Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: For some, following Jesus means to go into cross-cultural missions

September 22 Leave Acts 8:26-40

Going is a part of following.

If we say we love Jesus, then we must have on our hearts what God has on His heart, and God has the world on His heart.





What is God’s word for us today?

1. Remember that going is a part of following

2. Sometimes going is cross-cultural

3. To hear God we must live by the Spirit

4. When God leads, our response must be to obey, not figure it all out

5. Taking the 1st step in the right direction is key

6. Trust God to get you where He wants you

The first part of the book of Acts, chapters 1-7 is about the birth of and establishment of the church. But once you get to Chapter 8, it’s less about establishing and more about going.

This harkens back to what we talked about in Week one of this series where Jesus said, “Go into all the world and make disciples.” Matthew 28:19 “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

If you are a follower of Jesus, going is a part of following. Going is a part of following. Going is the natural outcome of following Jesus.

Go across the street and be a witness. Go to your office and be a witness. Go to school and be a witness. But always in the consciousness of the Christ follower is His command to go into all the world.

If we say we love Jesus, then we must have on our hearts what God has on His heart, and God has the world on His heart.

Going is a part of following. You’re about to watch a film clip of a few of our mission partners in places like Alaska, Moldova in Eastern Europe, China, and Afghanistan. (Film clip of our missionaries)

Last week we had about 50 people come forward for prayer to discern the will of God about pursuing career ministry. More than one of them is praying about cross-cultural ministry. Going into a different environment, where Spanish is the dominant language or where Cantonese or Mandarin is the dominant language or Swahili is or Arabic is the dominant language.

And this morning, God just may call you to go, to go to Africa or the Phillipines or China. If God called you to leave your comfort zone, the only existence you’ve ever known and plant your life in a foreign land, would you do it? Ah, there’s the test of being a true follower. Going is a part of following.

Turn to Acts 8:26-40 This morning we finish this five part series about making an impact for Jesus. The early church made an incredible impact because they took serious the call of Jesus to Follow Him. They exerted Influence for Him wherever they went. The were strengthened by commitment to Connect to each other in biblical community. They were willing to Lead the new followers God was adding to them. But God wasn’t finished with them yet. They had made an impact on Jerusalem, but there was a world out there that needed to hear the message that Jesus conquered sin and death. And so He commanded them to Go

You might recall from last week that one of the men to give tactical leadership within the body was this man named Phillip. He was charged with helping make sure food was being distributed to the widows in the church. But God had a bigger plan for Phillip. So let’s read it together. Acts 8:26-40 (on screen)

Note: Ethiopia of that day was modern day Sudan.

Do you pick up the sequencing? Phillip was, according to chapter 6, a man full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit. Because he was walking with God, God was going to use Him. Because He was living in the Spirit, He was listening for God. God said, “Go”, and what did Phillip do? He went.

God said “Go” and Phillip went. What a novel idea! God commands, we follow! He says go, and we go. Imagine that!

Now Phillip didn’t know exactly what he was going to do; didn’t even know exactly where he was going. But God said, “Start heading to Gaza” and so he headed out. God didn’t say Phillip was going to Gaza, just heading that direction which was to the south and east.

We 21st century Americans want every thing figured out in advance before we decide if we’re going to do something or not. But that is not really how God works. He calls us to follow, though we don’t know all that that means. He commands us to go, though we don’t always know where we’re supposed to go. You could be sitting there thinking, “My heart is stirring. I think maybe the Spirit is calling me to go. But I don’t have a clue where I’m supposed to go and what I’m supposed to do.” Well, that’s what trust is all about. God told Phillip to go, get started, and Phillip trusted God enough that He would direct him to the right spot at the right time.

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