Serving with Humility
- Brothers and sisters, God has called all of us to serve our fellow man in one capacity or another. Sometimes we feel that we don’t have anything of value to
offer someone else. But God has given us all gifts and talents that we can share with others and be of some service to them. The Apostle Paul is an excellent example that we can follow as
we strive to serve our fellow man with humility.
- It was during his third missionary journey, in the spring of 58 AD in the city of Corinth when Paul completed his letter to the church at Rome. Being
compelled by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem, the Apostle collected contributions from all of the Gentile churches in the region of Corinth to give to the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.
He felt that the Gentiles should be willing to share their material blessings with the needy among the saints at Jerusalem. Paul planned to take these contributions to Jerusalem in time for the
celebration of the Passover. Many who loved Paul tried to keep him from returning to Jerusalem. But in spite of the imprisonment and persecution he knew he would ultimately suffer on his
journey, he decided to continue on. Fortunately, Paul did not travel back to Jerusalem alone. At least eight men who represented the Gentile Church traveled with him, including Timothy
- As Paul traveled to Jerusalem, he deeply desired to visit the church at Ephesus. Paul wanted to visit the Ephesian Church because he was very close to the
congregation there. He had played a large role in establishing the Church there and felt certain that this would be his last opportunity to visit with them one more time before something
terrible happened to him.
- As Paul came close to Ephesus, he decided to pass it by because he felt he would be tempted to spend too much time with the Ephesians and ruin his plans to get to
Jerusalem in time for Pentecost.
- Instead of going to Ephesus, Paul and his companions sailed to Miletus (thirty miles away from Ephesus). While in Miletus, Paul sent a message to the
Ephesians and asked the elders to meet him in Miletus.
- Paul’s meeting with the Ephesian elders at Miletus is thought to be one of his most moving passages of scripture to many students of the Bible. To Paul, this is his
final fond farewell.
- During the meeting with the Ephesians elders at Miletus, Paul challenged them to remember how he had lived and served humbly among them in Ephesus. Paul said,
you know how I lived from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility. While in Ephesus, Paul served the church as a servant, putting the needs of
others first, and taking no personal credit for his work in the ministry. He realized that his accomplishments in the ministry were not because of his own power, but a result of the power of
the Holy Spirit who worked in and through him.
- Paul further stated to the Elders that they knew he had not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to them.
- Although the Apostle Paul lived under severe persecution, continuous threats, and harassment, Paul taught them publicly, going from house to house, declaring the
good news to both Jews and Greeks. And now, being compelled by the Holy Spirit, Paul is returning to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to him there. He only knows that in every city
the Holy Spirit warns him that prison and hardships are facing him. Nevertheless, Paul is determined to stand firm on the word of God and continue on in his ministry.
- Although persecuted, plotted against, and wrongfully accused and imprisoned, Paul was determined to be faithful to God and continues to serve humbly and reach out
to those whom he had been called to serve. He told the Elders, that he considered his life worth nothing to him. He only desired to finish the race before him and complete the task the
Lord Jesus Christ had given to him, which is testifying to the gospel of God’s grace and ministering to God’s people.
In closing, what has God called you to do? He has given each and every one of us gifts and talents and we are called to serve one another. How are you
going to serve your fellow man?