Wayne Weekly “Good Things Can Happen On A Road”
Written by Wayne Taylor on August 26, 2019
Just a few weeks ago I had the absolute joy of speaking at the morning service of one of Mars Hill Network’s supporting churches.
A growing number of churches have decided to support Mars Hill as a local mission outreach, and occasionally we’re asked to speak and present the ministry of the Mars Hill Network at one of the church services. We’re grateful for any time allotted, whether five minutes or forty-five minutes. Sometimes one of us are asked to bring a message from the Word of God. We’re delighted to do so!
My recent visit to a supporting church to share from God’s Word gave me opportunity to share from the book of Acts. The text was about Philip the Evangelist and how “good things can happen on a road”.
In the days I studied the text in preparation for that Sunday morning, I became more excited about Philip, his life and his mission.
We know only a small amount about this evangelist. We read when Philip first came on the church scene as he was chosen by the Jerusalem church congregation to be one of the seven who would wait on the tables that served food to the early church. The early church was much more communal then the later church was. When the early church thought of the “last days”, they believed they would live to see Jesus return. The reaction was for many to bind together very closely, sell possessions and live as a family unit.
The Greek speaking widows apparently were being neglected at the distribution table, therefore a complaint arose. The “Twelve” declared that it would not be right for them to neglect the teaching of the Word and devotion to prayer for yet another responsibility to be upon them. The solution was to ask the church to select seven men with these outstanding qualifications: “good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom”. Philip was one chosen for the task.
Next we see Philip going on his first “missionary journey” to Samaria. This was a first since in the Jewish mind the Samaritans were not in the forefront of their evangelistic campaign. Philip broke down the walls and saw such great fruit that even John and Peter left Jerusalem to minister to the new converts.
Thirdly, we see Philip leave the public crusade in Samaria only to be instructed by an angel of the Lord to go to a desert road between Jerusalem and Gaza. There Philip encountered a eunuch, a treasurer for Candace, Queen of Ethiopia who was returning from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem as a believer in Jehovah God. The man was riding in a chariot of sorts and reading the book of the prophet Isaiah. It was fairly rare to have a copy of the scriptures, so we know this man was indeed of high position and no doubt, “well off”. The Spirit told Philip to go up to the chariot. The rest is history as we read of the conversion of the Ethiopian, his baptism, and Philip’s translation to yet another mission field Azotus, preaching to all cities until reaching Caesarea.
The last we hear of Philip he lived in a house in Caesarea, had four daughters who had the gift of prophecy. Here the Apostle Paul after his voyage from Tyre, stopped in to stay at Philip’s home.
So we see how the Lord sent Philip on different spiritual outreaches, but all for the one purpose of proclaiming the gospel.
God sends us on missionary journeys, some as close as within the four walls of our homes, some to the uttermost parts of the earth and some in between the two. God only wants us to be obedient.
We’re not all Philips. But we all are equipped to meet the task that God lays before us on life’s road.
Good things can happen on the road.
“Arise and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza…and he arose and went…” Acts 8:26, 27
“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.”
Acts 8:30, 31