As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza” (Acts 8:26 NLT).
Friend to Friend
When my son was seven years old, I asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up. He said he would travel around telling people about Jesus. At this tender age he was surrounded by the message of Christ at both school and church. Because his father was a pastor, he had double doses of Sunday school during both morning services in addition to a midweek children’s program.
I envisioned crowds gathering to listen to my son preach in Billy Graham fashion until he added that he also would feed the people lunch. When I questioned how he would accomplish this, he explained that he planned to tell people about Jesus one at a time, possibly traveling in a trailer where he would sleep and invite each person he talked with to have a sandwich. I smiled at his endearing plan that reminded me of God’s love for individuals.
It was an individual that explained the gospel in a way that evoked a response in me. My Sunday School teacher taught me about Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for my sin. My belief was limited and immature at my young age, but I’m grateful that humble faith in God’s message about Christ is all it takes to begin a relationship with Him. My faith grew over time, but I still appreciate the simplicity of the gospel message, which even a child can embrace and desire to share with others.
As we seek to share this message, we don’t have to logically figure out the best way to do it. Instead, we rely on the Holy Spirit, whose directions don’t always make sense.
Acts 8:26 tells us, “As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, ‘Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.’”
Do you know who lives in the desert? Nobody! Yet Philip wasn’t following a human plan for spreading the good news about Jesus. He leaned into a divine one instead. Philip had been preaching that Jesus was the Messiah to crowds, but God’s angel directed Philip away from the crowds to an individual. He was now spreading the message the way my son thought he might do it—one person at a time.
Through one person, God had something big in mind. On the desert road, Philip met a eunuch who worked for the queen of Ethiopia, which scholars believe is modern Sudan. The Spirit directed Phillip to walk alongside his chariot where this queen’s assistant was reading aloud from the book of Isaiah. Philip helped him understand the gospel message explaining how Christ fulfilled messianic prophecies in Isaiah and even baptized him after he responded in faith.
We will never know this side of heaven how this man’s nation was impacted by his conversion on that desert road. He was seeking God, and the Lord used Philip to give him further understanding. One on one. One by one.
From Philip’s example, we learn that we can share the message with one person at a time, leaving the results up to the Lord. We don’t have to come up with a sales pitch or force our faith on anyone. But as we listen to the Holy Spirit and pray for opportunities, we can ask the Lord to use us right where we are.
Lord, thank You for the good news that You have forgiven my sin through your sacrifice on the cross. Give me a heart that seeks You and searches for greater understanding. Lord, awaken me today so that I might share Your message with greater clarity and boldness.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Is there someone in your life that is far from God that you would like to see embrace the gospel message? How can you lean into God’s Spirit for direction as you pray and share His grace in your life with that individual?
More from the Girlfriends
Check out Melissa’s new Bible study titled Acts: Awakening to God in Everyday Life for an in-depth study of the early church.
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