Scattered Seeds: Acts 8 (6)
Pray Psalm 96.1-4.
Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!
Sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.
For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
Sing Psalm 96.1-4.
(Mit Freuden Zart: Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns Above)
Sing to the Lord! O, bless His Name! All nations tell His glory!
Salvation’s tidings loud proclaim; let earth rehearse His story!
For God is greatly to be praised; His throne above all gods is raised –
Fear Him, and sing His glory!
Read Acts 8.1-34; meditate on verses 26-34.
1. How did Philip know to go to this man?
2. What was he doing when Philip found him?
This Ethiopian was either a proselyte to Judaism or a “God-fearer” – a Gentile who had either converted to Judaism or was friendly to it. We’ll see another one in Acts 10. This eunuch had been worshiping in Jerusalem, and he possessed a scroll of the book of Isaiah (v. 28). He was a man of some means, obviously, since he served in the court of the Ethiopian queen (v. 27).
The Lord spoke to Philip through His angel (v. 26) and His Spirit (v. 29); and Philip did not hesitate to carry out his assignment, even though initially the whole of it was not revealed to him. Philip found the man reading from the scroll of Isaiah, perhaps reviewing something he’d heard while in Jerusalem. He could not have been focused on a more propitious text. Note Philip’s courtesy: he asked a question about the man’s reading, then waited to be invited up into the chariot with him. The eunuch explained that he needed a guide, and Philip was the man for the job.
The Word of God is living and powerful. It was already at work in this man’s heart, for, even as the Spirit was summoning and sending Philip, He was wooing and striving with this Ethiopian (Gen. 6.3). There is something to be said for reading the Scriptures with unbelievers, or for encouraging them to read the Bible for themselves.
Jesus uses those who are faithful, giving them opportunities, resources, and power to do His ongoing work. Phillip, like Steven, is another example of the kind of men and women we meet throughout Church history who, because they are faithful in a few things, are given greater opportunities and more power to do greater works for the Lord. They are examples and encouragement to us all.
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Philip’s life is a study in obedience, trust, and working his Personal Mission Field.
“Arise and go…” “So he arose and went” (Acts 8.26, 27).
“Go near and overtake this chariot.” “So Philip ran to him…” (Acts 8.29, 30).
He is following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Isaiah. The Lord said to him,
“Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
Then Isaiah answered the Lord and said,
“Here am I! Send me.” (Is. 6.8)
There are many people in our Personal Mission Fields to whom we can ask,
“Do you understand what you are reading?” (Acts 8.30)
And we can pray and hope for those that will respond,
“How can I, unless someone guides me?” (Acts 8.31)
Will we be ready to answer?
Will our lives have matched up to our offer of help?
Will we be obedient to God’s instructions to us?
To arise and go?
Will we say, as the children of Israel said to Joshua,
“The LORD our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!”? (Josh. 24.24)
Yes, we will because we know and believe that “to obey is better than sacrifice” (I Sam. 15.22).
Isaiah and Philip are two obedient examples that we can wholeheartedly follow. With enthusiasm.
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3.23, 24).
Here I am. Send me.
1. What do we mean by a “Personal Mission Field”? Have you mapped out yours? Watch this brief video, then download the worksheet and get started.
2. How should you expect the Lord to speak to you and direct you in working your Personal Mission Field?
3. What is the Gospel? How would you explain the Gospel in just a few sentences?
Philip is first commanded by the angel to go toward the south; the angel telleth him not to what end. And thus doth God oftentimes use to deal with those that be his, to prove their obedience. He showeth what he will have them to do; he commandeth them to do this or that, but he keepeth the success hidden with himself. Therefore let us be content with the commandment of God alone, although the reason of that which he enjoineth, or the fruit of obedience, appear not by and by. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Acts 8.26
Pray Psalm 96.8-13.
Pray for the worldwide spread of the Gospel, that God would embolden His witnesses and prepare the hearts of many lost people to receive the Good News of Jesus.
Sing Psalm 96.8-13.
(Mit Freuden Zart: Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns Above)
Bring off’rings sweet to Him, our Lord, in holy garments praise Him!
Tremble before Him, all the earth; among the nations raise Him!
The earth is fixed, it will not move; the peoples will His justice prove.
Exalt the Lord and praise Him.
Let heaven sing with lusty voice; let earth and sea sing sweetly!
Let fields and trees in Him rejoice, for He is coming swiftly
to judge the world in righteousness, the peoples in His faithfulness.
He comes; exalt Him greatly!
T. M. and Susie Moore
You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking theScriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all of the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.
Have you mapped out your Personal Mission Field? Watch this brief video, then download the worksheet and get started. Our monthly Personal Mission Field Workshop is chock-full of helpful suggestions for doing the ongoing work of Christ day by day.
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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.