The only way Jesus is going to be the One that is valuable; the only way you’re going to see His mission as ultimately precious, is if you see and trust Him for who He truly is. He’s the truly humble Servant; He’s the great Evangelizer and Discipler; He’s the true Mourner and Sufferer; and He’s the ultimate Self-Sacrificer, who “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” for His glory and our good. 

6. What would Paul see if he looked into the Mirror of Erised? What would you see? What would Jesus see?

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • EKKLESIA WILL HAVE A BOOTH THIS SATURDAY AT THE FLOWER POWER BIKE RIDE – Many Ekklesia people are riding in this event (the biggest like it in and around Muskogee) and the rest now have an opportunity to serve. Booths are set up ever so often along the ride, and Ekklesia will man one—passing out water, gatorade, and snacks. Let Pastor Brett know if you are willing to help (brett@ekklesiamuskogee.org or (918) 348-1595). We need people from 9:30am–4:30pm.
  • MEN’S WORKOUT / BIBLE STUDY (second and fourth Mondays of every month from 6–7am) – The Gospel Rescue Mission is hosting a men’s workout and Bible study. Pastor Brett will be there along with every other willing and able man. 

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