Phillip Grabbed His Chance.

God speaks to us all day long. I turned on Creflo Dollar and watched while waiting for the tea kettle to whistle. In those few minutes, I heard this…

“You still are trying to find out what you should do, instead of having faith in what has already been done.” Creflo Dollar

God told Abraham to move because He was going to give the land to his descendants. He moved and…

Acts 7:5, “God gave him nothing, not so much as a foothold. He did promise to give the country to him and his son later on, even though Abraham had no son at the time.” The Message

…nothing! The inhabitants didn’t turn the land over to him and he still didn’t have a son! But Abraham knew God keeps His word. He knew God would work it all out in His own time. It was already done!

Moses didn’t even look around until he was 40. (The older we get, the more important our relatives become!)

Acts 7:23, “When he was 40 years old, he wondered how everything was going with his Hebrew kin and went out to look things over.” The Message

We are never too old! Moses didn’t return to Egypt until he was 80! Abraham didn’t become a father until he was 100! There is nothing we can do but wait. We can’t make something happen.

Acts 8:21, “You’ll never be a part of what God is doing by striking bargains and offering bribes…” The Message

The hardest part is waiting for God to open the door. When He opens the door, no man can shut it, (Isaiah 22:22; Revelation 3:8). We have to have faith because it’s already done!

When we try to make things happen in our own strength it becomes another religious program. We learned yesterday – religious programs fizzle out! And we are left with the consequences.

Acts 7:41-42, “…and congratulated each other on the wonderful religious program they had put together. (42) God wasn’t at all pleased; but he let them do it their way,…and live with the consequences…” The Message

Sometimes, God asks us to move. If we don’t obey, he makes us more and more uncomfortable. Don’t wait until the situation is painful to go! Jesus told his followers to go into all the world and preach the gospel, Matthew 28:16-20.

Acts 8:1, 4, “That set off a terrific persecution…. (4) Forced to leave home base, the followers of Jesus all became missionaries…” The Message

We are at a crossroads. Do I stay or do I go? Those who stay need persistence and perseverance. We must do the same thing over and over, even when it seems pointless.

“Persistence is proven when you don’t see the point and you persevere anyway.” Steven Furtick, 1 Min Motivation, “Persevering When You Don’t See the Point”

* * * * * * *

Acts 7:1, “…What do you have to say for yourself!” The Message

Me? I’m going to grab this chance and use this passage to preach Jesus.

Acts 8:35, “Philip grabbed his chance. Using the passage as a text, he preached Jesus to him.” The Message

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Do Not Trifle with God

Ananias had everything going for him. His name meant “Yahweh has been gracious.” He had a gem of a wife (*wink*), Sapphira, whose name meant Precious. He had a lot of lands.

How do I know? He sold a field. This field was not inherited from his father. You did not sell the inherited land. You passed it down to your children or nearest relative.

He bought the field as an investment. Maybe he wanted to expand his business but later changed his mind. It’s possible he brought the price he paid for the field and kept the profit.

The problem was not the field or the money – it was his motives. He wanted admiration like Joseph, called Barnabas got. We read about him in Acts 4:36-37. His name meant “Son of Comfort.” Others sold fields (and houses!) giving the money to the disciples, see Acts 4:34.

Ananias conspired with Sapphira to donate most of the money to look good. They lied about the amount and both paid for it with their life.

Acts 5:11, “…They knew God was not to be trifled with.” The Message

The event put the fear of God into everyone. God sees what we cannot see. He sees motives and sin in our hearts.

He also sees hearts that are searching for Him. They need someone to share the “Good News” with them. They need someone to spell out the “Save Me, Jesus, Prayer!” That is why God gave these instructions to the disciples.

Acts 5:20, “Go to the Temple and take your stand. Tell the people everything there is to say about this Life.” The Message

You can’t out-give God. God blessed those who sold fields and houses, donating the money. Ananias saw them getting richer. That may have been another motive.

Proverbs 8:20, “A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.” The Message

This chapter gave examples of other leaders. They made something of a splash, claimed they were somebody, and acquired followers. (Dear Lord, I’m sorry I mentioned the new followers yesterday. Forgive me. Amen.)

Acts 5:36-37, “Not long ago Theudas made something of a splash, claiming to be somebody, and got about four hundred men to join him. He was killed, his followers dispersed, and nothing came of it. (37) A little later, at the time of the census, Judas the Galilean appeared and acquired a following. He also fizzled out and the people following him were scattered to the four winds.” The Message

They fizzled out! Human programs fall apart. But there is nothing you can do about God’s work. You can’t fight God!

Acts 5:38-39, “So I am telling you: Hands off these men. Let them alone. If this program or work is merely human, it will fall apart, (39) but if it is of God, there is nothing you can do about it – and you better not be found fighting against God.” The Message

The disciples were witnesses of Jesus’ life. They endured horrific atrocities and died as martyrs. Yet, they never changed their message.

“Jesus saves!”

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