Read: Acts 8:4-40
Focus: Acts 8:35
“So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.”
I don’t know about any of you, but sometimes I get myself wound around the axle about what I’m supposed to be doing as a Christian. Should I be standing for this? Should I be opposing that? When I find myself in that place of worry (usually over my country that I love and have served and her people increasingly turning away from the God of the Bible), God uses verses like today’s to recenter me in His truth. Today’s focus verse is simple to comprehend but holds the key to what we’re supposed to be doing as Christians – telling people the Good News about Jesus.
Can it really be that simple? Well, yes and no depending on how you define simplicity. If you think “simple” means easy, then not necessarily. Just as we see Philip relying fully on the Holy Spirit in today’s reading, we too must rely fully on Him throughout our day to guide our actions and words. For me at least, that can be a challenge. However, without relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, I’m basically ineffective at sharing the Good News of Jesus. The Holy Spirit reminds me of the grace God has for me everyday. The Holy Spirit shows me that His path for me requires me to be humble, patient, and loving, especially with those with whom I might not agree. The Holy Spirit gives me the courage and boldness I need to step out of my comfort zone and speak to someone about Jesus as well as the knowledge to know what to say. It’s the Holy Spirit who helps me to speak the truth with humility and love as Paul writes in Ephesians 4:15: “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”
The other key that today’s reading reminds me of is that no matter what words I use or how eloquently I speak, I can never convince someone that they need Jesus; that is solely God’s role through the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t Philip who convinced the Egyptian official to follow Jesus; instead, God put Philip into a situation that He had created and guided Philip through His Holy Spirit. All of the circumstances surrounding today’s reading (including the Egyptian feeling as if He were missing something) were engineered solely by God, not by Philip. Philip just followed God’s leading. As Jesus said in John 16:8: “And when He (the Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.”
So this brings me back to the simplicity and meaning of today’s focus verse. Instead of worrying or fretting about what we need to do or support (or not do or oppose), I believe that the Bible tells us that we need to focus on just a couple of things – trusting God’s Holy Spirit and sharing the Good News of Jesus.
As Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6 – 7: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Lord, thank You for Your Holy Spirit, Your grace, and Your peace. When I get anxious or fret, please help me to remember to seek You and the peace You offer instead of relying on myself. Please continue filling me with Your Holy Spirit and help me to be effective in sharing the Good News of Jesus. In Jesus name… Amen