Philip: How God Uses Ordinary People
What would you say a well-lived, exceptional life looks like? The world would point to fame, success, and materialism. The Gospel invites followers of Jesus into an upside down kingdom, a powerful movement that brings great joy to entire cities. Extraordinary life happens when ordinary people obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 8 we see the concept of scattering turned upside down. In times before, scattering was the judgment of God for a disobedient people. However, this scattering was a part of God's plan and blessing at the beginning of the first great persecution of the Church. God sent out ordinary people living ordinary lives to make an extraordinary impact for the Kingdom of God.
One ordinary person was Philip. He was willing to cross one of the most intense racial and religious divides to take the Gospel into Samaria and the end of the earth. Through the power of the Spirit, Philip was able to heal and proclaim freedom from bondage. Lives of the lost and the forgotten were turned upside down. Philip's obedience to the Spirit resulted in "much joy in the city" of Samaria.
The Gospel has always been the answer to brokenness. As Philip continues to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, he is led to walk alongside an Ethiopian eunuch on the road to Gaza. This man was returning from a time of worship at the Temple in Jerusalem where he would have read a sign stating, "No lame, blind, or eunuchs allowed." From Scripture that the eunuch had in this hand, Philip told him the good news about Jesus. The wealthy man in the service of a powerful African queen became a joy-filled servant of the Lord Jesus.
Who are the "sent ones" today? They are ordinary people who are compelled by the love of Christ to extend His love to others. Sent ones daily abide in Christ. Sent ones look for opportunities to build authentic relationships wherever they go. Like Philip, they share the Gospel by telling people about Jesus and living a life worthy of the Gospel with everything blessing God has given them. Sent ones turn the world upside down.
We are the Church. We are the sent ones. We have the Gospel news and a life transformed by Jesus. No one is too ordinary to live an extraordinary life in Christ.
1. Have you ever been obedient to the Lord and then witnessed God do something amazing?
2. What are two or three things that the Matthews/Charlotte area would miss if Carmel were to disappear today?
3. To whom have you been sent by Jesus to share the Gospel?