Acts – Paul the Apostle – Wayne Barber/Part 7
By: Dr. Wayne Barber
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©1992|
|Ephesians is written by Paul. We know that from the first phrase of Ephesians 1:1. We’ve been spring-boarding off this first phrase which reads, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.” Now turn to Acts 20 as we continue to study the life of Paul and the missionary journeys of Paul. We have looked at Paul the man, and now we are looking at Paul the missionary.|
Paul: The Missionary – Part 6
Turn with me to Ephesians 1:1. You know we are only going to be there for a second. I just want to remind you that’s what we are doing. This is the eighth message introducing the book of Ephesians. We may have at least 20 before we are finally in Ephesians 1:1.
Ephesians is written by Paul. We know that from the first phrase of Ephesians 1:1. We’ve been spring-boarding off this first phrase which reads, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.” Now turn to Acts 20 as we continue to study the life of Paul and the missionary journeys of Paul. We have looked at Paul the man, and now we are looking at Paul the missionary.
This is going to take us a while. We may go right into our missions conference the last part of September. This was not premeditated, but it might be the best way in the world for us to enter into that conference truly understanding the heart and the life of a real missionary. Remember, when you surrender to Jesus, you are at that moment a missionary, whether across the street or around the world. I still want those two signs out in front of the church. I haven’t really said it, I guess, with enough force or conviction to get it done. I want a sign over as we leave that says, “Caution, you are now entering the mission field.” We have the idea that someone who crosses the ocean or someone who goes up north is the missionary. We are just back here holding the fort. Folks, the moment we say “yes” to Jesus, we are a missionary, a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are on staff at the church, yes, they are ministers. They are paid full-time. But, folks, every one of us are ministers. We have the luxury of being paid by those we serve, but at the same time, we are all ministers and missionaries when we say “yes” to Jesus.
Well, on his first and second missionary journeys we saw in Paul what a missionary experiences. What can we expect as we surrender to Christ? We are not Paul, and we can’t take his journeys and make them ours. However, there are certain principles that do flow along that line. One of them is the fact that we can expect hostility. Paul saw it on his first missionary journey, and he especially saw it on his second missionary journey. You see, when we are light, we irritate the darkness. Darkness and light just don’t get along very well. We can expect hostility, but alongside of that, we can expect the fullest of joy knowing we are doing what our Lord has told us to do.
On his third missionary journey, we got into something else. We started looking at how others are blessed as a result of that man’s surrender. That’s what we need to focus on, because the darkness out there is going to be affected by the light that is in us. In Ephesus we saw how others were blessed by the miracles of God, the tremendous miracle of new birth. He even chose to do some extraordinary miracles among them. In Macedonia we saw how they were encouraged by the compassion of God as he exhorted them and came alongside them. In Troas we saw how they were instructed by the Word of God. So there were three blessings others received because of Paul’s willingness to surrender to Christ.
Well, this time we find him still on his third missionary journey. We find him not in Troas, but in Miletus. Look in Acts 20:13. Look up in the top right hand corner of your map. You will find his third missionary journey marked. If you’ll start over on the right side and start coming left, about the middle of the square, you will see Asia. From Asia go left and a little bit north, and you’ll find Troas. That’s where we found him the last time that we studied. We are going to leave Troas and come down to Miletus. It is straight south of Troas on the coast of Asia Minor.
Verse 13 takes us there on the journey. Let’s read together. It says, “But we, going ahead to the ship.” Now, when it says “we,” who is he talking about? We know the companions listed earlier, but it also includes Luke. Luke wrote the book of Acts and so, therefore, Luke is saying, “We, all the companions, including myself.” There was another time when he was with Paul, and the companions went ahead. This time he is with Paul’s companions. They go ahead of Paul by ship, and they “set sail for Assos, intending from there to take Paul on board; for thus he had arranged it, intending himself to go by land.” Paul decided to go by foot. He just walked to Assos, which was south of Troas. The rest of them took a boat around to the same place.
Verse 14 continues, “And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene.” That is an island in the Aegean Sea off the western coast of Asia Minor. In verse 15 it says, “And sailing from there, we arrived the following day opposite Chios.” They didn’t go to Chios. They went right by the island of Chios in the Aegean Sea, “and the next day we crossed over to Samos,” another island in the Aegean Sea, “and the day following we came to Miletus.” Miletus is another seaport city, south of Troas, on the western coast of Asia Minor. As a matter of fact, it is exactly 37 miles south of Ephesus. Remember in verse 16, he says he doesn’t want to stop at Ephesus. It says, “For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus in order that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.” To do that, he had to go right past Ephesus.
Verse 17 brings us into what we are going to talk about. Verse 17 says, “And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.” For those of you who still wonder about the elder system, the term “elder,” presbuteros, is in the plural. The term “church” has the definite article. It is the singular church that is there in Ephesus. One church, many elders; that was the leadership of the New Testament church.
In verses 18-27, Paul shares his heart with these Ephesian elders. In sharing his heart we see some things about the life of Paul that gives great integrity to his testimony. What I want you to see is not really the point of what Paul is saying. It is something you just sort of glean as you are studying the passage. What we are going to see and what Paul tells them is the genuineness of his ministry. You see, it is one thing to say to somebody “I love Jesus, and I am a servant of Christ.” It is another thing to be that when you are around them. Somebody told me a long time ago that your reputation is what you think you are; your character is what your wife and family and the people that know you best know that you are. These Ephesian elders knew Paul.
He shares some things with them that help us be challenged today concerning whether or not our own testimony is real. We live in the 20th century. We are living in a time and an age which I believe is the Laodician age spoken of in Revelation. It’s a time when people have joined the church, but have not joined Jesus. We are living in the apostate age when people love to be associated with the name of Jesus, but they stand off from bowing down to Him and living it out among others in this world.
First of all, we see in verses 18 and 19 that Paul was a consistent servant of Christ. I want you to see that. He was a consistent servant of Christ. Those are powerful words. Verse 18 says, “And when they had come to him, he said to them, ‘You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, serving the Lord.’” Now, I want you to stop right there. “I was with you the whole time, serving the Lord.” These elders in Ephesus knew some things about Paul. They knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that Paul was sincere and genuine. They had seen the consistency of his service to Christ among them. He was not on some emotional whim, and he was certainly not on some binge. A lot of people will take off and do something for the Lord for a period of time and think that must mark them as genuine and as true. No, sir. It is not how you start. It is how you finish. They knew Paul to be real as a consistent servant of Christ.
Look at that term “servant.” He said, “I was with you the whole time, serving the Lord.’” The term “serving” is the Greek word douleuo. It is the present indicative active verb of doulos. Doulos is the term “bond-servant.” The term “bond-servant” means one who does what he does, not because he has to, but because he wants to. In other words, the service that Paul was performing and obeying for his Christ was observed by those Ephesian elders to be consistent, real and genuine. They knew him. Paul brings that to their attention. He says, “I have nothing to hide. You knew me when I was among you. You of all people know me.”
Now, I want to ask you a question. Can the people who know you best say that about your life? Can they say you not only put in time, but that your whole life is a true servant of the Lord Jesus Christ? The present tense means continuous action. Active voice means of my own volition. Indicative mood means it was a historical fact. Paul was saying, “You saw all these things take place among you. You know exactly that my service to Christ is not my job. It’s my life.”
Now, folks, listen. Here is what spoke to me as I was studying this. If I want my testimony to have integrity to it, then Jesus must be my life. It’s not just something I do on Sundays; it’s not just something I do during the week as I go to the office. Jesus must consume my very being. Paul said to the Philippian church in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ.” “He is the very essence of my being, the very purpose of my being here, everything that surrounds me. There is a sphere around me. I am in the midst of it, and I want everybody to know that it’s real to me. It’s not just something I’m playing with. It is not an option of my time.” That’s what gives credibility and integrity to the testimony we have before this world.
We sing, “I’ll carry the torch.” How in the world are we going to carry the torch if we are not sold out totally to the Lord Jesus Christ? Paul says, “I was with you. I was consistently a servant. You saw it. You witnessed it. I was a bond-servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now we know his calling is different from ours. Sometimes people confuse that. They say, “Well, we are not the apostle Paul. We can’t do what Paul did.” No, and we shouldn’t even attempt it. But we have our own concern, gifts and calling. The same thing applies to us. We are all sent forth as Paul was sent forth. We are all possessive of the Lord Jesus Christ. We all have the truth within us. Therefore, we are just as accountable and just as responsible as Paul was. So, therefore, when we are consistently servants of Christ, that’s what translates into others a genuine, true testimony.
I’m just glad I didn’t know a whole lot when we had our children. If I’d have known some of the things I know now, I would have probably waited until I couldn’t have had any. You always think, “Well, when we are ready, we are going to have children.” You are never ready! Folks, listen. It’s an adventure nobody told you about. One of the things I discovered was, I had to eat a lot of crow. I told everybody how it was going to be when I raised my children.
I remember telling someone one day before he and his wife had any children, “You had better tell every parent in this whole place how to raise their children before you get yours and before they grow up, because when they hit the teenage years, you are going to have to start preaching something else, like how to be a great senior adult or something. You will have to eat so much crow.”
One of the things I have seen more than anything else from just having been there, if our walk was not consistent in our life, my kids knew it. I’m not talking about perfection. I’m not talking about living so godly that our kids walk around in awe of us all the time. I’m talking about something that is real from the time we come to church to the time that we go home. They understood from our lifestyle that Christ consumes us. When we fail, we go to the cross. When we have a problem, we go to the Word. They saw that. Through that consistency of living and through being a consistent bond-servant of Christ, the integrity is maintained in our testimony to our children.
One problem so often is our kids see the double standard in us. One morning about 6:00, in one of the cities I served in, my phone rang. When my phone rings at 6:00, folks, strange things happen in my mind. I am a late-goer. I’m sorry, but I am. Some of you are more spiritual than I am. You get up early, and the sun comes in as you are on your knees before the Lord. Well, I’m glad. I really am. I just applaud you. It’s just wonderful. If God wants me to see the sun come up, He’s going to have to put it at noon, because by the time I get to bed, I’m barely asleep when it comes up. It is just amazing. I am just a late-goer. I do my best work late at night. It seems like that’s when my mind is alert and I am awake. So if somebody calls me at 6:00 in the morning, weird thoughts go through my mind like: “Where am I? What city am I in? What’s going on?”
The lady on the other end of the line said, “Wayne!” Boy, you can always tell when somebody has had their quiet time in the morning and has been alone with God and has been touched by the moving of the Spirit. I said, “Yes, ma’am.” You always say “Yes, ma’am” to a woman yelling at you at 6:00 in the morning. I know why Ezekiel ran from Jezebel. There are some mean women out there, folks. She said, “What have you been teaching these kids on Wednesday nights?” I taught the young people on Wednesday nights in that church as Youth Director. That morning, however, I couldn’t even think what young people or what church I was in. I remember we had been talking about living the cleansed life. We had been talking about selling out to Jesus. She said, “No, sir. You’ve said something about music to these kids.” I said, “I did not.” I knew I hadn’t said anything about music. I’m not stupid. She said, “Well, my son came home last night and took all of his rock tapes and rock records and put them in a big incinerator out back and burned them.” I said, “Well, praise the Lord.” Wrong! I should not have said that. She said, “What do you mean, praise the Lord?” I said, “Well, I just thought you could be rejoicing with your son.” She said, “We spent good money to get those records for that kid.” Then she asked me a question, and this was the catcher. She said, “Just how far are you going to take your Christianity?” Oh, I was awake now! The door was open big enough that I could drive a truck through. I said, “Ma’am, that is not the problem. It’s not a problem how far I’m going to take mine. It’s not a problem of how far your son is going to take his. The problem is, how far are you going to take yours?”
That’s the problem. Are we consistent? Do your kids know that Christ is your life? It’s not what you do for two hours on Sunday. It’s not what you do when he’s wrong, and you take the Word and beat him over the head with it. Does he know that you live by it yourself? Are you serving the Lord as true bond-servant, consistently before your family and before the people you work with? If you are, there is integrity to what you say. If you are not, you can hang it up. They have already seen the holes in everything that you are saying. You see, the genuine servant of Christ is one who is consistent in his testimony.
In Aradia, Romania, which is the largest city in Romania, there is the largest church in all of Romania and all of Europe. It’s the Second Baptist Church. The first year I went under Ceausescu, we went in undercover. I remember that was one of the most difficult times I have ever had in my life. You get used to it after a while. Well, no, you don’t ever get used to it, but it gets a little bit better. That first time over there, there was a man by the name of Cornelius. He was a deacon at Second Baptist. He is now on the staff. He is one of the pastors now of Second Baptist Church there. His wife had leukemia. I remember when I came home we took up medicine, and we tried to help her out. The problem was, she needed a bone marrow transplant. That’s one of the few things that gives hope to a leukemia patient. There were some churches that got together in America and even in Europe and decided to pay for it. They were going to give her that bone marrow transplant in France if they could just get out of the country. They told him this, and he was so excited. He got his wife and took all the papers they needed to get their visas to leave so that she could have that bone marrow transplant.
When they got down there, they put them off. The secret police treated them like dirt. They gave them five days to wait. Finally, they came back, expecting in their hearts to get those visas. When they walked in, they said, “Listen, here is a sheet of paper you must sign, or you don’t get the visas.” He said, “What’s on this paper?” He read it, and it said, “You must denounce your Christ. You must stop witnessing to anyone and sign a statement that you have denounced Him before you can get a visa to take your wife out to get a life-saving bone marrow transplant.” They said they didn’t even blink hardly. They looked at each other, and his wife said, “You know, I’d much rather die for Christ over here with leukemia than I would deny Him and try to spare my physical life on this earth.” He took the visas and handed them right back to the fellow and said, “No, sir. We love our Lord Jesus.” Then they turned and walked out of the office.
Now, folks, I don’t know what you think, but that added a lot of integrity to their testimony. Christ was their life. This is the problem we are all going through. Paul said, “I was among you the whole time, serving the Lord.” He was a consistent servant.
Secondly, he was a contrite servant. By contrite I mean humble and broken. Look at what it says. It says, “how I was with you the whole time, serving the Lord [that’s present tense] with all humility.” There is your key. The word “humility” there does not refer to how he acted, but to his attitude towards himself and his attitude towards God. The word is properly translated better in the King James than it is in the New American Standard. The New American Standard says “humility,” but the word there is tapeinophrosune. It comes from the word tapeinos, which means “to lay flat.” In other words, in your respect to God, you get as low as you can possibly get. If God were to manifest His presence to us right now, in all of His holiness, as it was with Isaiah at King Uzziah’s death, we would all get down as far as we could get. That’s the word; get down as far as you can. That’s the word “humility.”
But it’s not just humility. Phren is another part of that word. It is the word for attitude or mindset. In other words, it’s not so much that Paul did what he did with a big Bible under his arm. It’s not so much that Paul did what he did with a solemn look on his face and a black suit on to show everybody he was humble. No, it was an attitude that he had that was inward and was sensed outwardly by those Ephesian elders.
Lawyers tell me that if you try to bring somebody to court on the basis of a bad attitude, that’s the worst court case you can have. Even though it’s obvious to everybody, it’s the hardest to prove. You can’t really put your finger on it. It’s just an attitude that’s inside someone. You can’t fake it. It’s either there or it’s not there. Paul said, “I was with you serving consistently, but with all humility. There was an attitude that I had towards God and towards man that was sensed by everybody in my serving them.”
Now listen to what I’m saying. Sometimes we can go through the motions and say all the right things, but your attitude behind it is picked up by everybody. You can’t put your finger on the fact that it was said wrong. You can’t put your finger on the fact that it was done wrong, but there is something missing. The attitude of humility is not there.
Sometimes the best way to know a word is to look at its opposite. That helps me. Do you know what an antonym is? An antonym means exactly the opposite. There are three words that are antonyms to that word for “humility.” The first word is alazoneia. “Look in James 4:13, and you will find it. The attitude is so clear. This is an attitude towards God and what a man does in his relationship to God. Verse 13 says, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet, you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.’ But as it is you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.” The word “arrogance” in verse 16 is the opposite of what Paul was when he was there among the Ephesian elders. What does that mean? It means that he didn’t come there with his own agenda. He didn’t come there with his own program. He came there with the understanding that whatever he did was in response to the will of God. He would not do a thing if God told him not to. He walked, and he moved in the sphere of God’s will. So therefore, he had a humble attitude, a humility about him towards God. That affects the way people do what they do.
It’s incredible to me what’s going on in America today. We’ve got so many programs, any church could grow, numerically. But I want to tell you something. Until we get down in our attitude towards God and realize that God has the plan and man doesn’t and only if God wills will we do anything, we are never going to see Christ enabled to build His own church in our country. You see, a lot of people are arrogant. They go through the right motions. They are very conservative. They even say it the right way, but there is a hidden attitude that you can’t prove. You can’t put your finger on it, but it’s missing in their life. Are they submissive to God? Do they say, “God, I don’t know. I can plan my way, but whatever You will, I am trusting You to direct my steps.”? Or do they say, “God, I’m doing it. Come on, God. This is my agenda”? That’s a total different attitude towards God. First of all, he had the right attitude towards God.
Secondly, there is another word, huperephania. It is the word that means you consider yourself better than others. That’s the best way to put it. The word huper means above, and phaino means to think yourself above somebody else.
One of the most damaging things in my Christian walk, I guess, over the years has been meeting people that I thought were famous, my heroes of the faith. To meet them face to face and to shake hands with them and then to find out they won’t give you the time of day. I’ll never forget being at the Southern Baptist Convention several years ago. I saw a very dear friend of mine, I thought, in the Baptist Book Store there. I have to be careful. Sometimes you befriend others, but they don’t ever befriend you back. And I thought he was a friend. I was just milling around during one of the breaks, and I walked over to him to say something to him. He saw me coming. He looked up and saw my face, but he was talking to a big shot in the Convention and when I got near him, he just turned his back to me and walked away as if I wasn’t even standing there. If God would just give me five minutes in the flesh one of these days, I would like to ask that person behind the building and say, “Just who in the world do you think you are?”
It’s a hidden attitude, folks. It’s nothing that you can take them to court about. It’s nothing they are doing wrong. It’s nothing they are saying wrong. There’s just something missing. Something’s missing. There is not a humble spirit that’s there. Now, that’s, to me, the integrity of your testimony. You’ve either got it or you haven’t. You can’t fake it. If it’s there, it’s out of a conscious attitude that you are nothing. God only uses people who understand that they are nothing. It’s an attitude towards God and it’s also an attitude towards others. Nobody is a big “I” and somebody else is a little “you.” People are all equal at the cross.
I guess to sum it up, there is one more word phusiosis. It means to be puffed up like a cloud is puffed up. It’s also the word for smoke. It can refer to people who just blow smoke. A lot of people are conservative. A lot of people say it right. A lot of people seem to be doing it right, even producing great numbers. Something’s missing. What is it? That humility. You don’t just serve the Lord, he says, “with all humility.” It’s an attitude one has towards God and an attitude one has towards man.
Well, thirdly, we see he was a compassionate servant. Look at that verse again. It is just so clear. It brings it right out. He says, “how I was with you the whole time, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears.” Now, you say, “Why were the tears there? Isn’t somebody showing weakness when they cry?” You know, we are living in a day and age when we think that the men who don’t cry are the macho guys. No, they are the weaker guys. The Son of Man, God’s Son, came to this earth and wept as He looked over Jerusalem. He shed tears when He saw that Lazarus had died. He cared. There was compassion about Him. Listen, if Jesus is being Jesus in me, He is not going to change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So the compassion He already has is going to be seen in and through me and in and through you.
You can’t do what you do without compassion and love for the people you are doing it for. You see, you not only love God, but you love the people you are ministering to. In verse 31 he brings this up again. We will look at this more later on. “Therefore, be on the alert.” He is talking to the elders. “I am worried about the wolves that are going to come among you. They will bring false doctrines and things that are going to distort the Word.” He says, “be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one [How?] with tears.’” In other words, “My compassion and my burden was there. I had an attitude towards God. I have an attitude towards men. I don’t think of myself more highly,” he says. “I am not some person blowing smoke. I don’t have my own programs. I realize that God takes nobodies and makes somebodies out of them. I’ve got to live that way. At the same time, if I love God, my love for Him will reflect itself in my love for the people I am serving.” That is what he is saying. That gives integrity to your testimony.
When the people around you understand that you love them and you care about them, many times the tears will be there in our life. The word “admonish” means “to exhort, to warn.” It always includes the Word of God. You say, “Now Wayne, here we go again. I am not Paul. How can you take Paul’s life and force him into my life?” I am not doing that. I’m saying whatever you are burdened to do and however you are gifted, you are as responsible as Paul was. It will be seen differently in you. It will be seen differently in me. A mother who raises her children and loves God will love those children unconditionally. There will be tears shed around those kids because what she does, she does with a heart of compassion. She does it with an attitude of humility. She does it with a consistency that gives integrity to what she is. It’s the same thing. You may not have thousands to speak to. You may not have a group to disciple. But I guarantee you one thing, whatever you do in obedience to the Lord is going to have in it an attitude towards Him and others and a burden, a compassion for those people you are ministering to.
You say, “Well, Paul didn’t love everybody. He couldn’t have loved the Corinthians.” You know, when you think of his letters and all the churches he wrote to, the letter to the Corinthians was the one that you’ve got to question, because these folks were doing nothing right. They were doing everything wrong. I want you to see something in 2 Corinthians 2:4. This really blessed me. When you love the Lord, it doesn’t matter whether people are doing it right or wrong. You still have a love for them. He is writing to these Corinthians and he says in verse 4, “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not that you should be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you.” You can’t fake it. It is either there or it’s not.
You say, “You mean if I go out and witness for Christ, and if I do the things He tells me in His Word, that may not be the integrity I am looking for?” That’s what I am saying. It’s not just what you do. It’s the way you go about doing it that proves the fact that it is truly Christ in you, manifesting and ministering through you. That gives the integrity of ministry in our life.
Paul was a genuine man, a man who was a bond-servant. Consistently he served the Lord. Yes, he served people, but his motive was to serve the Lord. He did so with an attitude that you couldn’t prove or disprove, you just sensed was an attitude of humility towards God and humility towards man. It was also an attitude of loving the people that he served. He did what he did with many tears.
Let me show you something. We sing a hymn which I want you to see the words to again. “I’ll tell the world that I’m a Christian. I’m not ashamed His name to bear.” Does that hit home with you? “Brother Wayne, you don’t understand the real world.” I hear this all the time. It makes me so mad. How do you know I don’t? “Because you don’t live in mine.” Do you think yours is the only one that’s real? People say that to me all the time. “You are not out there in the work place. You are not out there being bombarded every day.” That’s true, I’m not. What’s that got to do with the price of eggs in Egypt? “I’ll tell the world that I’m a Christian,” whatever part of it that I’m in. “I’m not ashamed His name to bear. I’ll tell the world that I’m a Christian. I’ll take Him with me anywhere.” I want them to know.
Young people, can you say that? I’ll take Him to school with me. I don’t care what they say about me. “I’ll tell the world how Jesus saved me and how He gave me a life brand new. And I know that if you trust Him, that all He gave me, He’ll give to you. I’ll tell the world that He’s my Savior. No other one could love me so. My life, my all, is His forever. And where He leads me, I will go.” We sing it, but what’s it going to be when we walk out of your home tomorrow? It’s not just the motions you go through.
There was a church that Jesus had John write to. It was the church of Ephesus. What was their problem? On the outside they had it all right, doctrine, discipline. What did he say, “This I have against you, you have left your first love. Your attitude is gone. Your heart is gone. You are going through the motions, but as far as I am concerned, you are way off base. Go back and do the things that you used to do.”
Well, I don’t know about you, but this is eating my lunch. I can’t point a finger at anybody. Can I just give you a thought? If you are doing what you are doing out of obedience to Jesus, and you are expecting appreciation from anybody that is involved in your doing what Jesus tells you, you are dead in the water. Let me ask you. Be honest with me. Is your discouragement or frustration because you are waiting on somebody to appreciate what you are doing for Jesus and it’s not come yet and it’s got you completely discouraged in the Christian life? You see, we prove our integrity, folks—I am saying to me, “Wayne, do you understand what you are saying?” Yes, I do—You prove your integrity by doing what you do for His sake and His alone. Don’t get down and crawl into a corner because somebody doesn’t pat you on the back because you obey Jesus.