Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Acts 8:34-35: 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 beginning with this Scripture, he told him the good news about Jesus.
It's crazy sometimes how we meet people, when we meet the, and under what circumstances we meet them. For example, my wife and I were on vacation and we met a couple. We were staying at the same plantation house in Natchez, MS. We ate breakfast together and come to find out that the wife writes Christian novels with old homes, like plantation homes, as the backdrop for her novels. This lady has written three novels with mansions from the northeast as the backdrops. So, starting from that point, my wife bought all three of this lady's novels. It was a "chance encounter" that brought very nice results.
It's similar with our Bible verses today. Philip, who was a chosen servant along with Stephen who was martyred, "happens by" this eunuch in the service of Queen Candace of Ethiopia as he is headed home from Jerusalem. I put "happens by" in quotes because, it was no coincidence that Philip was there. God placed Philip in the eunuch's space. The eunuch was confused about whom the prophet Isaiah was writing. So, with God's directing, Philip started where the eunuch was and lead the eunuch to believe in Jesus.
What people consider as "chance encounters" are really events and people to which God directs them. Nothing in this world happens "by accident." Philip's encounter with the eunuch was no chance encounter. God placed Philip there and then. We, as Christians, are put in places, situations, and times for a reason. What is that reason? Perhaps it's to plant seeds of the Gospel in peoples lives so that it has the possibility to grow into faith, just like the eunuch. It also may be to water seeds that were planted by someone else. And it also may be to help nurture the growth of the Christian that came to be. God places Christians into the lives of non-Christians in order to bring Jesus to people who need Him.
And we start at that moment, where the non-Christian people are, what their situation is at that moment. That is our beginning point as we, who are equipped with the Gospel message of Jesus and His salvation, bring hope and encouragement with the same Gospel message as we engage non-Christians with the love we have from Jesus and for Jesus. God bring us more fully to see the moments, see Your hand in them, and start where people are at in order to bring them to You, Amen.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.