Internet Archive bookmarks for: despond

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Encouraging Leaders of the Church to Lead Well (Elders/Pastors/Bishops) Acts 20:17-38

Here is the audio recording for Acts 20:17-38 taught during our Sunday School hour at Village Bible Church.

In this section Paul addresses the elders (bishops, overseers, bishops) of Ephesus. The elders ("presbyteroi" v. 17- see Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5) are the leaders of the church who lead with maturity. They are also the bishops or overseers ("episkopoi" v. 28, 1 Tim. 3:1; Phil. 1:1) who over see the church in all spiritual matters. *They are also the pastors ("poimen" v. 28, only once to refer to leaders or elders as a plural noun - Ephesians 4:11. As a singular noun see 1 Peter 5:1-2) who shepherd (guide-direct, feed, protect) the church in all spiritual matters.


Paul the Apostle encourages the elders of Ephesus to shepherd the church of God as he has done. In a very personal way he reminds them of his example to them and encourages them to do likewise. It is a passage relevant and applicable to our church today. Those of us called to be elders must heed the words of Paul. After all, it is not our church but God's church that we shepherd. It is an honor bestowed by the Holy Spirit because of the grace we have received in Christ.








* Notice a correction on the audio. I forgot the use of "pastors" ("poimenes") in Ephesians and a brother in our class pointed out to me after class! It's good to be kept accountable.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I Count My Life of No Value to Myself

Paul had a singular life focus but not for himself. In this over thirty years as a believer Paul travelled over 8,700 miles by foot, about 15,000 in his lifetime, planted at least 14 churches and wrote 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament and suffered a lot. All for the Gospel of Christ. His life in of itself had no value unless it had to do with what God had called him to do, preach the Gospel. He knew it would cost him "his" life. According to tradition he was beheaded by Nero around 64-65 A.D. He finished his race, faithfully. 2 Timothy 4:8.

In our modern culture, even as Christians, we see the opposite. Our care is about ourselves (just look at our endless "selfies"), especially our bodies. We love ourselves (remember Narcissus?) and our comfort. What if we Christians really just lived for Christ? No, I mean really! What would it look like?

Acts 20:24. "But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace."

 

 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Encouraging & Strengthening Others, Worshipping on the Lord's Day! Acts 20:1-17

It is interesting too that today in our Sunday School we got to put into practice much of what we learned. We had a visitor that showed up seeking help  and from the moment she walked into our church one of our class members spoke to her. She came to our class, listened and cried. After class she told us how what she heard applied to her. Many of us were involved and we were able to all help her both in tangible and non-tangible ways to get where she was going. God gave us an opportunity to apply his Word.

Here is the audio recording for Acts 20:1- 17 taught during our Sunday School hour at Village Bible Church.



It is interesting too that today in our Sunday School we got to put into practice much of what we learned. We had a visitor that showed up seeking help  and from the moment she walked into our church one of our class members spoke to her. She came to our class, listened and cried. After class she told us how what she heard applied to her. Many of us were involved and we were able to all help her both in tangible and non-tangible ways to get where she was going. God gave us an opportunity to apply his Word.

Applications from this section:

1. Encouragement in the faith comes through worship on the Lord's Day through the preached Word, the Lord's Supper. through exhortations, divine interventions and fellowship (meals).

2. The Bible is preached, taught, proclaimed, used for dialoguing, explaining, convincing others of their need of the Gospel of Christ.

3. Ministry involves plurality of leaders and co-laborers.

4. Helping the poor in the Church is an obligation of the Church. Those who have more need to help those who are needy.

One correction I need to make in the audio. 2 Corinthians was written from Macedonia not Troas.