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Acts 20:16-38



Intro:  Ill. The Context.  Paul felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem.  Have you ever felt led of the Lord to do something?  If you have, then you know exactly what Paul was feeling!  In these verses, the great Apostle teaches us what a solid believer does when he is bound in the Spirit.  In looking at Paul’s activities here, we see a powerful lesson in dedication, determination and steadfastness.  Allow me to share the truths taught here.


  I.  v. 17-23                                     PAUL’S RESOLVE

(Ill. Paul was determined to go to Jerusalem.  For many, this was not a popular notion, Acts 21:4-17.  Paul’s life is that of a man who simply wants to serve the Lord.  This snapshot from Paul’s life shows us that Paul was absolutely determined to do just that.)

A.  v. 18-21  Paul’s Conduct In The Past – He had given everything he had! 

(Ill. God’s people should hold nothing back, but they should put it all on the line for God.  (Ill. David and Goliath; The Three Hebrews)

      B.  v. 22  Paul’s Call In The Present – Paul had no choice in his

assignments.  They were all made by God.  (Ill. Just keep doing the last thing God told you until He tells you something else.)  (Ill. Put yourself in Daniel’s shoes.  He was faithful to God his entire life!)  (Ill. Enoch served God faithfully for 300 years!)  (Ill. Micah 6:8 shows us what God wants from us: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”)

      C.  v. 23  Paul’s Crisis In Prophecy – Paul’s determination to go to Jerusalem

is even more glorious in light of what he knows is waiting on him there.  (Ill. Such is the nature of genuine faith – Ill. Abraham.)  (Note: The measure of a man is what it takes to stop him!)


 II.  v. 24                                          PAUL’S REASON

      A.  The Reason Of A Pure Motive – (Accountant) – Paul simply wanted to

finish his course.  He knew that God had already planned his steps, Acts 9:15; 19:21; 23:11, and he wanted to finish them.  (Note:  We all have a course to run, a course mapped out by God Himself – Psa. 37:25.  May we learn not to fight it, but to finish it for His glory!)

      B.  The Reason Of A Powerful Ministry – (Athlete) – God had used Paul in

a wonderful way.  Paul merely wanted to finish his assignment.  Paul simply wanted to run his race well and to receive the victor’s crown, Heb. 12:1.  (Note:  There is just one Person we need to run to please: Jesus Christ!)

      C.  The Reason Of A Perfect Message – (Activist) – Paul wanted to

continue to preach the life changing message of the Gospel of grace.  He knew he was preaching a perfect message – Rom. 1:16.  (Note:  The Gospel will get the job done!  We do not need to resort to new methods, messages or techniques.  We need to settle down, walk in the old paths and trust God to honor His Word.  He will, Isa. 55:11!)


III.  v. 240-38                                PAUL’S REST

      A.  v. 24a  The Rest Of A Surrendered Life – Paul was not moved by what

he faced in Jerusalem.  Everything he was had already been placed on the altar and was sacrificed to the glory of God, Rom. 12:1.  Paul had already added up all that he had going for him in life and had determined that Jesus was worth more than anything, Phil. 3:4-11.  (Note:  When you all is surrendered, you have nothing at all to fear!  Is your all on the altar tonight?)

      B.  v. 25-35  The Rest Of A Sanctified Legacy – Paul could leave Ephesus

knowing that he had done his job well and that he had all the people trained and in place who could continue the work.  (Note: May we be able to echo Paul’s words when we leave this world behind – 2 Tim. 4:7.)

      C.  v. 36-38  The Rest Of A Sovereign Lord – Everything was laid in the

hand of God.  When all is in His hands, than all is well!  May we never forget that our God is a sovereign Lord.  He is in absolute control of every situation of life – Eph. 3:20; Ex. 3:14.  Therefore, we can have confidence placing our all in His hands!


Conc:  Are you bound in the spirit to do something?  If so, commit it to the hand of the Lord and get to it!  He will see to whatever needs you may have along the way, Gen. 24:44.  He will see you through until the race is run and your course is finished!

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