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Friday, December 30 2011

Introduction

Last week we looked at the riot in Ephesus engineered by Demetrius the silversmith's false allegation. And also how God again used people (like Gallio in Chapter 18) to calm impending disaster. Today, we will continue with our study as we follow Mark's narration in this chapter and by the actions of Paul discover a few traits of a genuine leader.

1.      OFFERS CONTINUOUS ENCOURAGEMENT

 1-2 "With things back to normal, Paul called the disciples together and encouraged them to keep up the good work in Ephesus. Then, saying his good-byes, he left for Macedonia. Traveling through the country, passing from one gathering to another, he gave constant encouragement, lifting their spirits and charging them with fresh hope."

Here we learn that Paul was constantly encouraging the disciples, lifting their spirits and charging them with fresh hope. That's what a leader does (even when it's a rebuke) it should end up as an encouragement not condemnation, it should lift people's spirits, not pull them down and give them hope!

2.      ENJOYS THE FELLOWSHIP OF FELLOW BELIEVERS

 7-8We met on Sunday to worship and celebrate the Master's Supper. Paul addressed the congregation. Our plan was to leave first thing in the morning, but Paul talked on, way past midnight. We were meeting in a well-lighted upper room.

The purpose of fellowship (meeting together) is mainly for worship, celebration and exhortation. Did Paul talk too much? Was it a boring message? Did he continue to talk because he was feeling nostalgic?

3.      HAS DECISIVE FAITH

 9-12 A young man named Eutychus was sitting in an open window. As Paul went on and on, Eutychus fell sound asleep and toppled out the third-story window. When they picked him up, he was dead. Paul went down, stretched himself on him, and hugged him hard. "No more crying," he said. "There's life in him yet." Then Paul got up and served the Master's Supper. And went on telling stories of the faith until dawn! On that note, they left?Paul going one way, the congregation another, leading the boy off alive, and full of life themselves.

O that God will take us to the place when in the face of disaster we pray and act in faith not fret and panic in fear! That He will grant us the grace to trust Him absolutely to move in our situations.

4.      IS FOCUSED IN URGENCY 

16Paul had decided to bypass Ephesus so that he wouldn't be held up in Asia province. He was in a hurry to get to Jerusalem in time for the Feast of Pentecost, if at all possible.

Once again, we can say "there is time for everything". He knew he would be delayed in Ephesus so he avoided Ephesus. He was focused on what God wanted Him to do; we should know when to use the wisdom God gave us. It wasn't the Holy Spirit that told him not to go through Ephesus, he knew (maybe from experience)

5.      MAKES IT CLEAR -HAS  NOTHING TO HIDE

 17-21From Miletus he sent to Ephesus for the leaders of the congregation. When they arrived, he said, "You know that from day one of my arrival in Asia I was with you totally?laying my life on the line, serving the Master no matter what, putting up with no end of scheming by Jews who wanted to do me in. I didn't skimp or trim in any way. Every truth and encouragement that could have made a difference to you, you got. I taught you out in public and I taught you in your homes, urging Jews and Greeks alike to a radical life-change before God and an equally radical trust in our Master Jesus.

Paul was clear with the Ephesians' leaders. They didn't need to read between the lines; everything was said "on the lines" Read 2 Corinthians 4: 1-2 [MSG], 2 Corinthians 1:13 [MSG] & Matthew 5:33-37 [MSG]

6.      PRIORITIZES APPROPRIATELY

 22"But there is another urgency before me now. I feel compelled to go to Jerusalem".

 24" What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God.

Paul could place a finger on what matters to him and God

7.      FEARLESSLY TRUSTS IN GOD

 23"I'm completely in the dark about what will happen when I get there. I do know that it won't be any picnic, for the Holy Spirit has let me know repeatedly and clearly that there are hard times and imprisonment ahead. But that matters little.

 . . . Although he could not place a finger on what could happen to him.

8.      GIVES IT THEIR ALL - SPENT FOR THE MASTER

 25-27"And so this is good-bye. You're not going to see me again, nor I you, you whom I have gone among for so long proclaiming the news of God's inaugurated kingdom. I've done my best for you, given you my all, held back nothing of God's will for you.

9.      SEES AHEAD AND ACTS APPROPRIATELY - A WARNING FOR ALL TIMES

28"Now it's up to you. Be on your toes?both for yourselves and your congregation of sheep. The Holy Spirit has put you in charge of these people?God's people they are?to guard and protect them. God himself thought they were worth dying for.

 29-31"I know that as soon as I'm gone, vicious wolves are going to show up and rip into this flock, men from your very own ranks twisting words so as to seduce disciples into following them instead of Jesus. So stay awake and keep up your guard. Remember those three years I kept at it with you, never letting up, pouring my heart out with you, one after another.

10.  RECOGNIZES THAT WE ALL NEED GRACE

 32"Now I'm turning you over to God, our marvelous God whose gracious Word can make you into what he wants you to be and give you everything you could possibly need in this community of holy friends.

11.  IS CALLED TO SERVE NOT TO BE SERVED

 33-35"I've never, as you so well know, had any taste for wealth or fashion. With these bare hands I took care of my own basic needs and those who worked with me. In everything I've done, I have demonstrated to you how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. You'll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, 'You're far happier giving than getting.'"

12.  SHOULD NOT CREATE A SMOKE SCREEN - SHOULD SHOW VULNERABILITY

 36-38Then Paul went down on his knees, all of them kneeling with him, and prayed. And then a river of tears. Much clinging to Paul, not wanting to let him go. They knew they would never see him again?he had told them quite plainly. The pain cut deep. Then, bravely, they walked him down to the ship.

Genuine love becomes visible when we drop our guards and let the family realize that we are mere mortals.

CONCLUSION:

Everyone one of us in one way or the other are leaders of one sort or the other or will soon be one. In our study today we have learnt 12 traits of a genuine leader. We will do well to covet all of these and much more.

 

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 05:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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