Discipleship | Lesson 12 | Devotion 4
Acts 8:25-40 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans. And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went:and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away:and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still:and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus:and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.
Has the Holy Spirit ever interrupted something very important in your life? Sometimes the Lord leads us to witness to someone right in the middle of a meal. Sometimes the Lord leads us to give a tract to someone when we’re in a hurry. Our response to the leading of the Holy Spirit proves or disproves our focus on the Gospel.
The Lord led Philip in a very unusual way in our Scripture reading. Philip wasn’t just in the middle of something important; he was in the middle of a city-wide revival when the Lord led him to the desert to reach one person who was ready to be saved. If the Holy Spirit of God is the one who empowers us and leads us, what does a Spirit-filled witness look like?
A Spirit filled witness obeys. Philip could have easily made good and spiritual excuses for why he was unable to go to this one in the desert. He could have shown God the might work that occurring in the city and used that as an excuse to stay. Geographically speaking this was way out of the way for Philip as well, he could have used that as an excuse to not go. Instead he chose to obey God without excuse.
Let’s stop for just a moment as well to focus on God’s leading in this story. God called Philip away from a place where hundreds were being saved for Philip to go and lead this one man to the Lord. God places a very high value on one soul, but he needs obedient Christians to go and reach them.
A Spirit filled witness teaches. Not only did Philip obey the Lord’s leading, but he also taught this man the Scripture. The passage shows that Philip taught this man the Gospel based off of the passage the man was reading. Many times, we are guilty of obeying the Lord’s leading, but we do not do an adequate job at sharing the Gospel with someone. Sometimes, we hurry through the Gospel or don’t take time to answer someone’s questions. We may not have all the answers, but we must be Spirit led as we are sharing the Gospel with others if we desire to see them put their faith in Christ.
A Spirit filled witness continues. Philip did not stop at sharing the Gospel with the Ethiopian eunuch. He encouraged him to take the next step in his faith by being baptized like Jesus. After his baptism, Philip moved on to preach the Gospel to other cities. The Lord never intended for us to stay stagnant in our evangelism and discipleship. We should constantly be encouraging someone to take the next step while preaching the Gospel to others who have never been saved. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have a burning desire to see new people come to Jesus and others grow closer to Jesus.
As Christians, we do not save people. We are simply the avenue by which people get saved. Unless we are Spirit-filled, we are missing our maximum potential for evangelizing those around us.