Man Carrying a Bible

An Incredible Heart for Ministry!

Our passage today is from Acts 20:17-24. The church’s sermon is titled “An Incredible Heart for Ministry!” This is a summary of Pastor Robbie Symons sermon from Hope Bible Church in Oakville, Ontario. This week’s whole church service is available in the video below.

Called to SERVE…with all HUMILITY

Acts 20:18b-19. The bedrock of a heart for ministry is to serve the people knowing that you are ultimately serving the Lord. Paul serving the people in love and service to the Lord. The word serve comes from the bond-servant word. Paul’s identity (as a servant slave of Jesus) leads to his action. A heart of a servant leads to a heart of humility. Check out this post that shows how Paul was compelled to witness. In Romans 1:1, he opens by introducing himself as follows:

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.

Romans 1:1

To call someone humble was considered an insult back in the Roman and Greek culture. Jesus came on the scene and said the last shall be first. He said blessed are the meek and blessed are the poor in spirit. Humility was such a foreign concept at that time. Paul learned from his master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

COVID Can Cause Either…

  • Selfishness or Selflessness
  • Self-Pity or Self-Abasement
  • Self-Righteousness or Self-Awareness
  • Self-Preservation or Dying to Self
  • Self-Obsessed or Self-Forgetfulness

Called to TEACH…the Whole TRUTH

Acts 20:20-21. When the people of Israel wanted to anoint Saul, king. He shrank back and hid in the baggage. Paul is a man of courage and conviction. A failure to preach truth is a failure to love. This was Paul’s life in a sentence. People hated him for his message. He taught in public and private. Paul loved everyone equally, both Jews and Greeks. He preached both faith and repentance. He had to preach Jesus Christ in truth, grace, and love. Today the pressure to soften the truth is incredible. Is it kind to be nice to people but never tell them the truth of the gospel?

Called by the SPIRIT…to endure SUFFERING

Acts 20:22-23. He is constrained or held captive to the Spirit. If you are a slave to someone, you are bound or tied to that person. His spirit is tied to the Holy Spirit. His live is not his own. The only thing the Holy Spirit tells him is that imprisonment and afflictions wait for him in every city. The Holy Spirit is fine telling him that knowing that Paul will say: “ok let’s go.” God knows it’s not about earthly cities. It’s about the heavenly city that is to come. Do you and I have a heart for ministry? One of the positives of these few months could be greater self-awareness.

‘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.’

Acts 20:24

Paul saying that this is not about self-preservation. He is willing to lose life and liberty for Jesus Christ. Many in our day are not willing to lose sleep for the cause of Jesus Christ! The Holy Spirit is his soul advisor here. Heavenly life is coming, earthly life is fleeting. The Holy Spirit showed him the tremendous cost, but also the tremendous blessing. Die more to self and live more for Christ.

Called to the GOSPEL…with My WHOLE Life

Acts 20:24. Paul’s purpose:

  • Finish his ministry
  • Testify to the gospel

May the Lord help us to make our life count for Him. May the Holy Spirit help us have a heart for His ministry.

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