Summary: There was another unconventional birth 2000 years ago. In stark contrast to the intensely glittered and gold portrayal through which many of us look at Christmas today, Jesus ended up being born in a cave that served as a stable because there was no room
Following the Leading of the Spirit
- Have you ever felt that you failed as a witness for Christ? Ever felt that God was calling you to do something but you chose to not listen to His voice?
- This morning, let us discuss the importance of following the Spirit of God
- Let us be willing to put aside what “we” think we should do, and hear from God
- The Bible tells us we are God’s fellow workers (1 Cor. 3:9) … co-laborers
- Today’s message can be summed up: The more we learn to listen to what God is saying, the more He will allow the Spirit to move us to work for Him.
- Read Acts 8:26-40 / Pray
Point 1 – God wants us to share the good news
- Mark 16:15 says, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.” / Acts 5:20 when the angel let the apostles out of jail, he told them, "Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people the full message of this new life."
- The book of Acts shows believers going out and telling; involved in ministry
- In text, Philip is obedient to go and share with an African gentile; obedient
- As we seek to go out into the world, remember that evangelism is God’s idea
-- It is God that stirs in our hearts that we need to go; and we have to choose
-- Look how God sends Philip; means that we need to go and seek (Expound)
- When did you last bring someone to church? Tell them about Jesus?
- This is the calling that Philip is following, through obedience, and it’s ours today
-- Philip is already with the Lord, and we are not, so we are to obey immediately
Point 2 – God gives us what we need, when we need it
- Philip did not know what would happen; he was not briefed in advance
- God provides us with the info we need, when we need it, provided we respond
- Out of obedience, Philip heard the Lord and went as he was told
-- God told him exactly where to go; and notice that Philip did not argue details
- On his way, he received additional instructions (v29); go near chariot
- Many do not receive additional instructions because we do not move first
--Restate opening question: Ever feel like you failed as a witness?
- If we would only learn to listen, then God would use us to be effective
-- God sent Philip in the heat of the day to witness, and he calls you the same
- God will speak to us if we listen; are you listening today? Ask yourself!
Point 3 – We must be prepared to explain God’s Word
- Philip asks quite clearly if he knows what he is reading
-- The Ethiopian had no idea; and needed it to be explained to him
-- Philip knows because he has prepared and studied God’s Word (Isaiah)
-- Philip used that exact scripture to share the Good News about Christ
- Read 1 Peter 3:14-16; be prepared and do not worry about others
-- God will use YOUR faithfulness to show others Jesus; if you are faithful
- Always be ready to explain it, and to follow when the Spirit calls you to move
- Today, many of us live in a world that is totally removed from God; and so I ask you what are you doing to change it? If you live by God’s Word, you will impact the world around you through your own faithfulness!
-- Find a common frame of reference and share the gospel; God will use it!
Point 4 – God draws people through YOUR obedience
- John 12:32, Jesus said “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself."
- When we as believers exalt the Lord Jesus, others will see Him and be saved
- In order to do this, we have to have the same faith as Philip to MOVE
- Philip was a follower because someone told him about Jesus
- Philip is no different from you and I, he was obedient and now we have to be
-- As a follower, Philip learned to obey from reading and hearing the Word
-- Philip learned the Spirit’s voice, and showed how to obey when it called
- God worked through Philip to lead others to Christ, and so we should as well
- When the Spirit of the Lord calls you, you need to move immediately
- God moves us one step at a time, provided we take that first step and obey