Acts 20_25-38 Charge to the Leaders
A Charge to the Leaders
- I remember having to fire my first employee
- on time
- properly dressed
- proper work ethic
- knew how my boss felt…
- I had to represent the boss…
NAU Acts 20:25 "And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. 26 "Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 "For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32 "And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 "I have coveted no one's silver or gold or clothes. 34 "You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35 "In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" 36 When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, 38 grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship.
· Greatest tragedies in leadership
o Personal failure
o Failure to provide leadership…
o Failure to protect those you’re supposed to…
o Failure to be prepared…
o Failure to put the right interest first (not empire building…)
· Paul took seriously the mandate given to him by Christ…
· From a vile persecutor of Christians… to the undaunted leader of the Gentile Church…
· Paul gives his charge to New Testament Leaders… a charge that is as valid now as it was when Paul first penned the words…
· Leading God’s people is an onerous responsibilitiy….
· We need to take it seriously…
· (Why me?)
Be Right with God:
Be Right Yourselves
28 "Be on guard for yourselves…
· When you see the movies where the troops are amassed on horseback… and the leader and his aide are testing the stirrups…cinching the saddle… checking the armour…
· First order of business for a leader… is their relationship with God… making sure they are prepared… for the physical challenges… for the emotional challenges… and most certainly the spiritual challenges…
· NAU Mark 13:9 "But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.
· NAU Luke 21:34 "Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;
· Set apart for God… it is also about personal holiness…
· NAU 2 Timothy 2:20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honour and some to dishonour. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honour, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
· Set apart for God’s work…
· NAU Philippians 3:6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.
· NAU Philippians 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
· True godly leadership requires a commitment to personal holiness…
· NAU 2 Corinthians 1:12 For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.
· Be on Guard… that we live prepared in Christ…
· Not in our own strength…
Shepherd the Flock
28b and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
- When your heartbeat is in line with Christ… you guard those he loves…
- (Priority 1…)NAU 1 Timothy 3:4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?) then…
- NAU 1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
- NAU 1 Peter 5:2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.
- Love by Christ… so deep… He prays… He cares…
- Take care of one another
- Father’s parting words as he goes on a business trip… take care of your sister… listen to your mother…
- Jesus words to Peter… the dynamic and a little wild leader of the twelve…
- NAU John 21:15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My lambs." 16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep.
- Not about pride… not about “setting the agenda”… leadership is about Christ’s heart beating in the chest of those who serve… those who lead.
- …Christ gives instruction to the church regarding those who lead his Flock… Shepherd
- NAU Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you
· Caring for your own kid… get injured
· Caring for the neighbour kid… get injured…
· The church belongs to God… NAU 1 Peter 5:2 shepherd the flock of God among you,
· NAU 1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
· Valuable things… things of great value... lent nervously…
· Church valuable… bought by the blood of Christ!
· NAU 2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.
· Shepherd his Flock…
Guard the Flock
29 "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.
· Wherever the Gospel is proclaimed there is opposition!!
· The glorious church in Ephesus…
· The church at Corinth NAU 2 Corinthians 11:4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
· The Galatian church NAU Galatians 1:6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;
· Echoes of Christ’s ministry… NAU Matthew 7:15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
· NAU Matthew 10:16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
· Paul’s predictions came true… about the Ephesus church… NAU Revelation 2:2 'I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;
· NAU Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
· WARN!! NAU Colossians 1:28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.
· NAU 1 Thessalonians 2:9 For you recall, brethren, our labour and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
Study and Pray
32 "And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
- NAU Romans 1:9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you.
- NAU Ephesians 1:15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
- NAU 2 Thessalonians 1:11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power,
· NAU 1 Peter 2:2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
· NAU 1 Timothy 3:15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
· Spiritual Growth…
· NAU 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
· NAU 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
· NAU 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Be Free from Self-Interest
33 "I have coveted no one's silver or gold or clothes. 34 "You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35 "In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" 36 When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, 38 grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship.
- NAU Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
- NAU Hebrews 13:5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"
· Love of money and false teachers…
· NAU Isaiah 56:11 And the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one.
· NAU Jeremiah 6:13 "For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely.
· NAU Micah 3:11 Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, Her priests instruct for a price And her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the LORD saying, "Is not the LORD in our midst? Calamity will not come upon us."
· NAU Titus 1:11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.
· NAU 2 Peter 2:3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
· Bible contains all God wanted us to know…
· NAU John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.
Be Right Yourself
Shepherd the Flock
Guard the Flock
Study and Pray
Be Free from Self-Interest