Chapter Twenty — Part Sixteen: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 12/11/2022

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 20:35-38

1. Servanthood.
a. Paul dedicated his life to the Gospel—to serve in more ways than one.
b. Paul served people by preaching, teaching, and ministering to their needs.
c. Getting them saved, and healed, and delivered.
d. But he also worked diligently with his hands to provide for himself and for others, and to not be a burden to any.
e. Paul held nothing back, and he did nothing by measure, but he worked and toiled unto weariness for their sakes.
f. He wasn’t doing it for their approval, and he was not dependent on their response—but he worked as unto the Lord.
g. Colossians 3:23-24 NKJV — And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
h. In every way, he set the example by his unselfish servanthood.
i. Acts 20:35a AMPC — In everything I have pointed out to you [by example] that, by working diligently in this manner, we ought to assist the weak…
j. Paul told them: I have set an example before you to follow in all things.

2. Support the Weak.
a. We are to assist the weak in body and spirit—to help those who are unable to help themselves.
b. Romans 15:1-2 MSG — Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. 2 Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”
c. Paul beseeches us in 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 to:
d. Admonish those who are out of line—the lazy, disorderly, and unruly.
e. Encourage those who are timid and fainthearted.
f. Help and support the weak souls.
g. Keep your temper; be patient; never repay evil with evil; show kindness and do good.

3. More Blessed.
a. Acts 20:35 AMPC — …being mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, It is more blessed (makes one happier and more to be envied) to give than to receive.
b. Although there’s no one specific place where it is recorded that Jesus said those exact words, Paul reports that He did.
c. This principle is also borne out in the rest of the Word of God.
d. Jesus said: Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:38 NKJV).
e. 2 Corinthians 9:6 AMPC — Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings.
f. When you have the right motivation—love—then you can freely give and serve.
g. You receive TWO blessings in the process.
h. It just feels good to be a blessing to others.
i. You feel blessed when you see them get blessed.
j. And because we reap what we sow, we personally receive a blessing from the Lord in return.
k. Galatians 6:7 NKJV — Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
l. Galatians 6:9-10 NKJV — And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
m. It is more blessed to give than to receive!

4. Saying Goodbye.
a. Acts 20:36 NKJV — And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
b. Before they parted company, they prayed together.
c. Acts 20:37-38a NKJV — Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, 38 sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more.
d. They all wept freely because they loved him and would not be seeing him anymore.
e. When you build precious relationships with one another it is difficult to be parted.
f. Proverbs 17:17 NKJV — A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
g. The closest of friends are those who have stuck with each other through thick and thin.
h. They have laughed and cried and prayed together.
i. They have not lived for themselves but for each other and for the purposes of God.
j. John 15:13 KJV — Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
k. Godly friendships are scriptural and essential.
l. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NKJV — Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
m. Acts 20:38b NKJV —  And they accompanied him to the ship.
n. Paul departed and continued his journey.
o. Even when we are physically parted from those we love in the Lord, we find comfort in knowing that we will be reunited, in eternity, in His presence.