Scripture text for Thursday, April 15th, 2010: Acts 8:26-8:40
The story of Phillip and the Ethiopian is probably my favorite story in the entire Bible. I think it speaks to me because of my lack of courage when it comes to sharing the Word of God. I can’t count the number of times I have skipped an opportunity to share my faith with people because of my own insecurities. I tell myself that I will not know what to say or that I do not know Scripture well enough. I ignore the urge and calling I feel and let my own thoughts talk me out of sharing.
This story serves as a wonderful blueprint for sharing our faith:
1) Listen to God. In verses 26-29, Phillip is specifically told where to go in order for this opportunity to present itself. He didn’t know what the opportunity was, but he was willing to listen and follow the instructions given. Do you feel prompted in your life?
2) Act when prompted. When Phillip was told to go near the chariot, he didn’t walk over to it; he ran. His action showed a deep commitment and trust in God. This is the point where I usually fall short. Are you willing to act when God calls?
3) Ask questions. I think Christians are often guilty of thinking we have the answers and we just need to explain them to non Christians so they will believe. Phillip did not start preaching to the Ethiopian, instead he asked him a question to find out what his faith was like. Do you give answers or ask questions?
4) Meet the person where their faith is. I laugh at the ways I have shared God’s Word in the past. Phillip did not point to a specific set of verses he thought would cause a person to believe. He began directly where the Ethiopian was. This level of biblical knowledge scares me. If we’re going to be able to have a discussion about any part of Scripture, we need to make sure we know Scripture well enough. Could you start talking about God using any (or at least most) parts of Scripture?
5) When the person wants to take the next step, be there for them. Phillip was ready and willing to baptize the Ethiopian. It may look different to us today, but the idea remains. We could spend time with the person, discipling them to make sure they have a strong foundation in faith instead of just hoping they will “figure it out.” Are you willing to spend time to make sure their faith develops?
When talking to a friend about this passage, he quickly gave me numerous references to other parts of the bible that speak to the importance of knowing Scripture. I encourage you to look these verses up and honestly ask yourself how you measure up to them.
2 Timothy 2:15
2 Timothy 3:16-17
1 Peter 3:15
I think verse 6 in the book of Philemon says it best though: “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Amen!
Devotion prepared by Zach Brennan