Week Ten - Day One
Taking the First Step
Acts 8:26-38 - Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court o cial of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this char- iot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and begin- ning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is 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 commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
Philip, also known as Philip the Evangelist (di erent than the apostle Philip), was a deacon in the early church and after Stephen’s murder (see Acts 7) the church was dispersed from Jerusalem. Philip left Jerusalem and went to Samaria where he began to preach about Jesus as the Messiah. Many Samaritans received the word of God and came to faith that Jesus was the Messiah. It’s in this context that Philip receives a call from God to leave toward Gaza. Those are all the details that Philip is given.
Philip may have been wondering, “I’ve already come down to Samaria and things are going well. Why should I leave now? This doesn’t make sense. Lord, why do you want me to go to Gaza? There won’t be anybody down in that desert area.” But, Philip responded faithfully. He obeyed the first move. He likely had many questions in his mind when he left, but God had significant plans for this encounter. The Ethiopian eunuch became a follower of Jesus and tradition holds that he was the first mission- ary to Africa.1 God’s will for your life, in this very moment, is to take the first step and follow him wherever he calls.
- What has God been impressing on you in regards to sharing your faith?
- What first step does God want you to take to share the gospel? If the answer to this question isn't clear immediately, stop and pray this prayer for clarity: "Lord, I feel that you want me to grow in this area of sharing your message with others, Will you give me some clear direction this week where I should begin in this growth?"