Tuesday 5 July, 2016

Acts 8:26-40

26 An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip. “Go south to the desert road,” he said. “It’s the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So Philip started out. On his way he met an Ethiopian official. The man had an important position in charge of all the wealth of the Kandake. Kandake means queen of Ethiopia. This official had gone to Jerusalem to worship. 28 On his way home he was sitting in his chariot. He was reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Holy Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot. Stay near it.” 30 So Philip ran up to the chariot. He heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you’re reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I?” he said. “I need someone to explain it to me.” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Here is the part of Scripture the official was reading. It says, “He was led like a sheep to be killed. Just as lambs are silent while their wool is being cut off, he did not open his mouth. 33 When he was treated badly, he was refused a fair trial. Who can say anything about his children? His life was cut off from the earth.” (Isaiah 53:7,8) 34 The official said to Philip, “Tell me, please. Who is the prophet talking about? Himself, or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that same part of Scripture. He told him the good news about Jesus. 36-37 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water. The official said, “Look! Here is water! What can stop me from being baptized?” 38 He gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the official went down into the water. Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away. The official did not see him again. He went on his way full of joy. 40 Philip was seen next at Azotus. From there he traveled all around. He preached the good news in all the towns. Finally he arrived in Caesarea.

What an amazing incident. I love how God works and that we get to see both sides of the story. God sees the Ethiopian man, a seeker who desires to truly know God. God sees Philip, a God follower and believer in Jesus, who desires to serve God and spread the Good News. In a beautifully creative and at the same time incredibly understated way, God gives both men the desires of their heart by using Philip to share the Good News with the Ethiopian man.

I read this account and marvel at the goodness of God.

Thank you God that you are the same today, using people all over the world to answer prayers and fulfill desires. Lord, help me to lay down the things that get in the way of being available to you, the fears and insecurities. Help me to be aware of the bigger picture and to walk by faith, with expectancy that you will use me like you used Philip, to point people to Jesus. Amen.

Written by Beth Waugh

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