Christsfreeservant

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I am reading today in the book of Acts, chapter eight. Philip was the second man named in the list of the seven deacons (Acts 6:5), and he is also called Philip the Evangelist (Acts 21:8). And beginning with verse 26 we learn this about him:

But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Get ready and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) So he got ready and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship, and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to slaughter;
And like a lamb that is silent before its shearer,
So He does not open His mouth.
In humiliation His justice was taken away;
Who will describe His generation?
For His life is taken away from the earth.”
The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself, or of someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” And he ordered that the chariot stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:26-39 NASB

*Verse 37 is excluded from many modern translations, for they say it is not in the oldest manuscripts. Biblehub.com shows the NASB 1977 as including it in brackets, but Biblegateway.com does not. I have included it here.

Being Led by the Spirit

Now, what I am getting out of this passage of Scripture today is first of all the importance of us being sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit in guiding us in what to do and in what to say moment by moment and day by day. Secondly we must be willing to do what the Spirit directs us to do. But make sure it is the Holy Spirit speaking and not other voices in your head, for it should not disagree with the Scriptures. Then, we must step out in obedience to our Lord and do what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do.

For, if we do not, and if we ignore the Spirit’s voice, for whatever reasons, and we walk away, and we do not do what the Spirit is leading us to do, we will miss out on the opportunity and the blessings of obedience to our Lord and of being used of God in other people’s lives to minister God’s love and grace to them. And God’s love and grace isn’t all mushy-gushy feel-good stuff that just warms our hearts. It is the hard truths of the Scriptures, too, which many people do not want to hear, but that they need to hear.

And not every divine appointment will go as smoothly as this one did. And not all people to whom we are led to minister will receive us as warmly as the Ethiopian eunuch received Philip. But we still have to obey the Spirit’s voice in speaking to the people he leads us to speak to the words that he directs us to say (which must not contradict the Scriptures). And even if they reject us, like many did Jesus, and like many did the apostles, we must not feel as though we have failed if we are certain that we obeyed the Lord.

And then many of us are being led of God to write what the Lord teaches us through his word each day and to post these writings on the internet. And we may or we may not get any responses at all, and we may even wonder if we are doing the right thing or even if anyone is listening and even if we are actually making a difference in people’s lives. But if we are obeying the Lord, and if we are sharing the truths of the Scriptures, then we must leave the results in the hands of the Lord. For our job is just to obey the Lord.

So, we may obey the Lord sometimes and not see physical results, but we have to leave those results in the hands of God. For we never know who is reading these writings and who is being touched by them or what difference what we are doing is making in other people’s lives. And we don’t have to know it all. And this isn’t just about writing, but it is about speaking to people, or sending them a card or a text or an email, etc. We don’t always get immediate results like Philip did. So, just obey the Lord.

And I don’t mean to discourage you here, but to encourage you to keep obeying the Lord even if you don’t see in this life the impact you are having on other people’s lives. For look at the life of Jesus and how many people rejected his words when he was alive on the earth, but then how many received his words after his death and resurrection and ascension back to heaven. And I think of A. W. Tozer and how much he said that people rejected him, but now he is one of the most quoted Christian authors.

But if the Lord should bless you with a Philip experience, where you literally get to see the results of your obedience, well then PRAISE THE LORD! AMEN! That is awesome! But in all things always be listening to the Spirit’s voice, be sensitive to these “divine appointments,” and do not fear doing what the Lord leads you to do (within his perfect will) even if you don’t get the kind of reception that Philip had, and even if you never see the results of your labors in this life. For God is working even when we can’t see the results.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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