No Respecter of Persons

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road — the desert road — that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”  So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”  Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”   And he gave orders to stop the chariot.  Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.  When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.
Acts 8:34-39

Reflections

The Book of Acts is all a part of the Great Commission, Jesus calling his disciples and followers to share the Good News over all the earth.  Such a powerful and worthy challenge, and so relevant, because this call still goes forth today to all who believe.  Being willing and obedient seems to be the only requirement.  Having faith that God will see you through is the prerequisite.

I’m impressed with this passage of scripture, because it refers specifically to a black man, an Ethiopian.  I’m also a man of color, albeit an African-American.  The Bible is very implicit in highlighting this, and I’m so glad it did.  It truly means that everyone is worthy of the knowledge of our faith, and everyone is accepted in God’s overall plan, even me.

Everyone can receive the Gospel, at any time and any place.  Everyone is our brother.  I like it because Phillip was asked to get out of his “comfort zone,” and he was obedient.  Usually when we do get out of our own way while listening to God, great things happen.  And not just to the person we minister to, but, in particular, to ourselves.  So, we need to be obedient to our callings.  God has placed something special in each and every one of us.  It’s up to us to choose if we will use our gifts.  But when we do, the lord will always bless us in our doing.  The Spirit of the living God will always guide us correctly.  So be open!  You cannot judge a book by it’s cover.  Phillip could have been put off by the eunuch because of his ethnicity, his social class, his authority, or even his cultural belief system.  But Phillip didn’t do that.  He humbled himself and he took the first step to reach out to this “strange” man.  He broke the ice, and he gave illumination to the word to a man who was hungry and who wanted to grow.

Note to self: Spend time with folks who are different than you are ethnically, culturally, and otherwise. Be willing to take time with people. Be real and be yourself. Don’t worry about failure or how you will be received. Make love the focus of your efforts, and when you do, relationships will blossom. Taking time to develop relationships makes all the difference in the world.

My evangelistic efforts have not been that significant, but I remember a time when I spent time with a young man who was different ethnically than me.  He was also hungry for knowledge and truth and needed some direction.  What he didn’t realize is that what he really needed was the Word.  But he needed to know that I cared first.  And that took/takes time.  Thankfully, by the grace of God, that caring came through!

Written by Dr. Calvin Lawrence
Motivational and Leadership Speaker

Questions

Why should we be intentional about getting out of our comfort zones to spread the Gospel?  And what does getting out of your comfort zone mean to you, what does it look like?  Give an example.

Why are relationships important to the great commission?  Can you give an example in your life?

Let's Pray

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and spread the Gospel of Truth to all comers and all corners of the world. Help us to understand the urgency of helping to save souls. Father help us to have your passion for loving people, and for loving all people. Lord, you created the diversity of skin tones, and just like the flowers, they make this world more colorful and fun. I’m so grateful that we are diverse, but we can come together in unity through you. We are so much stronger when we work and strive together. Help us to purpose to know each other in a special way. Father, you created us for relationship, first with you, and then with our brothers and sisters. Love is truly the answer to all our problems. You are Love, and we want to be a better reflection of you. May your grace and power abide and abound in our lives as we are obedient to your will. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray.
Amen

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