Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Acts 8

Right off the top of this chapter is a wonderful example of God's higher purpose in tragedy. Stephen was a great man. Highly respected. Saul was a jerk. Widely hated. People were dragged from their homes and imprisoned and even killed. This time must have seemed like a horrible nightmare. An unforeseen turn for the worse. But still, from our point in history, we see the amazing Providence of it all. Stephen's death scattered the church to begin spreading the message outside of Jerusalem. Saul was learning the hard way how much he needed grace he couldn't earn so he could explain it to all of us. And people like Philip marched into the foreign mission field for the first time with a powerful boldness that changed people's lives forever.

My favorite part of this chapter though is when Philip followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to go visit with the African official. I love the detail that he was reading out loud. It says Philip hear that he was reading Isaiah. Do you understand what you read when you read the Bible? Especially prophecies and other abstract passages? I love that he readily acknowledges that he needs someone to teach him. I think we all do.

I'm working on a project to create a biblical studies course for our staff members who haven't gone through a good survey of the Bible. But I feel for them. Even this highly ranking intelligent decisive leader needed someone to teach him. But God will always send a Philip. If we only seek Him, He will be faithful to give us the resources, people, and even His personal Guidance from within to help us understand. Who can I learn from? Who can I teach? How do I need to be more like Philip? How do I need to be more like the African?

Oh, and the fact that Philip got teleported like in sci-fi is just gravy. So cool.


Bea said...

I am reading Francine Rivers' 3 part trilogy of "Mark of The Lion" and it so seriously addresses our need to have the WORD hidden in our hearts. Hopefully that is what a detailed study of the bible does,is prepare us to have the WORD so alive in us, we can reach the world without the BOOK with us, since in is engracved in our hearts.