Faithlife Sermons

God's Servant

Book of Acts   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Paul having just been shipwrecked, now gives himself to the service of others rather than being concerned for himself.

Paul and his company have just endured a harrowing journey and have now arrived on the shores of the island of Malta weary and battered from their encounter with the storm.
We can only imagine their condition having swam to shore in the frigid ocean amidst the pouring rain.
What follows is a tremendous testimony to Paul’s heart for others. Instead of being concerned for himself, he commits himself to serving others.
Once the sailors, soldiers, and prisoners arrive on shore the people of the land treat them with great kindness, kindling a fire for them to warm themselves.
Paul’s behavior and experience on the island simply confirms that he is indeed a servant of almighty God.
First we see the servant of God’s behavior will be characterized by:

Selfless Service (Vs. 3a)

While most were trying to recover their strength, warming themselves by the fire which had been kindled, Paul recognized that if the fire was going to burn on someone would need to collect some wood to fuel it.
Instead of demanding that someone else go and attend to this need, Paul takes it upon himself to tend to the needs of others.
The Apostle Paul was constantly outwardly focused, always concerned not for himself but for others.
1 Corinthians 9:19 KJV 1900
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
The servant of God should be characterized by a selfless mentality of service. Paul had every right to focus on his own needs and his own problems but He was instead focused on the needs of those around him.
We should take a moment to examine our lives and determine where we are focused. Am I focused on having my needs met or is my focus upon recognizing and meeting the needs of others.
Philippians 2:5–8 KJV 1900
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus was the supreme embodiment of this selfless perspective, His life was lived entirely for the sake of others. Paul sought to follow the savior’s example of selfless service.
Even as we consider our present circumstances, it is easy for us to become solely focused on how our lives have been impacted and fail to recognize the needs of others.
Paul was surely respected and held in high-esteem by the other passengers and likely even among the crew member and soldiers and he could certainly have had someone else collect the wood for the fire. Instead, his recognition of the needs of others led him to do the work himself.
When he could have been warming himself by the fire, he instead went out to gather sticks so others could warm themselves.
Next we see that the life of the servant of God is marked by:

Supernatural Safety (Vs. 3b-6)

Even as he selflessly served others, Paul came under attack from a serpent from amongst the heat of the fire.
According to Luke and to the people of the island the snake was venomous and its bite should have meant the end of Paul or at least brought on serious illness.
The locals assumed that Paul was a murderer and that though he had escaped the sea, was now receiving justice from the Gods.
So many times it is wrongly assumed that those who suffer attacks and trials are guilty while this may not be the case.
As the people of the island watched they were shocked and in disbelief that the serpent’s bite had not effect whatsoever on Paul.
Paul simply shook the serpent from his hand and continued on as though nothing had happened. This caused the people to instead believe that Paul was divine himself.
If Paul was aware of this belief, undoubtedly he corrected their mistake.
The servant of God has a work to do and the truth is that nothing shall hinder them from the work which God has called them to do.
Paul knew his mission was to ultimately testify of Christ in Rome. This meant that there was nothing that could stop him from reaching Rome’s shore, not even a venomous viper.
Paul has not yet arrived in Rome where God promised him that he would testify of Christ. There was yet work to do before Paul reached the finish line of his race.
The servant of God will have the protection of God until their work on earth is done. There is no one who can take our life from us unless God grants permission.
If you and I will commit ourselves to do the will of God and to serve Him faithfully, there is nothing that can thwart or hinder us from accomplishing the work that God has called us to do.
We do not necessarily know exactly when our work on earth is done, but we do know that God is more than capable of protecting us as we run the race that is set before us all the way to the finish line.
Trust today that God will enable us to do all His will and that we shall be under divine protection until the moment our work on earth is completed.
Finally we see that the life of the servant of God will be filled with:

Miraculous Moments (Vs. 7-10)

The servant of God who faithfully serves and prays will also be witness to miraculous moments as God works powerfully through them to accomplish His will upon earth.
How many miraculous moments were there in the life of the Apostle Paul from the time that he surrendered his life to the Lord.
Here we see Paul used as the instrument which would bring divine healing to many of the people on the island.
Paul did not have the power himself to heal any one of them, but he was given the opportunity to be the vessel which God would use to bring miraculous healing to them.
If Paul had not corrected their thinking earlier, surely now they would recognize, as Paul prayed to God, that it was not Paul they should worship but the God that Paul believed in.
When you and I yield ourselves to be servants of God, we may not be a part of a miraculous healing such as is found here, but we shall certainly have some miraculous moments as well.
For those who have had the opportunity to lead someone to Christ, what a miraculous moment! To lead someone to Jesus and watch them place their faith in Christ as savior certainly qualifies as a miraculous moment.
Many of us have had the opportunity to see our specific prayers, specifically answered and again we have the miraculous moment when God supernaturally works in answer to our praying.
There is the miraculous moment when you have the opportunity to see someone turn their life around in response to your godly influence.
The life of the servant of God is filled with miraculous moments, when God works through us to do something that we could never have dreamed of doing on our own.
Churches are planted, people are saved, lives are salvaged when God uses His faithful servants.
There are so many people today who want to be great and who want to be in a position of great authority and power.
Let all of us who believe in Christ be content today to be God’s Servants. What greater joy could there be in life than to serve the King of kings and Lord of lords!
As we search the scriptures we will find that Paul most often identified himself not as an Apostle, and Evangelist, a Missionary, a Church Planter, a Great Teacher, but rather as a “servant of God”
Romans 1:1 KJV 1900
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
Philippians 1:1 KJV 1900
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Titus 1:1 KJV 1900
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
James 1:1 KJV 1900
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2 Peter 1:1 KJV 1900
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
Jude 1 KJV 1900
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
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