Acts 20:24  Planted!


How would you honestly answer this question: What are you living for?

     Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.

So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end. It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.

Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.


So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave. What will matter is not your success, but your significance. What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.


What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone. What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.


What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.


It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

So Choose to live a life that matters…


Paul the apostle lived a life that mattered!

A)Infact we might say that his life was the most well lived life of any person in the entire Bible/ excl JC!


B)Here in Acts 20 Paul makes a statement that I think explains why – he lived such a well lived life.


C)V.13-16 picks up the story of Paul’s travels – having left Troas; Paul was heading for Jerusalem


D)He was determined to get there for the feast of Pentecost –

1)For that reason he decided to sail past Ephesus. –


E)He didn’t have the time to go there and meet with the believers whom he Served for 3yrs.

1)They would have kept him too long.

But Paul couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet with the Elders. So docking at Miletus – he called for them.

A)There on the Island of Miletus – Paul hosted a mini Leadership conference for the leaders of the Church in Ephesus.


B)V. 17-38 make up one of the most profound and insightful portions of scripture for anyone desiring to be used by God – especially full time ministry.


C)Read V.17-38


Cc) There were three parts to Paul’s farewell message.

First he reviewed the past (Acts 20:18-21); then he discussed the present (Acts 20:22-27); and finally, he spoke about the future (Acts 20:28-35).


D)We will begin to break this down after next week – when I get back from Uganda.


This morning I want to focus on one statement Paul makes in the middle of this message.

A)Statement that describes the reason why – whether talking about the Past/ present/ future{ well lived.


B)In V.23 Paul said – I know that everyone is talking about – what is going to happen to me at Jersusalem

C)There had been prophesies – and the Holy Spirit was bearing witness – Not going to be good.

1)No one wanted Paul to go!


D)They didn’t want to lose him! – Paul said I know what everyone is saying – even the HS bearing witness!


E)Then he uttered these powerful words – that really summed up his approach to life.


24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

A)Amazing perspective – I know what is coming – but it doesn’t matter – doesn’t move me.


B)Now was the Paul the Christian version of Clint Eastwood – Go ahead make my Day!

1)My life doesn’t mean anything any way!  NO 


C)Was Paul super human – Just wasn’t affected by persecution – threats – trials?

1)Lord knows he went through more than his share


D)2 Corinthians 11:22-28 he spells it out for us what his life had looked like.

He was beaten with whips he received 39 strips from the Jews; {40 usually would kill a man.

Three times beaten rods, once stoned; Three times ship wrecked

He spent a Day and night in deep; experiencing times of being hungry; naked; been without; several times jailed. Lets not forget the time he was stoned and left for dead and the fact that there was always the constant risk of being robbed.                


And looking back to what he went through and looking ahead to what was coming Paul said: None of these things move me – nor do I count my life dear to myself.

A)Was Paul just a super stud Christian – was He not human.


B)I think a better understanding of what Paul meant here is – that these things didn’t permanently move him.


C)Here is why I say that: Paul reflecting on his testimony and the things he went through in 2 Corinthians 1:8 – said there were times when He despaired even of life.


D)2 Corinthians 4:7 he describes it as being hard pressed, perplexed and struck down in his spirit.

1)remember Acts 18 – The Lord came when Paul was in Prison – Be not afraid – {He was afraid.

My point is Paul was human – he felt things – he struggled with emotions, had fears.

A)But he didn’t stay there!


B)Important to note: Make relatable: because there are things that move me all the time.


C)Moved when I see people I love in the fellowship suffering. – Breaks my heart.

1)Paul spoke about that as well – 2 Corinthians 11 – the care and concern of the Churches.


D)I get moved when pp are talking about me behind my back things untrue – bugs me –be honest –

1)Try to shake it off – hard.m


I get moved when things don’t work out the way that I thought –

A)This whole trial with the Building project – has weighed heavy on my heart –

2)Financial pressure that comes with it. –


B)Honest – I have had my times – asking God why?

1)What is the deal! – Challenged my faith at times


C)Point is I don’t stay there – infact I am as excited about the future as I have ever been –

1)Exciting message – New Years – No building plans


D)I get moved when my wife or kids go thru things

- I feel helpless to help them.

My point is there are things that move me – there are things that move You – there are things that moved Paul.

A)But he didn’t let those things permanently disable him  - 


B)He rose up and moved forward in confidence! How?


C)The answer is in Horticulture – { The science of Plant cultivation.  { WEIRD


D)Actually an illustration from nature that Jesus gave – about the Christian life.

1)Paul understood what it meant to be planted.



I believe Paul grasped something that Jesus taught - that was so important - recorded in all four gospels.

A.)Mentioned six times!


B)Jesus who desires us to live fulfilled lives -           who loves us - desires happy fulfilled - who wants us to be effective in ministry

1)Said - six times - "Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it but,           whoever will lose life for my sake and gospels - will save it!"




C.)Jesus taught us that the secret to a fulfilled life is not in how much you have, how much you accomplish

1)Not in who you are - how successful you've become - secret is not in finding yourself - but losing yourself


Turn to John 12


Scene : Final week of Jesus life prior to His Crucifixion / He is w/ His disciples in Jerusalem for the feast of passover

A)A couple of guys from Greece who were there to worship – came to the disciples and said:  WE WISH TO SEE JESUS!


B)Key to worship: SEE JESUS!


22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. 23 But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 

A)Now this is the 1st time Jesus has ever said the hour has come that the Son of man should be glorified


B)He is talking about His death – He is talking about His Sacrifice.


C) That is where His glory is going to be revealed is in the cross.

1)Glory in DEATH -           what it would accomplish

Life/ salvation/ freedom/ healing – redemption

Then Jesus used an illustration from nature – Seed being planted

24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 

25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. 


Seeds are all the same: Different shapes and sizes

A)Seeds are small and insignificant. – But there is life in them.


B)Don’t put seeds on display – no contest for seeds.


C)What gets displayed is what they produce: Giant squash, Tomota, Pumpkin – redwood tree


For a seed to become what it was meant to be it has to be buried. – The Process is the same.

A)Under the dirt!


B)We are like seeds – Small insignificant in and of ourselves – but life in us – God’s life.



C)The life of God – the attributes of God – manifested in our lives.

1)But in order for that to happen – we have to be buried

The Process is the same for all! 1 Corinthians  10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

A)Paul said: the trials I have gone through are common – others have gone through them too.


B)Often when we are in a trial it is easy to think the Devil designed this especially for us.

1)Nobody knows the trouble I have seen – nobody knows my sorrow.


C)Reality{ Many have gone through the same thing.

1)Doesn’t matter the gym – similar equipment –

Working the same muscle groups.


The same thing is true Spiritually – Similar trials working the same spiritual muscles –

A)Building the same spiritual charater.


B)No matter the trial – God is there – He is in the midst of it – accomplishing His purpose.


C) “The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God will not keep you.”

1) God loved Paul and God loves you. 


D)The process involves being buried – Dying to Self


Now think about if that seed could talk - I don’t like

 it down here It is Dark/ Cold / Dirty / Worms bugs /

Water is Cold –

A)But in order for the life in the seed to come forth all of that is Necessary


B) God has put His life into you –HS / but in order for him to get his life out of You /

1)You need to be willing to be planted.


C)Being willing to be planted means realizing you are living for someone Bigger than yourself.


Paul was living for something –someone bigger than himself.

A)Paul had received a ministry and mission from the Lord to preach the gospel of grace.


B)Paul was living to fulfill that calling. –

1)His life was about sharing the message of redemption to those that were lost.


C)We too have been commissioned to live lives for the Lord


1 Corinthians 10:31

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”


D)Opposite of what we see in Culture:

Life, People, Us, Self

Pollster John Zogby posed this question recently to 4,000 Americans: "What will be the historic legacy of Baby Boomers?" The response

Forty-two percent said boomers had "ushered in an era of consumerism and self-indulgence."


That mentality has just carried over to our kids

A national study fresh out of SDSU Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University 


Twenge and her colleagues, examined the responses of 16,475 college students nationwide


The findings have been published in a book entitled "Generation Me.” 

Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before,"


"We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back. "Kids are self-centered enough already."


If we are going to live a well lived life for God we must come to the reality – We are here for God and not for ourselves.

We exist to bring God glory and to fulfill his mission for our lives.


Redeemed for an eternal purpose:

Ephesians 2:10

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”


We have a role to play in the Church and in the world.


So Paul realized he was here for Someone bigger than himself.  His Glory not ours.

A)That is the Example we see here in Jesus!


27 "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.


Aa)What we have here is Jesus wrestling in his humanity – Not w/ Self like us – but in his soul

1) My soul – my spirit is troubled


B) Why – He knew what He was about to go thru

1) Later in the week – sweat drops of blood – let this cup pass


C) Beaten – Bruised – battered – forsaken

1) Most of all – He would feel separation from His father –


D) Fullness of Sin – upon Him – Full arm of God’s wrath

1) Father watched in silent – Didn’t respond

Jesus is wrestling in his humanity – His flesh

A)We wrestle in the flesh too – for different reasons


B) Lord I don’t want to be Vulnerable – I don’t want to be exposed –

1)I don’t want to give to people who might not appreciate it


C) We wrestle in the flesh –


D) What can we learn from Jesus – His aim – His purpose – Father Glorify your name


C) Jesus made a Choice Seek the Fathers glory & the Fathers will above his own Comfort

1)Choice that every man has to make – Love myself , glorify myself or Love God & Glorify God { Can’t have it both ways


D)People leave marriages – no biblical grounds - self



Now this is really intriquing to me When the seed is buried in the ground it is covered / never seen again!

A) After some more watering stem comes out / later grows into a tree / later bears fruit / now here is what


B)The seed is never seen again / only the fruit which resulted in the seed being planted in the ground !


C) That is the work that God is seeking to do in each one of us as He seeks to conform us into the image of His own Son ! Rom. 8:29


1) that any good that comes forth from my life / any love / any compassion/ isn’t because I am a great person


D) But because Jesus is living in me / I died / buried in Him / watered by his word / get into word / word gets into me

1)  The result will be fruit that reflects Him!




Are you in a Tough Job – God has planted you there for a reason


Difficult marriage ? He wants to be Glorifeid in your Trial

A)Are you single presently but wanting to be married ?


B) Realize that the Lord is seeking to do something in & Thru your life right now that He couldn’t do if You were married


C)That is the place that He has You planted in presently


D)Are You sick ? Wants to be glorified in your Sickness / Show His Grace is Suffucient –


Power perfected in weakness


Jesus says that is the person my father will honor!


In Gethsemne and on the cross the father was silent – but Here He answers!  


Then a voice came from heaven, saying, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again."


         I will be Glorified Son in your obedience



32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."  33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.



Lifted up for you – Jesus was the first seed buried

All believers are part of his fruit –


You today! – Your life – Buried in Jesus


Living for something bigger than yourself 


Nutured by God!