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Summary: 1. He sees our struggles (vs. 17-19; 34). 2. He develops us with detours (vs. 20-30; 35-36). 3. He wants to meet us in a miraculous way (vs. 30-33). 4. He has missions in mind for us (vs. 34). 5. He wants to save our souls (vs. 35-37).

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God's Work in Our Lives

Acts 7:17-37

(Scripture Reading vs. 17-23)

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Sept. 29, 2013

BACKGROUND:

*Here in Acts 7 we continue our study of the trial of Stephen. He was a good, godly man, and one of the first deacons. But in this chapter, he was on trial for his life before the Supreme Court of Israel. The trial was a mockery of justice, because the charges against Stephen were all based on lies from false witnesses.

*During this trial, Stephen did something that we would never recommend in court today: He defended himself. Surely, he was under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. And by His Holy Spirit, God spoke through Stephen to put that Court on trial. The stinging indictment from God will come down near the end of chapter 7.

*But in tonight's Scripture, Stephen continued his history lesson by telling the court about Moses. In vs. 17-23, Stephen talked about Moses' earlier years:

17. "But when the time of the promise drew near which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt

18. till another king arose who did not know Joseph.

19. This man dealt treacherously with our people, and oppressed our forefathers, making them expose their babies, so that they might not live.

20. At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in his father's house for three months.

21. But when he was set out, Pharaoh's daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son.

22. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.

23. But when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.

INTRODUCTION:

*We look at a Bible hero like Moses, and it's easy to see how God worked in his life. But can you see God's work in your life tonight? I hope so. God was at work in Moses' life, and He is surely at work in ours.

*How does God work in our lives? -- This Scripture helps us to see.

1. Notice first that the Lord sees our struggles.

*The Children of Israel help us see this truth in vs. 17-19, where Stephen said:

17. "But when the time of the promise drew near which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt

18. till another king arose who did not know Joseph.

19. This man dealt treacherously with our people, and oppressed our forefathers, making them expose their babies, so that they might not live.

*The Children of Israel were going through a terrible time. It may have seemed like God had abandoned them, but vs. 34 reminds us that He is always on the job watching over His people. There the Lord told Moses: "I have certainly seen the oppression of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt."

*The Lord was watching over the Children of Israel and He is surely watching over us. We need to know that. We may be going through a hard time right now, but God knows what we are going through. And even when help seems delayed, we must not lose heart. Don't give up on God!

*John Killinger is a pastor who taught at Vanderbilt University for 15 years. He also served as a dean in one of the colleges. Listen to this testimony John gave about a Christian lady who was trusting in the Lord:

"I remember a delightful little white-haired lady I used to visit in one of my parishes. Her name was Deanne Gwaltney. I sometimes teased Deanne about having a man's name, and told her I had once been a dean too.

*I once asked Deanne, who was then in her 80's, how she felt about all the change taking place in the world. 'Oh, I don't worry about it at all,' she said with a twinkle in her eye. 'You know, God has always managed to bring the best out of the worst, and somehow I don't think God will fail us now!'" (1)

*God is not going to fail us! And we know the Lord is at work in our lives, because He Lord sees our struggles.

2. Sometimes the Lord also develops us with a detour.

*Moses knew all about detours. God had a great plan for his life, but it was a very dangerous time in Egypt for Hebrew baby boys, so the Lord made sure Moses was safe in Pharaoh's house. As we read in vs. 20-21:

20. At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in his father's house for three months.

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