Summary: The more we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, the more God will use us to help others come to know Him.
Following the Spirit’s Lead
Intro: Do you ever feel guilty for failing to be an effective witness for Jesus? How many times have you been told that you need to introduce the Lord to your neighbors, friends, and acquaintances, but you have to admit that you’ve not been very successful? Sometimes you are not sure what to say. Other times you find yourself wondering, “Is this the right time to say something, or will it turn this person away from God?”
-Now we should all share our faith in some way, but we need to be careful so that we don’t run ahead of the Lord. Instead of asking God to give us an opportunity to share His love with someone, we sometimes go about it our own way – if at all. This isn’t to make us feel guilty, but hopefully to help us learn and grow.
-The Bible tells us we are God’s fellow workers (1 Cor. 3:9). We are in business with God. We take our orders from Him and simply follow what He puts in our hearts to do.
-Today’s message can be summed up in these words:
Prop: The more we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, the more God will use us to help others come to know Him.
Interrogative: What does this Spirit-led evangelism look like?
TS: Let’s look at 4 thoughts from our text which remind us to follow the HS’s lead.
I. God Wants Believers to Go and Share the Good News
-The book of Acts follows up on the emphasis found in the first 4 books of the NT. That emphasis was that Jesus wanted His followers to take what they had received from Him and go and share it with others.
-Matthew 28:19 says, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Mark 16:15 says, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.” Luke 24:46-47 says, "The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” John 20:21 “Jesus said, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." Acts 1:8 says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses….” In 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." Much of the book of Acts finds believers doing just that: going out and telling people that God loves them and is offering them forgiveness and eternal life.
-In our text, Philip is doing the same thing. He has just taken the good news to the Samaritans, and they found Jesus to be their hope for life. Now we find Philip listening to the HS and going to share the good news with an African gentile who had apparently converted to Judaism. As we attempt to reach out to those who do not yet know Jesus, it would do us good to remember that evangelism is God’s idea. God cares more about lost people than we possibly could. That is why He stirs our hearts to care for them and to share the good news with them. If we can catch a glimpse of God’s heart for the people of our community and the world, we will begin to see why He wants us to get out there and start sharing His love with others.
-As the Lord did several times in the Bible, He tells Philip to go: "Go south to the road-- the desert road-- that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." The implication we get from this is that those who need to hear about Jesus probably won’t come to us. We will need to find a way to enter their world and show them that they matter to God.
-Now, you might be encouraged to know that there is more than one way to share the good news about Jesus. One way is to invite people to church. The biggest single reason newcomers give for coming to church is that someone invited them. Don’t assume that they don’t want to come. Maybe they’ve just been waiting for someone to invite them. Get them here, so they can sense God’s presence and experience genuine Christian community. Maybe you don’t think you could share the good news with someone personally, but you could ask them to come to church and sit with you. Let them know that nobody will embarrass them or ask them to sign up for anything. Let’s all do our part in sharing God’s love with other people in every way we can!