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No Accidents

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No Accidents

How many of you have ever been talking about something with somebody, and then, boom, next thing you know as your scrolling through social media or the internet, you see an ad for that very same thing you were talking about?
Well, you have social media apps on your phone, and you have the mics enabled, they listen to what you say, and then they gear their ads towards you.
So, there’s a good public service announcement for you.
But also, anything you search for on the internet, same thing! I had a free trial for youtube tv, and then I forgot to cancel it and paid for it for a month, whoops
But I’ve been talking to Savannah about mattresses, and I’ve been looking for mattresses because we are looking for a new one bc she doesn’t sleep well. We really want a sleep number bed, but those things are like 5 grand, so....who needs sleep anyway?
But I was watching a soccer game the other day on youtube tv, and wouldn’t you know it, every single ad that popped up on commercials was about.....you guessed it....mattresses!
And I was scrolling through my facebook feed, and sure enough, I’ve found out you can buy a mattress from these companies:
Nectar
Leesa
Helix
Sleep Number
Personal Comfort
Social Media and companies and advertisers are not stupid!!!!!!
And if that’s ever happened to you, your first thought is what? “Wow!!! What a coincidence!!!!”
Well, it is no coincidence after all!
Tonight, we’re going to be talking about this idea in relation to the Holy Spirit, and how there are no accidents when it comes to us and the Holy Spirit.
And how if we are willing, the Holy Spirit will lead us into opportunity after opportunity to share the Gospel.
Turn with me to , and let’s pray, and then we’ll read the text

The Holy Spirit Leads

The first thing we see in the text here is this truth, the Holy Spirit leads
Philip, in Samaria, was doing something awesome for God. People were coming to Christ, and verse 25 ended with the apostles preaching to many villages of the Samaritans.
And Philip, maybe he had stayed in Simon’s city, or maybe he had joined the apostles in heading to other villages, but he was actively proclaiming Christ
But then, in verse 26, we see that the angle of the Lord, which I believe to be the Holy Spirit prompting Philip, tells him to head to the desert
Now, read that again, how crazy does that sound?
“Hey Philip, you’re doing something awesome for me in Samaria, people are coming to faith in Jesus Christ, they’re being baptized, wow, how awesome, you are doing fantastic work. Now, I want you to pick up everything you have, leave all of that and head down this road towards Gaza, and you’ll come to this desert place. Go ahead and go there for me, okay?”
Now, if I’m Philip, my response would be probably something like this, “Uh, hey God, not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but there is much joy in this city, because people are coming to faith in you. And there are still so many people left here for me to reach. Deserts are called deserts for a reason God, because you know, NO ONE IS THERE!!!”
Right? I’m sure all of us would respond similar to that
But how does Philip respond?
Like Joseph, like Mary, Philip did what?
He rose and went.
No questions asked, no fit thrown, no second guessing
Why? Because he knew to follow the Holy Spirit, because Jesus told them to!
, “You will receive power when the Holy spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses”
But he was also willing to listen to, longing to hear from, eager to follow the Holy Spirit

Who Leads Your Life?

The Holy Spirit Convicts

Not only did the Holy Spirit lead him to the desert, but as he gets to the desert, what does he find?
He finds an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official, a treasurer, of the Queen of the Ethiopians (lower Egypt) traveling home from Jerusalem, where he had come to worship, headed back to Egypt.
And I’m sure there’s a decent entourage with him as he is traveling in his chariot across the desert.
But let’s be clear here, just because he went to Jerusalem to worship, does not mean he’s a believer. In fact, he’s not a believer. He was a Gentile who either had become a Jew or had enough belief in the God of Israel to worship Him, but he was lost.
And he’s headed back to Ethiopia, which fun fact for you, at this point in time, Ethiopia was very much considered to be “the ends of the earth” by Greeks and Romans
And Philip, arriving in the desert, sees this entourage, and the Holy Spirit says to him, “Go join them”
So Philip, staying true to his conviction does so, in fact, it says that he ran over to them, and probably had to jog beside them.
Talk about an awkward scene, right? Philip sees them from afar, runs up to them, and then just awkwardly runs beside them
But here’s Philip, running beside the chariot, awkwardly listening in, and what does he hear the ethiopian treasurer reading?
The book of Isaiah!
Maybe the eunuch had just purchased the scroll of Isaiah in Jerusalem, or maybe he had heard it taught from and was reading it on the way home
There’s a thought, read back over what is preached on in church
But he’s reading Isaiah, but not just anywhere in Isaiah, he’s reading a certain portion of Isaiah, 53:7-8:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. 33  In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”
Let’s come back to Philip, what does he do? You can see the wheels turning in his head. “Now it makes sense why I was told to come awkwardly jog beside this chariot, I have an opportunity to witness here, because of the Holy Spirit”
And Philip says to him, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
And the eunuch responds, “Absolutely not, I have no idea..I need someone to help me to understand this, and so Philip is invited up into the chariot, where he can sit, out of breath and sweaty.
But don’t miss what has happened here.
The Holy Spirit was at work long before Philip showed up on the scene.
From however the eunuch got the scroll, to the eunuch reading that portion of Scripture from the scroll....the Holy Spirit was beginning to convict this eunuch of his need for salvation.
And that’s where Philip was required.
And let me tell you this, when we listen to the Holy Spirit, when we allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit, these opportunities will arise.
And if you flip it, when you don’t obey the Holy Spirit, how many opportunities have you let slip by?

Are you participating in the work of the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit Equips

And you may be sitting there saying, yeah, but I wouldn’t know what to say!!! Well, I promise you this, the Holy Spirit equips
, “You will receive power when the Holy spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses”
The Holy Spirit Equips
Now, what do we mean by that?
Guidance, as we just talked about
Boldness
As we’ve seen throughout the book of Acts
The boldness of the apostles to go out into Jerusalem and witness to the same people who crucified Jesus
The boldness of Peter and John to continue witnessing after prison
the bolness of Stephen
These people didn’t do this on their own, they were emboldened by the Holy Spirit
Understanding
This is key, the Holy Spirit gives us understanding
1 Corinthians talks about this in chapter 2, wisdom from the spirit.
But we also see this happen in , where Jesus opened the apostles minds and hearts to understand the Old Testament Scriptures in relation to their gospel mission.
That’s what has happened here with Philip
Philip wasn’t left alone during this conversation with the eunuch
The Holy Spirit isn’t like your friends in high school who say they have your back, and you turn around and they’re gone!
He finds an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official, a treasurer, of the Queen of the Ethiopians (lower Egypt)
The Holy Spirit is your helper.
The eunuch in verse 34 says to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else.”
Who is the sheep led to the slaughter? Who is the lamb? Who didn’t open his mouth when he was rebuked and ridiculed?
And Philip’s like, (rubbing hands together), “let me tell you about the good news of Jesus Christ”, and he starts with that Scripture and then proceeds to move through other passages of Scripture and teaching the eunuch about Jesus Christ.
Now, don’t miss an important part here, yes, the Holy Spirit equipped Philip, and caused him to be able to properly explain this passage of Scripture, and very well prompted him towards other passages of Scripture to talk about as well, but don’t miss this:
Philip knew his Bible.
Sometimes we rest a little too much on the idea we read about in , “ 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer,”
Jesus isn’t saying to just wing it!!!!!
If you are going to be an effective witness for Jesus Christ you have to know this book.
Do you have to know everything in it, do you have to be able to answer every single question?
Absolutely not
But at the very least, you should be able to tell someone about Jesus Christ.
And the Holy Spirit helps you with that as well, as you study, as you read, as you pray, we read about that in 1 Corinthians 2

Have you equipped yourself through the Holy Spirit to be an effective witness?

The Holy Spirit Accomplishes

Well, as the story progresses, we read that the eunuch, obviously convinced in what Philip opened his eyes and mind to understand, comes to faith in Jesus Christ.
How do we know this?
Side note: How many of your Bibles jump from verse 36 to verse 38?
Verse 37 was added later on by a scribe and was not part of the original text
But regardless, we know that he was convinced by the language that he uses. It’s almost as if he’s saying, “Hey, I believe, why can’t I get baptized right now in this water that we just so happened to pass!”
But look at the big picture here with me, the Holy Spirit had begun the process of convicting the eunuch of his need for salvation, and saw it through to completion.
And through Philip, the eunuch was told how to have eternal life.
See guys, you can be confident in your declaring of the good news that the Holy Spirit will see it through to completion.
Will it be immediate like we see here with Philip, maybe
Will it sometimes take weeks, months, sometimes even years, you bet.

You Have a Privilege

But see, the Bible is clear, we are vital to this work of the Holy Spirit
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
fits so perfectly with this story from Acts, it says this: “14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Just like the eunuch said, “How can I understand unless someone guides me”, you have people in your life who, whether they know it or not, are saying the same thing.
Will you take up the call, will you trust in the Holy Spirit’s leading, will you commit to the Holy Spirit’s equipping by reading and prayer, are you convinced the Holy Spirit is at work among unbelievers, and do you really believe that He will accomplish what he has set out to do?
You have the privilege to be a part of it as a born again believer.
Will you take the opportunity?
It’s not chance that God has placed you where you are
It’s not chance that your friends ask you questions sometimes
It’s not chance that you’ll see a homeless man digging in the trash can at mcdonalds
It’s not chance that I taught you tonight on the working of the Holy Spirit and you go to school tomorrow and someone says “They just wish they knew their purpose in life”
It’s not chance that you have opportunity, it’s the Holy Spirit at work around you.
Look for it, prepare for it, take hold of it, and glorify God by declaring His name to those around you!
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