READ: Acts 8:4-24 (esp., v4-8)
- Finally, the gospel left Jerusalem. Philip, one of the men chosen to serve tables because of his depth of character and the presence of God’s Spirit, is among those who leave. He preaches in the city of Samaria and great, amazing events happen. People received healing; demons were exorcized, and great joy filled the new believers. But, potentially, the most amazing thing that happened was that people accepted the message of Jesus.
- Philip is an example of a man of faith. He served the Jerusalem church as one serving food to widows. Then, when forced out of the city, he preached wherever he went. God used him to advance the gospel. Philip preached Jesus as the Christ and believers were given new life. The whole experience produced great joy in the city. It’s what we might come to expect. When Christ is preached, amazing changes occur in people and great joy results.
- But it should not go unnoticed, people “paid attention to what was being said.” All the preaching, all the amazing activity of the Spirit, is for naught, if people are not listening. Our role might be to be interesting, or to be clear, or be persuasive; but if people are not paying attention, the gospel can have no power. So, context and relationship may be as important as the words we speak.
- Describe a time when you saw God doing amazing things.
- Reflect on a situation when you saw people pay attention and thus experience God’s activity.
- Why do you think more people don’t pay attention to God’s word and work?
PRAY: Ask God to help us provide a context in which people can listen. Pray that we are speaking and acting clearly so we are not a distraction from God’s voice. Commit to being a listener.