LISTENING AND DIRECTED BY GOD

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015

Kenwood Fellowship Church
May 3, 2015
Ken Bashford, Pastor

Message – “Listening to and Directed by God”
Scripture – Acts 6, 7 and 8
Memory verses / Proverbs 2:1-5 ESV
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
What Does the Scripture Say?

What does it mean to listen to and follow God? God speaks to us in various ways-through His word, through His Spirit to our spirit, through others, through nature and through mass media [radio, TV, movies etc.], the real question is are we in tone with God, close enough in a relationship with Him to hear and sense Him speaking to us, moving in us.

In each of the examples today we see God speaking, moving, in Barnabas as an encourager, in Philip to share the Good News about Jesus, in Stephen to preach even in the face of opposition and in Peter to be willing to cross racial lines to reach out to the Samaritans’ and Gentiles.

Barnabas shares his wealth and good fortune with others, he sales some land and gives the money to the disciples.

The Greeks are feeling ignored as their widows are not being treated the same as the Jewish women, so the Apostles have seven [7] men appointed as DEACONS, SERVANTS, to oversee the distribution of food and gifts

Philip travels throughout Judea and Samaria telling others about Jesus and is directed by God to go find a traveler from Ethiopia who is traveling back to his homeland, and while traveling is reading from the book of Isaiah about a man who is to be sacrificed for His people. Philip comes to the man, ask him if he understands what he is reading, and the man says he does not and can’t without someone to guide him. Philip takes where the man is reading and explains how this is a prophecy about Jesus. The two continue to travel and talk, they come to a stream and the Ethiopian ask to be baptized, and Philip honors his request.

Peter is given a vision by God of how the new church is changing as God shows him a vision of animals of all types, coming down from heaven on a large sheet, both clean and unclean animals. Peter is directed to take and eat, but Peter tells God that he does not eat unclean animals based on the Jewish laws, but God tells him things are changing and whatever He calls clean is OK to eat, thus all animals are now open to him and those in the new church.
Peter is being moved by the Spirit to get out of Jerusalem and share the Good News of Jesus with others in Samaria-while there, he is directed to the house of Cornelius, a Roman centurion who is reading about and seeking God. While at the house of Cornelius Peter shares the Good News of Jesus and Cornelius and his entire household commit to being followers of Jesus and all are baptized.

THE CHURCH OF JESUS IS EXPANDING, TRANSITIONING FROM A JEWISH CHURH TO A CHURCH THAT INCLUES AND SOON WILL BE DONMINATED BY NON-JEWS [GENTILES]

In the middle of this transition Steven is constant in his sharing the Good News of Jews, he becomes a marked man, taken in custody by the Jewish guards, and he is brought before the Sanhedrin and gives a powerful defense of how Jesus is the promised Messiah from the Old Testament. The Jewish leaders rise against him in hate and anger and have him stoned to death. A young zealot of the Temple, a man named Saul oversees the stoning.

Page 2 “Listening to and Directed by God”

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Additional Bible Verses to Review
John 8:47 ESV
Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
John 10:27-28 ESV
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Mark 4:24 ESV
And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.
Psalm 25:4-5 ESV
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
Revelation 3:20 ESV
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Hebrews 4:7 ESV
Again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Psalm 37:4-5 ESV
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
Philippians 4:6 ESV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Romans 10:17 ESV / 64 helpful votes
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
John 10:2-4 ESV / 63 helpful votes
But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
Job 33:14-15 ESV
For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds,
James 1:22 ESV
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Psalm 119:105 ESV
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.