Summary: Our scripture this morning focuses on 3 characters, a deacon named Philip, a man driving a chariot from Ethiopia and an angel. And all 3 of them play a very important role in the story. One more thing and that is the scripture. All four of these are necessary for this story to take place.
THE BIG GIVEAWAY
“How to GIVEAWAY your Faith”
Acts 8: 26-40
My family and I were making our first day trip to Disney here in Florida. We were living in Kentucky at the time. We had saved our money and the kids were all prepared to have a great time and we did. The tickets even then were pretty expensive and I’m always looking for a way to save money.
We were buying our tickets at the gate and a guy told me, hey if you have a losing lottery ticket you can get in for ½ price. I thought wow. I’ve never bought a lottery ticket in my life. He said yeah just go to that 7-11 across the street…they’re 2.00. Don’t worry you’ll get a losing ticket. Bring it back and you can get in for ½ price.
So I bought by first lottery ticket. And guess what? I won. Of all things I won. 4.00 as I recall. I said man I need a losing ticket. He says I’m sure we can get you one. I bought another one and sure enough I lost. So I saved a couple of hundred dollars. Have you ever won anything? My younger brother wins tickets to concerts all the time---he won again this week. His wife won on wheel of fortune a few years ago. Some people are just lucky.
This month I am preaching a sermon series titled The Big Giveaway. All of us have something we can giveaway. Today I want to explain how you can give away your faith. When we talk about sharing our faith there are some of us that kind of freeze up. Maybe we’re just shy or perhaps we just don’t know what t say or we simply think we’re not gifted in that particular area.
Our scripture this morning focuses on 3 characters, a deacon named Philip, a man driving a chariot from Ethiopia and an angel. And all 3 of them play a very important role in the story. One more thing and that is the scripture. All four of these are necessary for this story to take place.
First of all, when God is ready for us to share He will always give us direction. God is now opening a new door for this man named Philip. The gospel is beginning to spread rapidly---among different people groups—it is being preached to the Jews as well as the Gentiles. At Pentecost Peter stood up and preached and they baptized 3000 new believers that day. Then Peter and John do some tag team preaching and they are thrown in jail but in the process another 2000 people were saved. So we see large groups of people being saved. Over 5000 here. This strategy of reaching out to large groups of people is clearly working so you have to stop and ask the question, “why would God move Philip from an area where so many are being reached in Jerusalem to a place like Gaza? Both the place and the timing seem odd. Gaza is about 50 miles from Jerusalem and to get there Luke tells us he must go down this desert road. Philip asks no questions. He simply follows God’s direction.
2nd, our primary job is to go, not to ask questions. We remember well what happened when God spoke to Jonah and told him to go and preach. He ran in the opposite direction. God also spoke to Abraham back in the book of Genesis and said leave your country, leave your people, leave your father’s house and I want you to go to a land I will show to you. My first question would be –where Lord? Where? Where are we going? But it is a step of faith. V. 27 says so he got up and went.
I’ll be honest. For years I struggled with this thing called witnessing. We all do I think at times. And for me, early on, it was because I didn’t know what to say. I placed a license plate on my car that said JESUS. I had a bumper sticker that said warning, in case of rapture this car will be unmanned. My key chain was leather in the shape of a fish because I wanted to be a fisher of men. But I wasn’t leading my friends to Christ. Maybe you struggle with this also. Or maybe you are one of those who thinks it is just the job of the pastor.
But let me say as much as we might struggle in this area; as many questions as we might have, our primary job is to simply go. God will direct you to lost people.
3rd, when God directs you to someone, keep in mind that He is already at work in their life. Verses 27b-29. This chariot driver from Ethiopia had just been to Jerusalem for worship (v.27). He was apparently a religious man. He was looking for the truth. Now here he sits in the parking lot and he’s reading from the book of Isaiah. This particular scroll was opened many times in the Bible and read to many people.