Look How Your ACTing  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
Scripture: Acts 8:1-8
Denomination: Independent/Bible

Summary: A disciple makes himself available to God. He listens to His bidding. A disciple is ready to share Christ.

Acts 6:5 tells us among the seven men elected to “wait on tables” were Stephen and Philip. Both left indelible marks in the history of the first church.
Stephen lived a short life, but his sermon and martyrdom impacted Saul’s life, and led to an all-out persecution, which scattered the believers beyond Jerusalem.
• 8:4 “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”
• God turned something seemingly bad into a thing that can accomplish His will.
And so Philip fled to Samaria and preached the Gospel there, with signs and wonders.
• Many of the oppressed and sick were healed and there was great joy in the city.
He was then led by God onto the desert road to meet an Ethiopian eunuch, a seeker of God who does not know Jesus. Philip led him to Christ.
• 8:27 says this eunuch is an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. He was a very high-ranking official.
• Tradition tells us this man went back to Ethiopia and established a church. The first missionaries to Ethiopia found a thriving church founded by this treasurer.
Finally, 8:40 says Philip went to Caesarea (sas ce ria).
• On his 3rd missionary journey, Paul mentioned Philip in Acts 21:8-9 “Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. 9 He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.”
• That was 20 years later. Philip has been faithfully preaching Christ. Luke the author called him the evangelist.
Stephen and Philip set us great examples of what it means to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
(1) A Disciple Makes Himself AVAILABLE to God
Customize this sermon
They were willing to serve. It all started with a need in Acts 6 – the daily distribution of food for the widows.
• They did not enter into the widows’ ministry because it was a good career move that would push them into the spotlight.
• They did it because it was a work needed to be done. No promise of any reward.
They made themselves AVAILABLE and God used them GREATLY, beyond just the giving out of food.
• When we do it for Christ, nothing is insignificant. Even the offering of two very small copper coins is a great thing to Jesus (cf. Mark 12:42)
• Therefore there is no insignificant ministry in the Kingdom of God.
There are also NO insignificant people in the Body of Christ, only those who refuse to let God use them.
• Both Stephen and Philip made lasting contribution to the growth to the Church, because they made themselves available.
Bobby Michaels was a Christian singer and composer. He was at a Bible conference one day when he noticed a young intern attending to them. His job was to get the coffee, clean up the tables, and generally stay out of everyone’s way.
At the end of the conference, another participant asked Bobby how his current album project was coming together. He replied that he needed one more song to finish the album, and his friend pointed to the intern and said, “That kid, the one cleaning up the table, he is writing some interesting stuff. Why don’t you talk to him?”
And so Bobby did and the young man shared with him the words that eventually became his final song for his album. The song was, “My Redeemer is Faithful and True”. The young intern was Steven Curtis Chapman, who has also become a successful Christian singer and song-writer.
Imagine if Chapman had felt that the intern job was too low for him, and he wasn’t there serving. He would have missed God’s ordained moment. Being in that room, getting the coffee and cleaning up the tables, put him in position for what would become a major breakthrough for his musical career and ministry.
He was available – and in God’s perfect timing – that availability led to a great career and a wonderful ministry.
• Philip made himself available and it led to a life-changing opportunity.
• Nothing is too small for someone who is to be great.
(2) A Disciple LISTENS to God’s Bidding
Philip was clearly LISTENING. He was responding to God’s call. He was led because He was listening.
• In 8:26 when the angel of the Lord spoke, Philip heard him. He was asked to go to the desert road, with no explanation given. He has to take it by faith that God knows what He was doing.
• 8:27 “So he started out…” BY FAITH, just like Abraham when he was called to leave his home.
• When he reached the place, 8:29 “The Spirit TOLD him [when he needed it] - to go to the chariot and stay near it.”
You see, God will show you what you need to do, when you need it. He did not tell Philip everything right at the beginning.
• God will speak to you when you need to hear it, but you’ve got to FIRST respond to what He has already told you.
• God’s revelation is often progressive; it is like being given to us by instalments, in a sense. Abraham experienced that, Moses did too, and now Philip.
Philip was clearly LISTENING. The stance is not: “This is what I want to do for you” but “What do you want me to do?”
• It comes from a heart of submission; a desire to do what God wants him to do.
This is not easy considering the situation Philip was in.
• He was experiencing great success in Samaria – there were miracles, healings were taking place, and the city was in great joy.
• Even the apostles from Jerusalem – Peter and John – came to hear of the good news that the Samaritans were turning to Christ.
• It was a roaring success and Philip, by now, was likely well-known and popular.
And then the unforeseeable happened – the Lord said, LEAVE. 8:26 - the angel of the Lord asked him to leave.
• How do you like that? Having pioneer a ministry and experience great success? It doesn’t make sense, right?
• It is always good to know ourselves that the ministry is the Lord’s work, not ours. It never has been our work in the first place.
We are not building our kingdom or our church, but God’s Kingdom.
• God has a work to be done elsewhere, and so He led Philip to ONE MAN – the man who will eventually bring the Gospel to Ethiopia.
• Philip was instrumental in making that possible, because he was available and he was responding to God’s bidding.
You can only be LED if you are LISTENING. Make time to listen to God.
• Author Bob Goff says, “I used to think God wouldn’t talk to me, but now I know I’m just selective with what I choose to hear.”
• Are you listening well?
• Nothing a disciple does can be insignificant if he is led by God.
(3) A Disciple is READY to Share Christ
This appointment was a miracle. It was entirely divine.
• The man was travelling on a moving chariot, on a desert road. It is very difficult to hit a moving target.
• Yet God guided Philip to the chariot just as the man was reading Isaiah 53.
• He used the very passage of the Scriptures and shared Christ, and this man was saved!
Who is truly the one reaching out to this man? Not Philip, but God.
• Philip was just the right person in the right place at the right time, led by God to do the right thing.
• Who is trying to reach your colleague, your friends at school? God is.
But God wants you to be that instrument.
• There is no doubt to me that Acts 8 is a miracle, an ACT of God.
• Yet it was done through a man, named Philip. He was available, he was listening to God’s voice, and he was ready to share Christ.
Ultimately, what made Philip effective in evangelism was not his technique, but his obedience.
• If we make ourselves available, and have a longing to be an instrument in God’s hands, God will surely use us.
• Opportunity will surely present itself, by God’s divine plan. We just need to respond by sharing Christ.
Respond by sharing WHAT YOU KNOW.
• Sometimes we are too caught up by what we do not know – there are many things we do not know about the Bible.
• Don’t be too bothered by what we know. Share what you DO KNOW. If all you know is, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” then say it!
Let us all do it by faith and leave the results to God.
I want to close with a personal thought.
In the last 2 months I’m praying for God to show me what to do. I felt that ES has hit a wall; we’ve stagnated and gotten into a rut. Not moving, not growing.
I have many theories in my mind – the spiritual knowledge I’ve amassed over two decades, but somehow I can’t seem to find a handle to cling on to. Should we pray more, have more events, more fellowship, more study…
After two weeks or so, seeking and praying, somehow the word ‘discipleship’ came up, and it kept coming back. I thought this is not something new to me.
I went to the CCC book sale 2 weeks ago, I stepped between two long shelves, stopped in the middle, turned to my left and saw this book “The Disciple-Making Pastor” (Bill Hull).
I took it up, flip through it, all prepared to put it back down but the lines captured my attention. I turned to other pages, and the words spoke to me. I turned a few more pages, and then, I cannot put it down. To cut the long story short, I bought it and “ate” it up in a week.
I told SY I felt God speaking to me in very tangible way. A few more things unfold after that, but I’ve to share with you some other time.
I want to tell you what God has put in my heart.
• Look at the book of Acts, the church grows by leaps and bounds.
• God did not give them a formula. God gave them people. Disciples who are filled with the Holy Spirit, with courage, faith, with His grace and power.
Jesus says, “Go and make disciples…” Not believers.
• We cannot change the world with believers. We can only change the world with disciples.
• The focus is on the people. We cannot give what we do not possess. We must get back to the fundamentals of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and how to train one towards that.
I saw God’s humour in all this. He led me to the book of ACTS and entitled this series, “Seeing God @ Work through His Church” (I was thinking only of church in Acts).
• But God is leading me to see Him @ work (in a similar way) through this church, through Kim Tian, His church!
• I will share more in the coming days! I’m trying to crystallize what God has put in my heart.
Make yourself AVAILABLE, LISTEN to what God is TELLING you, and be READY to share Christ!
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more