Book of Acts Chapter 7 Part 3
Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that believers should be witnesses for the Lord, everywhere they go. Today, we hope to continue our discussion of the sermon of Stephen.
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Read Acts 7:20-29
The Sermon of Stephen (continued). In this section of the book of Acts Stephen continues his historic recitation. Moses was born during the time of oppression.
Around the age of 40, Moses fled to Midian, after it was known that he killed an Egyptian.
- God's working in mysterious ways. Notice in vss. 20-24 of the book of Acts that God can work in such mysterious ways.
Think about how many strange things happened with Moses. He could have been killed but ended up in Pharaoh’s household. He was educated in Pharaoh’s household.
In spite of killing a man, God is going to use Moses to do great things. In like manner, God is able to take the strange twists, turns, and mistakes of our lives and use it all for the good of His people and His marvelous plan.
Let’s remind one another that God is still working things out for the good of His people. We really need to remember this when life seems to make no sense at all.
- Proper motives. Notice in vss. 25-29 of this section of the book of Acts that it is important to make sure that what you do is done because you believe it is God’s will, as opposed to because you believe people will understand and appreciate what you are doing.
Similar to how Moses was not appreciated by the brother in the text, you and I can find our supposed good works not understood. Instead of doing anything because you believe that people will understand, let’s always stay in the will of God.
This is a good application for Black believers who have a zeal to help their people. Sometimes our people are the ones who cause us so much heart ache.
- God's continued plan. Notice in vs. 29 of this section of the book of Acts that even though Moses ran away and was guilty of murder, God still had plans for him.
On one hand, it is good to know that what God has for us is for us, even if we make mistakes along the way. But on the other hand, we should be careful about how we write others off.
God may still be working out a marvelous plan in the lives of those who are making serious mistakes. Let's seek God's wisdom and energy to discern His will and live accordingly.
Read Acts 7: 30-38
The Sermon of Stephen (continued). God sent an angel to get Moses from Midian back to Egypt as the leader of the Israelites in this section of the book of Acts.
This was in spite of the Israelites who rejected Moses' leadership. God did great things through Moses including the prophesy of a prophet to come.
- Faithful in spite of not understanding. Notice in vs. 30 that God has some strange timing. Moses is now eighty years old.
For forty years God has been watching and listening to the cries and sufferings of His people. But when God got ready to move, it was time to move. It should not surprise us when God doesn’t make sense to us.
God is a big God who has a plan and timetable that we just have to believe is working for the good of God's people.
Instead of wrecking our minds trying to figure God out and when God is going to do what He is going to do, let's work on simply being faithful.
That is, let's focus on doing what we believe God wants us to do today, instead of getting migraines trying to figure out the big picture and plan of God.
- The bush and obedience. Notice in vss. 30-34 that the burning bush was a precursor to Moses' hearing and obeying the will of God.
Instead of simply being fascinated by the burning bushes of life (e.g., dreams, strange events, etc.), we should focus on hearing and obeying the will of God. The best way to know God and His will for our lives is to prayerfully study and obey His word.
Let's focus on hearing and obeying God's will more than looking for a burning bush or something spectacular.
- Focusing on God's will more than the people's will. Notice in vss. 35-36 of this section of the book of Acts that even though there were those who rejected Moses' leadership initially, God had the last word about who would be the leader.
It is a dangerous situation when God's program is reduced to simply a democracy – by the people, for the people. On the contrary, we should strive to have a democratic theocracy.
That is, we should democratically strive to agree with and follow what we believe is the will of God. Sometimes it is God's will to choose those whom we reject and to reject those whom we would choose. Let's seek to understand and abide by God's will.
- Hearing God by whatever means He chooses. Notice in vss. 37-38 of this section of the book of Acts that God used Moses, in spite of his sins to speak living words to the people of God.
God is still using sinful messengers to speak living words to His people. On one hand, messengers (i.e., all believers are witnesses) should strive to live godly lives that do not distract people from hearing the living word.
But on the other hand, no matter how ungodly the messenger is, the word of God is worth hearing and obeying.
Let's work on hearing and living by the word of God, by whatever means God sends His word. Prayerful Bible study with a mind to obey will help us discern the living words of God.
Conclusion: Let's work on being witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.
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