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July 17, 2022 1:00 am
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So He Arose and Went
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Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City know Philip was a man in the garden could speak to and when he would speak to them, he would simply just do what God was asking them to do and so my question, I guess to you and to my own heart is are we like the can God speak to you.
Can God remove you from where you are today and can it take you to where he wants you to go were so glad you've joined us for this week's edition of a call to the nation with Carter, the question Carter asks us to consider today comes from a story that here we learn about a man named Philip the evangelist.
Not only was Philip willing to serve God obediently. He was miraculously transported from one place to another. Let's join Carter with his message titled Rose were living in obviously very perilous times. No times that we have been warned about 35 years in this particular congregation and I wish I could say things in the world are going to get better but I don't think so I think is going to more difficult.
According to the word of God. Deceptions are going to get deeper. The wars are going to go farther is going to be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes is as Jesus said, but he also said this gospel be preached in all the world before the unconscious gospel will be preached in God is a God of justice, but is a God of mercy, and he will enable us all of us to preach the gospel. I think farther and wider than we've ever dreamed it more than we can even ask or think in this in the season. The Internet is that is the net now. John 21.
Remember that the disciples that fished all night and they caught nothing. Jesus is on the Shari said cast the net on the right side of the boat. In other words, do it this way, do it my way and when they cast the net suddenly there's 153 fish that are sent by the hand of God to swim into that and that in the net in our generation is the Internet.
I'd known that for a long time you've known that for long time. This is the net the gods can be used to bring in a multitude a harvest. I think that's too numerous to for any anyone of us to ever count won't ever be able to have a full tally of all the people that are going to come into the kingdom of God and be discipled Internet groups is the disciple on the Internet and find fellowship and find other believers in their respective countries.
It's already starting to happen folks and I'm so glad that we all get to be a part of what God is doing it on. I was thinking about the story of Philip the evangelist and talk about what was it in this man that God could use him in a spectacular way. And there's no doubt about it. Of all the people that have been used in the New Testament as there is rarely a man that's more curious than Philip or man that was more great to have greater experiences of God.
There's nobody else in the Bible ever that was translated by the hand of God, which meet yet and we are here ever seen Star Trek. I mean, you can raise your hand, it's okay. No means no were not turning the cameras around not taking your picture you don't Star Trek, they stand on this thing called a transporter and everybody just kind of disintegrates and they appear in another place. That's what happened. The Philip Philip went into the waters of baptism to baptize in an Ethiopian man who was under Candace the Queen of Ethiopians and after baptizing any bridges transported by God, and he appears in another town. Shortly after Carla's notice is nobody in the Bible that ever happened out. Elijah went up in the chariot but nobody was ever transported by God the way he wants but yet it didn't seem to ever alter his character and want talk about this man. The next chapter 8 verses 26 and 27 will start there. It is now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, arise, and go towards the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.
This is a desert. So he arose and went so that's what I call the message. So here goes and what that was the thing about Philip, the one characteristic of his life is whatever God asked him to do.
That's what he did. Philip was an obedient man. He went were God called them, not necessarily where he wanted to go.
Now Philip was a man that God could speak to and when he would speak to them, he would simply just do what God was asking them to do. And so my question, I guess to you and to my own heart is are we like that. Can God speak to you. Can God remove you from where you are today and can he take you to where he wants you to go can you make your life into that which is destined to be so that it brings glory to his name more or do we get so entrenched in our own self. You own ideas. Maybe what I life should be, or even ministry. What ministry should look like and we get entrance to the point where the Lord can no longer's were speaking to God, but he can't speak to us anymore were not willing to even consider moving outside of their comfort may be that we found for ourselves. You know is as is as natural people we we strive for a place where we feel accomplished and we feel comfortable and we feel like we've achieved something everybody wants to achieve something in life there's not that many people that that's in my my goal in life is to be a loser and to accomplish nothing's not very many people like that.
He wants to do something to accomplish something so but we finally get to the place where we feel like we have accomplished something. The tendency is to more or less build a box around ourselves and say this is what my life is is what it's going to be.
It's what God has done it becomes her story, it becomes our identity and becomes a testimony. The difference between that and Philip is that Philip was a man who could be moved from where he wants to where God was sending him even even when where he was seem to be glorious to Jenny was sending him to something that was unknown. He didn't have any idea where it was that he was going first Corinthians chapter 12 in verse 18 tells us that God sets the members each one of them in the body just as he pleases, is not amazing like it's his choice where we are to be in that in the body of Christ is not our choice and when it becomes our choice would become a natural kingdom and we cease to be a supernatural kingdom. The reason that God could do the things he did through Philip's Philip Philip was never so entrenched in his own self identity or maybe his ministry identity that he couldn't be moved to the place where God wanted to take him even when it looked like a desert. He first appears in acts chapter 6 verses 2 to 6.
Now here's where Phillip's ministry starts it says in chapter 6 of X verse 2 to 6 and since then the 12 summon the multitude of the disciples and said it is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
Therefore, brethren seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business, not just ordinary people to serve tables the people have a good reputation. They were filled with the spirit of God, and they had wisdom, but we will give ourselves verse four continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word in the saying please the whole multitude, Mitchell Stephen, a man full of faith in the Holy Spirit and Philip and that goes on and tells us about the rest of them only set before the apostles and when they had prayed, they laid hands upon them to see. Can you just imagine now if you had gotten to the point of the body of Christ like. Let's say you're a number of times were attractive and attending here and you now have a reputation maybe God's given you some gifting to the spirit.
Maybe you have words of wisdom or knowledge or maybe just you just know for prayer something you known for something anyway. Never reputation your filled with the Holy Ghost you know you are you make sure everybody around you knows that your filled with the Holy Ghost and you have wisdom. The least you think you do anyway but you don't you you have a wisdom that is birthed and given view of God and then suddenly somebody comes to you with all those qualifications and says we need somebody to serve tables.
Think about that for a moment what the knee knee with my reputation knee full of the Holy Ghost knee with all the wisdom that I have the knowledge of the Scriptures you want me to serve tables because you want to give yourself to the study of God's word and prayer and you want me to be the one is bringing trays of food with all my wisdom and anointing and all the things that I have, yes, you see the thing about Philip, Philippians, let me just read it in Philippians chapter 2 now. It's amazing we we preach, sometimes as preachers. Even with such eloquence and live with this mediocrity. Because here's what Paul said to the Philippians let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus will be in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of what no reputation in taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
So you don't get any bigger than God. You know, getting smarter than God. You don't get any more anointed than God but yet even though he was God and could consider him God and could actually portray himself as God instead of that he took on himself. No reputation. Let this mind be in you see this mind was in Philip. This is why God could use them the way he could be used. This was a test in the sense you know Philip was a man who did not consider any form of service appointed by God beneath him. That's the point is any form of service you know as leaders in the body of Christ. For example, if the if is a piece of paper stuck on the platform.
We shouldn't stand here and wait for somebody to take it up. We should pick it up ourselves now. Next chapter 8 we first saw Philip and an acts chapter 6. Then the next chapter 8 we see a persecution, a man called Saul was consenting to the death of Stephen and a great persecution arose against the church and they were all scattered so suddenly justice can happen in our society of persecution arises and it's of violent persecution.
Saul is a lunatic is almost like the Vladimir Putin of his time is that the lunatic he just wants to copy wants to destroy everything. Unlike himself. He's got letters of authority to bring people into out of their homes taken the prison and tortured them, and by his own confession he caused people to even blaspheme the name of God under torture.
He's is driven everything unlike himself has to be destroyed. That's the Saul of Tarsus at that particular time, and because of him. The church was scattered. Suddenly, people whatever ministry Philip found himself in serving table suddenly had to leave yet that you get out of town because the alternative was not too pleasant in the verse four of acts chapter 8 says therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preach Christ to them in the multitudes with one accord heeded the thing spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he does not know Philip is gone from serving tables to doing miracles, but God is actually doing it through miracles or not talking about some of the stiff knee suddenly feeling better. Were talking about some of the blind. I suddenly see like miracles are starting to happen here for unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice came out of many who were possessed and many were paralyzed and lame were healed and there was great joy in that city. So suddenly he starts out serving tables now is in Samaria because it is been scattered because of a persecution and miracles are happening. I'm a bona fide miracles and people are lame are being are being got healed and people are demon possessed of being set free. Joy is breaking out all kinds of people are starting to come to Christ as it is, and the prominent leaders now take notice of his ministry next chapter 8 and verse 14 says now when the apostles were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them is a mixing you know so suddenly the big boys come to town is affiliate of Philip and B's. I made it I'm in the Big Ten. Now you know I got me like I'm in miracles happen healings you have the demons and flame people getting sick.
Joyous joy is everywhere and and and the big boys come to town like it doesn't get any bigger than that, than that when Peter and John showing up in town.
So now, suddenly, that the general executive assistant to the general executive get on the hardware is taken notice of me, not for the big time and they come in the lay hands on people to start receiving the Holy Spirit and the revival is just it. The revivalists is is one of the greater ones actually in the book of acts, and then suddenly a messenger of God shows up to Philip one day and in chapter 8 verse 26 and he says an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, arise, and go towards the south along the road which goes down to Jerusalem Jerusalem to Gaza. This is the desert so he arose and went to see the people Philip in heaven's name. What are you doing where you going, felt filled to the man I'm in the kingdom of God is come down to you Philip miracles a happy Philip demons are filling. Philip is great joy in the city. There's a revival happening here the big boys of come down to even look into ministry and the indices got as though the stick over his shoulder with a bag with his close enemies heading out of town where you going, Philip. I don't to the desert. What's there. I have no idea, but God is speaking to me that I should go.
You see, the point being that God could speak to this man.
He couldn't. He was never so entrenched in what he was doing that God couldn't speak him and I have to wonder sometimes is possible that he's the only one that God could speak to.
Is it possible that everybody soak in what they're doing in this great revival in Samaria that the Lord is actually trying to speak to various people maybe didn't want to take the key man out you don't know that for fact I'm only speculating, but is it possible he didn't want to take this, the key player out of there but nobody else could hear God's kingdom was about to move into Africa. He needed somebody to meet up with an Ethiopian eunuch in the desert was going to be converted he was going to bring the gospel the very first record of the gospel going into Africa and he couldn't find anybody but Philip still good to hear from God it wasn't all about largess was not about ministry.
It wasn't all about what was happening in my life and what was happening through my life. It was God could still speak to him and and just as in the beginning nothing was too small for him. You see God as a long-term view. We have a short-term view, we tend to see everything in the here and now and because of it. It limits our vision, but one were willing to hear from God is a long-term view sees the pastors conference in Kenya two years ago.
He sees the gospel going and all PC millions of people that are going to come to Christ any need somebody to meet demand is going to bring the message of Christ. There and Philip could hear him. Don't ever get something that you can hear from God.
Don't ever get something for something that is small. Looks like it's too small, though not for me know on the miracle man. Peter and John are taken notice of a man.
I'm on the way, this is my career is sad. I'm gonna I'm going to put my name in Lansing would have a brochure with my picture on the front. However, they did back then everybody's going to know my name. Suddenly he's leaving town.
They guys look after the revival God be with you. I'm heading off to the desert and so he meets the Ethiopian eunuch in the desert and leads him to Christ takes him down into the water and and baptizes him I love this story and then it says in chapter 8 verse 39 when they come up out of the water. The spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was founded as notice in passing theory preached in all the cities until he came to says.
Imagine you could be used of God in such a way that you baptize a man then you disappear and you you end up in the city in your walkabouts. I could you tell me where this is where am I an end at your home ministry is not about your your translated note today all we do is get translated into Spanish. We don't get translated the way they did back in the book about, you know, just like in so-and-so's home ministry is not about the fact I was translated or I was a miracle man. Philip is is just preaching the gospel again. As is always done. It doesn't become all about this miracle would happen in his life is just about right is just an ordinary guy that God could get a hold of that started serving tables and now the Lord is the Lord is as such control of this man that he deacons is taken from one spot and put them in another God over God. That's a cry my heart Lord, would you just open my ears to your voice but it would you help me not to get stuck in the self. You are stuck in what I'm doing or stuck in one of not doing would you just help me be able to hear you know the make a difference in winning one man in the desert.
That's all he could see that's always natural. I could see but something much bigger than that was happening the plan. The pattern of God was beginning to be made known.
It was beginning to move into another part of the world that had never known this message of Christ, and it brings me to point to which is Philip was a man who trusted that were God calls God will prosper.
We don't have to understand it, just have to obey it. What he asked us to do just do that. Here's the point. God's calling in Philip's life was never about himself but always about others.
If your calling is about yourself.
Here's the muzzle stick your fingers in your ears. You're never going to hear from God. It's about you, but if turns to being about others.
If one person means as much to you as the crowds once did in Samaria, then God can use you in a Miraculous Way, God can take your God can take me work to places that only he can because our focus is not on ourselves and in the American church. God help us in America, but we been so self focused, as a nation for so long that I fear that our ears are close to the voice of God in much of God tells me to get right to the conclusion now in acts chapter 21 the last mention of Philip and I just love this next chapter 21 verses eight and nine.
Now the writer vexes on the next day we who were Paul's companions departed and came to Caesarea member that's work that's worth. Philip ends up after his translated me into the house of Philip the evangelist was one of the seven this is seven that initially serve tables and stayed with him and this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied in Luke says and we stayed there many days, and this is what this is what I love about this is the man who scattered him early on, the book of acts is now welcome in his home, but you just love that and Philip now has four daughters and his last ministry now is to pass on this ability that God gave him to hear his voice to his family and he didn't consider that too small either. You know after Samaria after being translated after preaching in Caesarea after all the stuff that he did is now at home and it's as if it's his reward. To put it that way.
He's got four daughters that have the same heart that he has you prophesy is the ability to hear what God is speaking and to be moved with. That's what prophesying is member. Jesus said when the spirit of truth comes, he will show you things to come in so here he's got four daughters and prophesying about what God is about to do.
Maybe through them or through others, so I don't know what it is, but they are moving in unison as their father had with the spirit of God, and I love the fact that Philip does not consider hospitable and raising a godly family beneath his calling in God follow the Lamb of God. And here's the promise when we live for God when were willing to be used by God.
When God can take us from one place to another and it always doesn't have to be bigger and better we will have the privilege of passing this on to our children. In my case, or grandchildren will have the privilege of being able to speak into their lives and you see Philip live kind of like the came desirable when he would tell the stories to his tell us again dad about how God lifted you.
You are in the water and the next thing you know you're in a place go as notice tell us feel and Philip just because his focus was on just obeying God and being used for the sake of others. The Lord was able to pass on that vision that he had in his heart to his family. Will God help us.
I was talking and through my grandsons in the summertime and putting the bed when they're younger and and one of them to study nor says to me Papa tell us again what kind of a man you were before God came into your life that you love the song I'm telling them the story and III assured the Scripture that says if anyone be in mint is in Christ is a new creation the old things in his life pass away and then landed was the oldest at the time it was about seven. His brother Liam was set for and he says while Liam is not saved, and I said why do you say that he said well as long as I've known him. I've never seen any change in his life so I'm trying to tell them you know Landon, you shouldn't judge your brother and you notice, and as I'm starting to talk. Liam was leaning against the wall and he starts to cry tears come to ACEs its true progress through private since even speaking to forgive me for my sin in my heart I ask you simply click it all started with tell us what kind of man used to be before Jesus came into your life seek when when you walk with God when you just obeyed God when your life is been lifted. It becomes attractive to your family. They want to hear about it you're not there just hammering scriptures and go to this.
Another memory verse for you tonight is as good as all that is when when a life is been live for God. There's a there's a legacy that passes on and you know if I was to live the rest of my life. Just passing the journey that I've had with got on to my grandchildren. That's good enough for me.
It was good enough for Phillips was good enough for me. God is these not obliged to do anything more through any of us.
These are our names in the limbs with a life that's good enough. After that he owes us nothing.
Everything else is gravy. After that, and if it is raising a godly family is what he wants me to do.
I'm okay with it. Thank God for that. And it's not a devotion folks is not a devotion service with tell you tonight that God is has something special for you as pastor David Wilkinson used to say, if you want to know the power of God.
Carter galore seek if you want to know more power to galore see if you want to know the power of God. After that take a lower seat when you go in the house find the lowest seat and take a seat in the power of God will be your portion all the days your life. Pray for you and wish you Godspeed because this is about the kingdom of God and we don't have to understand where you going. We just have to know that God is leading you to go there you been listening to Carter Conlon from Times Square Church in New York City.
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