Do You Understand?
This past weekend I read one of my favorite passages of Scripture. I love the story told by Luke in Acts 8. It’s about an Ethiopian dignitary on his way back to his country reading in Isaiah but not understanding what he was reading. Philip was in a great revival in Samaria when God called him to a desert road. Preachers today would have missed this great opportunity because they love crowds! You just don’t hear of a lot of preachers leaving a large work to go to a desert!
Acts 8:30 & 34 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading? 34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?”
The Ethiopian Eunuch asked Philip if Isaiah was talking about himself or someone else? (Read the entire story in Acts 8 if you are not familiar with this). It's a good thing Philip knew the Bible because if he didn't, he would have had to say, "I don't know. Can I get back to you?" But this was an opportunity that had to be seized. Philip was able to start where the Eunuch was reading and explain that it was Jesus the writers was talking about and he preached the gospel and the Eunuch got saved and baptized.
Throughout the Bible we are reminded again and again to prepare ourselves for such opportunities. Paul wrote to Timothy, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15). In other words. work hard to prepare yourself.
Philip had prepared himself for the opportunity that was waiting for him. And you and I must prepare ourselves for the opportunity that might be waiting for us today, tomorrow, or the next day.
When I am sharing the gospel, whether it's preaching, one on one or writing these mini sermons, the most powerful tool I have is the Word of God. Listen to what God says about His word:
10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
My word doesn’t accomplish a whole lot and neither do commentaries by men but God's Word "always produces fruit" (verse 11). Let’s fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God. Then, like Philip, we'll be ready for the opportunities God sends our way. God Bless