Now Paul tells us how he served the Lord. Look he says with humility of mind, in tears and trials. He served, with all humility. He served without arrogance, without pride, he didn’t let position or power get in his way; he served without a desire to "lord it over God's heritage." Someone said, “a humble person can neither be put down or exalted; he can neither be humiliated or honored: he remains the same person under all circumstance.” The servant of God must have a heart of humility. Humility is allowing God to have full control, knowing He is God and you are the vessel. Not being elevated that God called you to minister but that He chose you of all people to speak for Him. Not get lifted up but humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that He may be exalted. He must serve with lowliness and meekness of heart, you don’t have toot your own horn when you know who you are and whose you are when you comfortable in your own skin you don’t have to be put on a platform or sit at the head table. The Williams brothers said it best “I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, about somebody that can save anybody! Jesus humbled Himself and took on the form of a servant, the king of Glory, God is incarnate, the only begotten of the Father, humbled himself to die on Calvary’s cross for you and I. A spirit of arrogance leaves a stench in today’s world everyone is into self-glorification, shouting at the world “look at me.”
The Paul says he served in many tears. If you serve the Lord, there will be some tears! The servant of God will have the heart broken many times that He might know how to speak a word in due season. The servant of God must have a heart for the wounded, the hurting and lost, a heart that breaks when he sees the lost souls Jesus died for.  If we do not have a heart for God’s people, if we are not touched by the misery and condition, by their suffering and pain then the love of God is not in us. If we do not weep for those we see, how can we love Him we do not understand. Jesus wept when looked on Jerusalem, He cried over His friend Lazarus, His heart was full of compassion for others, should the servants of God not also have? As we serve our Lord, our hearts ought to be filled with tears for those we see in this same condition. Tears can come from physical pain or from heart-rending loss or from unbearable frustrations and discouragements or from intense yearning or from overwhelming joy. I don't know which Paul had in mind here. But in chapter 20 verse 31 Paul says, remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. The saints of God must have a heart for those going astray, feel for those in danger of destruction, mind body and soul. Paul probably cried over his inability, his inadequacies,
Paul goes on to say He served the Lord not in humility, with tears, but also through trials. Paul came up against natural tests but also trials from the enemy. When you take up your cross to follow Jesus the enemies will line up. You have enemies from outside the church, and raging wolves from inside the church. Some people fall by the wayside when trials and opposition comes, a hardship or two they desert the church and lose their faith in God and drop out of the race. But I want to encourage you this morning, hold on keep the faith. Paul said, 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NKJV) 8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed--
But Paul said He was faithful. Despite the trials, Paul had to face he kept serving the Lord faithfully. Read 2 Corinthians 11:25-28 (KJV) 25 Thrice was I was beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
Don’t let nothing turn you around, misunderstood keep serving, talked about keep serving, lied on keep serving, have to walk alone keep serving, enemy all around keep serving unto death, serve Him. A crown waits in glory if you hold on you’ll hear Him say well done! 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (NKJV) 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. Be instant in season and out of season. Sometimes church you got to press on through the storm and rain, the hills get hard to climb and the valleys so low, in pain and misery, in sunshine and calamity, you got to press on.
Let us be yielding clay in the master's hands, let our tears be lifted up to heaven in fervent prayer, and trials be the fire that purges all the dross from the Gold making us a worthy servant.

Rev. Daryl Jordan

Sister Lia Jordan            Brother Melvin Reed                Rev. Jonathan Norman

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    Too many that read this passage in the Bible just might think it some ho-hum verbiage about Paul’s travels and missionary journeys.  This though the seemingly trivial text is a gem that gives us instruction on how a saint ought to serve the Lord biblically. But 2 Timothy 3:16 Says, 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God, woman of God, child of God, might be perfect, thoroughly furnished and unto all good works. All scripture is for our learning, gain wisdom and be equipped to do the masters will.  Dr. Herbert Barnes says in his commentary, This discourse which follows is one of the most tender, affectionate, and eloquent, which is nowhere to be found. See I saw, what appears to Paul reminiscing to colleagues, is instruction given to help them in their minister and walk with Christ. And it is as applicable today to you and me as when it was spoken by Paul. Serving our Lord is more than a nod and wink, signing up and setting down, more than dressing up every Sunday and doing nothing, it is more than talk and show. Too many church folks are talking a lot of smack and have no proof of Christ in their actions.
In today’s text Paul was going to Jerusalem He was determined to get there to evangelize, he was gripped with passion and a great desire to preach the word where ever the Lord sent him. He had determined he would visit Jerusalem and nothing would stop him. Paul bypassed Ephesus, he wanted to spend no more time in Asia that he might get to Jerusalem before the day of Pentecost. He called the elders of the church at Ephesus to meet him there in Jerusalem. The question is why did He want to see the elders of the church from Ephesians? Well, the future of the Ephesian church hangs on how its elders serve the Lord, and that's what Paul talks about here. How we ought to serve the Lord! No doubt Paul would have loved to see the whole church in Ephesus. But his strength and schedule dictated that he limit himself to the one thing that was indispensable—talking to the church elders. As the elders go, so goes the church in Ephesus. When God calls us to ministry, to salvation, he calls us to be faithful, diligent, and steadfast, that we might be a servant worthy of our call. And we must realize that call is a summons to a journey filled with denying self, sacrifice, and suffering. Remember Paul had been told what “great things he must suffer” for the cause of Christ. Some people think that serving God answering the call and living the life will be easy, but the call to discipleship will cost you, and the Bible teaches us we must count the cost. Paul had caught passage aboard a ship

​In verse 18 Paul talking to the elders say,
 “Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons.” Paul had lived among them for three years, they had observed his faith walk, saw the character of his life and they could testify of his dedication, loyalty, and service. Paul said you been witnesses to the life I’ve lived, you know, you’ve observed my walk. The elders witnessed that Paul’s confession was backed by his actions. He wasn’t bragging or boasting He was stating a fact.
Paul’s says you know how I been with you in all seasons. Now Paul was not talking about the weather here when he says seasons. He is saying I been with you when times were good and times were not so good, I’ve been with you in sickness and health, whether abased or abound I’ve been with you. In trial and tribulation I did not falter or give up, in the storm and rain I been faithful to my calling. He had a testimony of constant, unwavering, steadfast, untiring, dedicated, devoted, resolute faith.  Paul could say later in I’ve kept the faith, finished my course and could lay claim to His crown of Life. I hear Paul say “I let nothing separate me from the Love of Christ Jesus.”  Paul tells the elders how we walk in the faith, he says by serving the Lord with humility. Did you get that? He served the Lord. He didn’t serve himself or others, but He served the Lord. You got to make the Lord king of your life to serve Him. And if you make Him lord then you obedient to his every command, if He is your love and lord you submit to His will and way. In Romans 1:1 Paul says, he was a servant of Jesus Christ, called and set apart for the gospel. He uses the word doulos which means bond-slave. Paul says I’m the slave of the Lord.  A slave was brought with a price, and his sole purpose was to please and serve the master. Oh some people attend church, they got their name on the roll, member of the congregation but they don’t serve the Lord. We are to serve Him with a fervent spirit. That word fervent means, boiling over like hot molten metal, or water boiling turning to steam, we are to in our minds and heart, have a longing that cannot be contained. I hear you got to serve Him with gladness, serve him with a perfect heart and willing mind, serve Him with fear and rejoice in trembling, I read if you serve Him He’ll bless your bread and your water, serve Him with all thy heart and thou soul. Serve Him in your home on your job, glorify the Lord with all your being. Paul had made up his mind to serve him until He died. Because he said "for me live is Christ and to die is gain. We must present our bodies a living sacrifice holy acceptable unto God.

Rev. Louise Valentine          Deacon Phillip McFadden       Sister Liz Watson