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Summary: THE PASSAGE BEFORE US TODAY DEALS WITH A SENSITIVE SUBJECT IN THE LIFE OF A CHURCH AND THE INDIVIDUAL BELIEVER. THE ISSUE IS ANGER, AGAINST GOD DIRECTED TOWARDS HIS SERVANT(S). SO, IN OUR TIME TOGETHER TODAY, I WOULD LIKE TO LOOK AT WHAT CAUSES THIS A

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MISPLACED ANGER TOWARDS THE SERVANTS OF GOD

ACTS 7:54-8:1 WHEN THEY HEARD THIS, THEY WERE FURIOUS AND GNASHED THEIR TEETH AT HIM. 55 BUT STEPHEN, FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, LOOKED UP TO HEAVEN AND SAW THE GLORY OF GOD, AND JESUS STANDING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD. 56 "LOOK," HE SAID, "I SEE HEAVEN OPEN AND THE SON OF MAN STANDING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD."57 AT THIS THEY COVERED THEIR EARS AND, YELLING AT THE TOP OF THEIR VOICES, THEY ALL RUSHED AT HIM, 58 DRAGGED HIM OUT OF THE CITY AND BEGAN TO STONE HIM. MEANWHILE, THE WITNESSES LAID THEIR CLOTHES AT THE FEET OF A YOUNG MAN NAMED SAUL. 59 WHILE THEY WERE STONING HIM, STEPHEN PRAYED, "LORD JESUS, RECEIVE MY SPIRIT." 60 THEN HE FELL ON HIS KNEES AND CRIED OUT, "LORD, DO NOT HOLD THIS SIN AGAINST THEM." WHEN HE HAD SAID THIS, HE FELL ASLEEP. 1 AND SAUL WAS THERE, GIVING APPROVAL TO HIS DEATH. ON THAT DAY A GREAT PERSECUTION BROKE OUT AGAINST THE CHURCH AT JERUSALEM, AND ALL EXCEPT THE APOSTLES WERE SCATTERED THROUGHOUT JUDEA AND SAMARIA.

INTRODUCTION: THE PASSAGE BEFORE US TODAY DEALS WITH A SENSITIVE SUBJECT IN THE LIFE OF A CHURCH AND THE INDIVIDUAL BELIEVER. THE ISSUE IS ANGER, AGAINST GOD DIRECTED TOWARDS HIS SERVANT(S).

SO, IN OUR TIME TOGETHER TODAY, I WOULD LIKE TO LOOK AT WHAT CAUSES THIS ANGER, HOW TO AVOID THIS ANGER, WHAT WE DO WHEN WE ARE ANGRY, AND THE PROPER WAY TO RESPOND WHEN WE ARE THE RECIPIENT OF THIS TYPE OF ANGER.

I. THE CAUSE OF MISDIRECTED ANGER

A. HEARING WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR

1. THEY HEARD WHAT STEPHEN WAS SAYING

2. THEY WERE NOT LISTENING TO WHAT STEPHEN WAS SAYING

B. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEARING AND LISTENING IS THE EFFECT

1. WE CAN HEAR THE WORD OF GOD

2. WE CAN LISTEN TO THE WORD OF GOD

3. WE NEED TO MAKE THE DECISION AS TO WHICH WE ARE GOING TO DO BEFORE WE ARE IN THE SITUATION

4. THERE ARE MANY INSTANCES IN SCRIPTURE WHERE PEOPLE HEAR THE WORD OF GOD BUT DO NOT LISTEN TO THE WORD OF GOD

a THE NATION OF ISRAEL – HEARD BUT DID NOT LISTEN

b PHARAOH OF EGYPT – HE HEARD THE WORD OF GOD BUT DID NOT LISTEN

c THE PEOPLE WHO FOLLOWED JESUS – THEY HEARD THE WORD OF GOD BUT DID NOT LISTEN

WHEN WE LISTEN TO THE WORD OF GOD, THE WORD OF GOD BRINGS ABOUT A CHANGE IN OUR LIVES. WHEN WE ONLY HEAR THE WORD OF GOD, WE RESIST WHAT IT SAYS. THIS RESISTANCE IS ONLY TO OUR DETRIMENT!

5. THE SANHEDRIN WERE HEARERS OF GOD’S WORD BUT NOT LISTENERS

a THEY WERE ACTIVE IN NOT LISTENING – THEY COVERED THEIR EARS

b THEY ALLOWED ANGER TO TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR LIVES – LISTENED TO THEIR ANGER INSTEAD OF GOD’S WORD.

6. REASON WHY THEY ACTED THE WAY THEY DID:

a THEY WERE “FURIOUS” – MEANS TO BE “CUT THROUGH”

b SOMETHING CUT THROUGH THEIR HEARTS

c THEY ONLY POSSIBLE THING WOULD HAVE BEEN THE WORDS OF STEPHEN

NOW IT IS ONE THING WHEN WE ARE SAYING HURTFUL THINGS TO SOMEONE ELSE, AND IT “CUTS THROUGH” THEM. WE DO GET ANGRY, AND WE DO WANT TO RESPOND BACK IN KIND.

BUT NOTICE THE FOUNDATIONAL MOTIVE BEHIND THE WORDS OF STEPHEN – HE WAS FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. IN OTHER WORDS, STEPHEN WAS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.


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