Bethany Christian Church Podcast

category: Christianity

Following the Lead of the Spirit - No Excuses

10/8/2017

Following the Lead of the Spirit - No Excuses
Acts 8:26-40; 16:11-15
October 8, 2017

“Phillip and the Ethiopian” Acts 8: 26-40

The Holy Spirit had spoken.

Lacked the knowledge of the Good News.

Someone was willing to take the time to just be there.

This is a story of how The Holy Spirit and the will to follow Jesus can turn the world on its end.

"Strange isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives, and when he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole doesn’t he?"
-Clarence the Angel

"From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. 'If you consider me a believer in the Lord,' she said, 'come and stay at my house.' And she persuaded us."
-Acts 16:11-15

“Luke: Who’s Talking Now”

Paul didn’t find Lydia at a synagogue. (v. 13)

“Paul and his companions…came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures…”.
-Acts 17:1-2

Lydia is a worshipper of God. (v. 14)

Worshipping God was not the standard.

No excuse not to be where she was called to be.

“One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.”
–Acts 16:14

“Purpleness”

The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

God was moving in all this. God always does.

At my best, I trust God and follow his lead.

At my worst, I follow the pattern of Moses in Exodus Chapters 3 & 4. I make excuses.

Excuses:
Exodus 3:11 - But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
Excuse #1: Why are you asking me?

Exodus 3:13 - Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has
sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
Excuse #2: I don’t know how

Exodus 4:1 - Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
Excuse #3: What if I fail?

Exodus 4:10 - Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor
since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
Excuse #4: I’m not ___________ enough

Exodus 4:13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
Excuse #5: I don’t want to

Lydia didn’t use any excuses not to respond to Paul’s message.
She knew there was no excuse not to do what she was called to do.

Lydia extends hospitality.

Paul doesn’t usually accept hospitality from converts.

"When I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so."
–2 Corinthians 11:9

"Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you."
–1 Thessalonians 2:9

Lydia had to persuade Paul to accept her offer.

"I thank God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now."
-Philippians 1:5

She partnered with Paul because she persisted.

No excuse not to care for those she was called to serve.

God is working in you. How will you respond?


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