Beloved, the most important part of a person’s life is not what they did but who they were, their character! Today we continue our study looking at the Godly characteristics of the Apostle Paul. Last week we looked at the manner of his life, the measure of his life and the message of his life. Today we will conclude this chapter looking at the ministry of his life, the motto of his life and the mission of his life.
Beloved, how do you measure a man? What really counts? What really matters? Is it BRAINS, BRAWN and BUCKS or is it character? Beloved, Paul was a man of character. Remember this, when you die you will not be remembered for what you did but for who you were.
As for me, I only echo what Robert Murray McCheyne said, "What my people need most from me is my personal holiness."
Beloved, your family needs you to be a person of character. Your church needs you to be a person of character. The Lord desires that you be a person of character
Beloved, how do you measure a man? Now I am not speaking about his height but his life. The world measures a man by brains, or by brawn or by bucks. But how do you measure a man? More importantly, how does God measure a man? Very simply, God measures a man by character, Godly character!
It has been said that reputation is who everyone thinks you are, while character is who you really are. So where do you fall on the character scale. Concerning the Apostle Paul, he would rather die with a conviction than live with a compromise. He lived his life well because he was a man of character.
As we study through the last verses of Acts 20 and Paul’s farewell address to the Ephesian Elders, we will focus on his character. Today we will look at the manner of his life, the measure of his life and the message of his life.
Speaking of character Abraham Lincoln said, “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
Beloved, there's a reason why the Spirit of God gives us these simple narrative passages. And one of the primary reasons is to illustrate the great doctrinal concepts. We need the epistles, because we need to understand the flow of logic. We need to understand the clear articulation of great theological truth. But we need the book of Acts, because we need to see it fleshed out. We need to see it lived. It isn't enough for us to have information. We need models, don't we? It's isn't enough for us to know something. We have to see it in action. And so in the book of Acts, we see a man by the name of the Apostle Paul, who's in the process of writing his epistles. And while he's writing them, he's living them.
What he taught, he lived. What he called for, he demonstrated. And in this chapter, I see Paul's great love for the church and that's really what's on my heart to speak to you today. To remind myself of my own commitment to demonstrate love to the saints, to remind you, since you have newly affirmed your commitment to this church, to remind you of what it means to love the church.
Jesus loved the church enough to offer redemptive sacrifice for the church. Paul loves the church enough to offer sacrificial service to the church.
Beloved, it was G. Campbell Morgan who said, “The church persecuted has always been the church pure; and, therefore, the church powerful. The church patronized has always been the church in peril, and very often, the church paralyzed.”
As a Christian we should not be surprised that we may be persecuted. Persecution has always brought growth to the Church and to the individual. Concerning persecution I love the promise given to us found in Romans 8:35-39, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Beloved, even in the midst of a riot we can trust that God is in control and that He will guide and protect. God is sovereign to protect His church against the opposition of Satan