Preparing My Heart
The man from Ethiopia knew God and loved Him to such an extent that he traveled all the way to Jerusalem to worship. On his way home, he continued his pursuit of God, studying and searching the Scriptures. I want to be like him in these regards.
Philip also knew God and His promised Savior, Jesus. Philip also loved Him, readily going wherever to tell others the Good News. I also want to be like Philip.
Making the Bible Personal
Do I think it too radical to say Jesus should be my life’s essential message?
Must I come to the place of welcoming the “intrusions” God puts in my life?
How willingly do I take the obscure task?
What portion of my time do I give to reading that edifies?
Am I sufficiently acquainted with God’s Word to explain it to someone else?
Do I even want to hunger and thirst after righteousness?
Reviewing Basic Truths
The Christian’s message is Christ or it’s the wrong message.
Acceptance of the Gospel brings joy, always.
God never gives His people any useless assignments.
God provides answers to those who ask the right questions.
Applying God’s Word to Me
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Philip had joined other disciples of Jesus in scattering from the persecution they faced in Jerusalem. Did they do so in fear and cowardice? Well, the verse just before today’s passage hardly sounds like cowed Christians: “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” These folks lived boldly despite the persecution!
Wherever they went, they continued doing that which brought persecution upon them in the first place: They preached the Word! Furthermore, we get no whiff of objection to going certain places with their message.
“Hold it just a wee bit, Lord. First it was here to Samaria, a sure place to tarnish my reputation for spiritual, moral, and social purity. But at least it’s a city…and things have turned out quite well. Now you want me to go to some road in the desert?! Now my reputation for wisdom, prudence and mental stability will go up in smoke! Do I have to go to that mission field?”
I know, Philip didn’t say that and neither would we. Even so, I think such imaginary thinking could reveal some attitudes we might have when it comes to certain areas of mission work. I suspect we each have countries or situations we don’t want to get involved in as missionaries. God forbid, we might even wish not to witness to certain people or cultures.
As one of God’s sent ones, let me never forget that the faithful messenger always goes where the Message Giver directs. The duty I have as a messenger is to faithfully and joyfully deliver His message wherever He sends me. My wishes and preferences should yield to His. Furthermore, I believe that in obedience to Him I will find my wishes and preferences changed to match His. (Can you imagine such a thing?!)
So, my friend, let us not balk at His bidding nor chafe at His choices nor anguish over His assignments. Let’s just do as He says and ask Him to change our attitudes and hang ups. Let’s yield ourselves as conduits of His love to those to whom He sends us.
This concludes my comments based on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications. To read my comments on the passage for the International Bible Lesson, click here: Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch.