Hello and welcome to Thursday’s Podcast. As a team, we do hope you are finding this resource helpful in encouraging you in your walk with Jesus this day. If you are, do consider sharing this podcast with others through dropping someone a text, sharing it in on social media – let’s get God’s word out there!
Today’s reading is Acts 8: 26-40. We are going to focus on verses 29-31:
The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
All week we’ve been exploring more of what it means to be a witness for Jesus, to tell our story of what God has done/is doing in our lives to those around us. Today’s passage is an absolute text book example of what it means to do just that with Phillip witnessing, sharing the good news about Jesus with the Ethiopian Eunuch – you can hear the full account of this at the end of this short reflection.
There’s so much we can pull from this amazing passage of scripture but here’s one thought for us to consider this day and it’s this…God wants us to be open.
Phillip doesn’t find himself being invited up onto the chariot of this Ethiopian eunuch, a man we discover who carried great influence and authority, purely by accident. The Spirit of God has led him there. Phillip literally hears the audible voice of God – ‘Go to that chariot and stay near it’. Talk to this man. The Spirit of God leads Phillip and puts him in the right place at the right time to have this amazing conversation with this man and to tell him the good news about Jesus. Why?
Because Phillip was open.
If we believe in and follow Jesus, if we’ve invited Him into our lives then we have received His Spirit. The same Sprit that led Phillip, he also leads us. And so we ask the question today, are we open to God? Will we let the Spirit lead us?
Well, if we’re listening to this podcast – that’s probably a sign we are. We believe that God speaks to us through his Word. If we’re willing to engage with the Bible, then we are open to hearing God’s voice and living our lives in response to that. Alan spoke about the importance of this last week.
Being open to God fundamentally comes down to being aware of God’s presence with us as we go about our daily lives. I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel I can just drift through the day. We move from one thing to the next and before we know it – we’re opening the front door again and we’re home. The day is rapidly reaching its conclusion and we can find ourselves thinking, where’s God been in all of that? I’m challenged as I read today’s passage to think about my day and consider how often I’m inviting God into that. Where are the points where I have stopped and asked God to help me by his Spirit, to guide me, to equip me, to speak to me in those moments? Am I open to Him?
The reality is we probably all want to be, so how? If we’re looking for a place to start, to open that door a bit more and let God in – why not do that as the worship song plays at the end of this podcast? The team here have done a fantastic job in putting these together. This podcast is all part of our worship to Him. They help us fix our eyes on Jesus. Why not use these songs as an opportunity to pause, to be still and to ask God to lead us into the next section of our day – whatever it holds. Let’s be more open to God.
And as we are more open to God, so in turn we begin to see the doors opening for us to be his witnesses, to tell his story. The two are linked together. We see that in today’s reading. Phillip listens to God and runs up to this African official’s chariot and is then given this amazing opportunity to witness, to explain the scriptures to someone who clearly wanted more of God in their life.
Who is God currently leading us to at the minute? Who’s open to you and hearing more about Jesus? We use the term ‘person of peace’ here at STC. Someone who likes you, listens to you and wants to help you. People who are open. Who’s that person or people group for you?
If we’re finding it hard to answer that question, then perhaps God is giving us a nudge, leading us to a place where we will find someone like that. I sensed this quite recently again when I realised God was encouraging me to get back connecting with a bunch of dads I know at a monthly toddler group that is held at our church. Some of the guys who come along are really open to me, to us as a team who help run it.
Where or who is God leading us to this day?
Jesus, we thank you that you promise your presence with us. Help us to become more aware of you as we go about our days and open our eyes to the people you are leading us to. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
READING: Acts 8:26-40
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Go south to the road – the desert road – that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means ‘queen of the Ethiopians’). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, ‘Go to that chariot and stay near it.’
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked.
‘How can I,’ he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’ So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
‘He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.’
The eunuch asked Philip, ‘Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?’ Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
As they travelled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptised?’ And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptised him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and travelled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.