Summary: Many of us hear things, but often we do not listen. Unfortnatly we often do the same to God. We need to be listening to God. We look at 4 voices God speaks to us with

Acts 8:26-40

Listening To God


A. Note the title today it is “Listening to God”

B. Key word “Listening”

C. It does not mean hearing

D. There is a difference

E. My dad has either gave me, or taught me the ability to tune things out – I’m not sure which one it is

F. That ability sometimes is good – like when driving a van fool of loud kids

G. And sometimes is bad – ever so often Heather will say something, and I will hear her

H. However, I don’t respond

I. Dan, Dan, Dan, do you not hear the sound of my voice

J. I hear it, but I was not listening – not a good thing to do

K. Today we are not looking at hearing God, we are looking at listening to God

L. We are going to look at 4 voice’s

a. God’s Voice

b. The Holy Spirit Voice

c. The Scripture Voice

d. Christ Voice

I. God’s Voice (26-28)

A. Explanation

1. Philip’s was obviously by what we have look at the past couple of weeks, enjoying a very fruitful ministry in Samaria

a) Man were things going good

b) People were reaching their neighbors

c) People were getting baptized left and right

d) The Church was growing

e) Everything was going good

2. Then an angel of the Lord appear

a) Basically this angel of the Lord was God himself who spoke to Philip in form of angel

b) Now why did God send an angel? The best guess that we can give is because people are not able to look upon the holiness of God, we are just too sinful

c) We read in Acts 22:6 about The Lord appearing to Paul in a bright light

(1) Was it the type of light we think of, you take that light bulb and keep adding juice to it and seeing how bright it can get?

(2) Probably humans are just not able to express magnificent events

d) So God told Phillip to get up and Go

3. To go to the south to the dessert road that goes down to Gaza – This was right at the edge of the Sinai desert, witch trailed off into Egypt. Very sparsely populated

4. Would not seem like a fruitful place form ministry

5. But God said Go

6. That was it, no I wonder if you would be interested in… No why don’t you talk it over with your family, no pray about it

7. Keep in mind he had a fruitful ministry, surely there was still work to be done there

8. But God Said Go and so he went

9. As Philip was heading along the way, he came unto a chariot

a) In this chariot sat an Ethiopian eunuch – better put the treasurer of the Ethiopian Kingdom

b) This Ethiopian, who we are never told his name, was on his was back from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem were he went to worship

10. Now the ironic part of this, is that Philip thought he was God was calling him to Gaza. We will see shortly however, that God planned on using him on the was to Gaza

B. Application

11. So what can we learn from these verses.

12. There are two very important lessons to be grasp in these couple of verses

13. Number #1: When God says go – Go!

a) This does not mean you sit there forever waiting to make sure

b) When God speaks you go

14. But Dan, how do I know if God is speaking to me. I do not here a great loud audible voice like (*talk into the mike*)

15. Henry Blackaby tells us that God speaks to us by the Holy Spirit through the bible. He also speaks to us through prayer, circumstance, and the church to reveal himself, his purpose, and his ways.

16. God still speaks to us today, and if we stand around debating whether or not he is speaking we will miss an opportunity for a great blessing

17. Number #2: Sometimes we become so focused on our destination (or more correctly or perception of god’s plan or destination) that we may miss opportunities to share the love of Christ along the way

a) We become so preoccupied, about when we get to the destination we then will begin.

b) Folks if Philip did that look what he would have missed.

c) The journey is Just as important as the destination

18. In Greek there are 2 words for time, just like there are three words for love

a) The one word “Chronos” – is were we get Chorological time – seconds minutes, hours, days

b) When we focus on Chronos we think of things such as effectiveness, efficiency, what is the best use of my time

c) How soon will I arrive at my destination

19. Then there is “Kairos” time

a) This is a linear time, has to do with an era, age, a span or season

b) The problem with being caught up in Chronos time is that we develop phrases like “wont it be good on the other side of this?” or “I cant wait until

c) All along we are missing the very things that Christ is showing us

20. If Philip did this, he would have never had that wonderful experience with the eunuch

21. Philip was kept Kairos time – he was able to focus on the journey rather then the destination

C. Illustration

22. When I read these verse guess who came into my mind? My dad

23. It was 20 years ago that he left a very vibrant, fruitful, good ministry

24. To go to his own “desert road”

25. There are many plans that the Lighthouse has not been able to achieve yet

26. There are many goal that haven’t been there

27. But in the 20 years, the journey has been incredible

28. The lives that have been changed, the families that have been restored, the scores of people who have come to know the Savior – amazing

a) (Shameless plug) if you want to hear the story of the incredible Journey that God has given then come to the 20th anniversary celebration on September 23 at Mars Alliance

29. Follow God’s leading a be concerned with the journey more then the destination

II. The Holy Spirit’s Voice (29-31)

A. Explanation

1. So Philip was standing there stunned to see this shiny looking chariot

2. And then the Spirit began to speak

3. Philip – God to that chariot and stay near it

a) Now that seems kind of funny to – Go and stand by the chariot, why would I do that?

4. But fortunately, I am not Philip, and Philip listed to the Holy Spirit and approached the chariot

5. I like how the scripture says “Philip ran,” not cautiously approached, not debated about weather he should or not, he ran

6. So as he was close by he could hear the Ethiopian reading from Isaiah

a) Most reading back in that time was done out loud.

b) This should be apparent to anyone who tries and read a copy of an ancient manuscript

c) They can be harder to read then my hand writing, which is as my 5th grade teacher called it “Chicken Scratch”

d) It is easier to spell out the words, and then sound them out, rather then trying to read them silently

e) Also it is easier to focus on the meaning when you read out loud, I know I do that when I am reading

7. So as Philip heard him reading from Isaiah he recognize the passage and boom

8. He had is “conversation started” “His way in” “An open door”

9. So Philip simply asked the Ethiopian “Do you understand what you are reading?”

10. The Ethiopian said of course not, how do you expect me to understand

11. I need someone to explain this to me

12. So the Ethiopian said “come up here and help me, we are headed the same way Ill give you a ride if you tell me what it means”

13. So Philip went up and joined the Ethiopian

B. Application

14. What can we learn form this?

15. Now notice that the Spirit of God did not say “go to the chariot where the Ethiopian will be reading from Isaiah you are then to ask him if he understand he will invite you up and then you can explain”

16. The Holy Spirit said Go to the Chariot

17. A command that would not make sense, but Philip being open to the Holy Spirit leading went anyways

18. We need to have that same type of openness, we need to have that same type of willingness, we need to listen to the Holy Spirit voice

19. The holy spirit also was at work in Philip when Philip heard that passage from Isaiah he was able to recall studying that passage

20. When we are open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will have opportunities to experience amazing event just like Philip

C. Illustration

21. I hesitate to use this example, because sadly there are probably many more times that I missed the leading of the Holy Spirit then I have followed

22. Several years ago the Lord laid it on my heart to visit Edinboro Youth Camp. It was not a week I was suppose to be there just a Sr. High camp

23. I thought I was going to go up just for me. For a recharge

24. When I got there I saw all my friends, talked to them, had a good time

25. Then after the service one of former camper came up to me and told me that God has called him into missions

26. I thought that was wonderful, I was really happy for him

27. But then he started to tell me about how he was afraid to tell his mom

28. So I told to give her a call and whipped out my cell phone and proceeded to get his number and call his mom

29. He was not happy I did that to him, but then I got this email 5 years later ****(Read Goss Email)****

30. I had no clue why God sent me there that night 5 years ago. But now I do

31. Be open to the Spirit’s leading, He will lead you into situations that are unbelievable

III. The Bible’s Voice (32-35)

A. Explanation

1. Now Philip is in the chariot with the Ethiopian

2. They re read the passage together

a) On a side note, where these the only verses that they looked at?

b) Probably not, they probably did examine the context before and after, but these were the main two verses.

3. So after they had read the passage together, the eunuch was really frustrated

4. Please, Philip, tell me what this mean, who is the prophet talking about, it is the prophet, a king, someone else, tell me

5. Now the fact that Philip is able to tell the Ethiopian about the passage gives a lot of point to Philip

6. The only way Philip would have known the passage would be to study it himself, to have a solid foundation of scripture already there

7. Last week we learned that Peter and John came down to see what had happened in Samaria, and the laid hands on everyone and they received the Holy Spirit

8. What that tells us is that Philip was still under the banner of the Jerusalem Church

9. Therefore it would safe to say that Philip look at the Apostles as his pastors’

10. Note what Philip did, PHILIP explained that passage,

a) He did not say can you hold on while I ask my pastor, he did not say “geese I don’t know let me find my pastor”

b) Because of his diligent studying of scripture he was able to handle it

11. Look at verse 35 – watch how Philip masterfully reached out to the Ethiopian

12. He started with that very scripture and began to explain to the eunuch about the passage

13. He then went thought the whole Scripture and explaining how Christ is the answer

14. And then he gave the Ethiopian and opportunity to respond

B. Application

15. What can we learn from all of this?

16. First thing we see is that the Ethiopian was reading the Bible

a) The Ethiopian was not a Christian nor a Jew, and he is reading Scripture

17. It is sad to say that there are non Christians who know the scripture better then Christians

18. See they will read it, learn how to refuter it, and you better believe that they can quote the Scripture to you

a) Probably out of contest, but that is better then many Christians can do

19. Do you want to be caught off guard when non-Christians ask you about a passage of Scripture?

a) Of course not, the only way to prevent that is to be reading the Bible

20. Second things we see is some important guidelines on how to share Christ with someone

a) First thing is Philip listen to the questions that the Ethiopian had -- Not just heard the questions, but listen

b) Next thing he did was start where the Ethiopian was, start with what the Ethiopian understood

c) Then he used the Bible to center the discussion around Jesus

d) Forth gave the Ethiopian and opportunity to respond or to make a decision

21. That is a pattern that we can follow

C. Illustration

22. For 4 years now I have been working on a goal

23. The goal was simple, to make my wife into a Steelers fan

24. It has work, she know is a fan

25. But you see I did not start with saying, you need to be a Steelers fan or you will die

26. I started with what she knew about football

27. With that base I began the process of explaining more and more about football

28. We centered our discussion around the Steelers.

29. Now if you gave her and opportunity she would tell you that she is a Steelers fan

30. That is the same method Philip used to tell the Ethiopian Eunuch something much more important then the steels

IV. Christ’s Voice (36-39)

A. Explanation

1. So Philip did a good job at explaining about Christ, and what he means

2. The Ethiopian responded

3. So that was the end right?

4. NO! Salvation is a beginning not an end

5. Philip continued to explain things about Christ, about His Life and His message

6. As they were traveling the Ethiopian saw some water and said “Hey I should be baptized”

a) Now take a look at verse 37 – did you find it?

b) Most of your Bibles will have a little letter telling you to look at the bottom of the page for an explanation

c) Most scholars feel that verse 37 was added later to provide clarification

(1) When Luke wrote Acts, he assumed that the reader would understand that the eunuch believed in Jesus Christ

(2) But some editors probably in the 2nd century decided to add it for clarification

7. What the Ethiopian was doing was following what Christ told us to do

8. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of The Son and of the Holy Spirit

a) Baptism is not an option, it is a regular procedure of Christian Discipleship

9. Baptism also requires conversion first

a) Baptism is not salvation

b) Rather baptism is an act which speaks to the world of God’s grace and witnesses to the believer himself of the inner working of God in his heart

B. Application

10. So what does that mean to us.

11. It means we need to follow the Ethiopian’s example

12. We need to follow Christ voice

13. If have accepted Christ as our Savior, we need to be baptized

14. Not be baptized if we feel like

15. Not to do it for the fun of it

16. But because Christ has told us to do it

17. Take a look at verse 39

18. The Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away

19. And the Ethiopian mourned, blamed God, and stop following him

20. That is not way it says, we basically get this picture

21. The eunuch was celebrating what the Lord had done in his life

22. Having a good time, then looks over, Philip, the guy who led him to the Lord was gone

23. Scratch his head, and then went back to rejoicing in the Lord

24. Point?

25. Simple, the person who told you about God, the person who has had an impact in your life,

a) Those people are just instruments of God

b) God is the one who changes you

c) God is the one who saves you

d) God is the one who bring you joy

26. No matter what happens to the person who led you to Christ, or helped you in your journey with Christ, it is Christ that matters

a) Our focus must be on Him

C. Illustration


A. Are you listening to God today?

B. If you are, and your following him step by step, great, continue

C. If you have totally tuned God out of your life, you need to make some major repairs

a. Start by turning away from whatever it is that is blocking you

b. Then begin to seek God. Seek God through prayer, through reading the Bible, to Listen more and talk less

D. Most of us probably fall under this category, we are “connected” to God but our connection speed is slow

a. Have you ever used a dial-up connection for the Internet at peak times?

b. Man does everything bog down, it takes 5 minutes just to load one page

c. On the other hand have you ever been on the internet with a T1 connection, man those pages just fly up like Crazy

d. How is your connection with God

i. Is it a bogged down dial up connection?

ii. Or are you on a T1 line?

e. Today start upgrading your connection

i. It does not cost you more money

ii. It involves prayer, reading, and focusing on God

iii. Get that T1 line with God today

E. If you have never been baptized, why not?

F. I ask that question because there is no good answer

G. The only answer that you can give is because you are not following Christ voice

H. Ouch that hurts doesn’t it?

I. If you would like to be baptized talk to me, I will explain to you further the meaning of baptism, and then we will find a time and place to be baptized

J. Are you listening to God?

K. Now that we have looked back, let us move forward

L. (Pray)