Bible Studies for Life

with Liz McGraw

Sunday,  May 29

Seize the Day: A Call to Missions

Acts 8:26-35

The gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives. But many in our world have never heard the gospel message. Believers must use every opportunity and every means available to tell the Good News about Jesus. Philip was a great model of a man on a mission to share Jesus.

Acts 8:26-27a – Be willing to go where God sends you. Philip went wherever God sent him. We see this throughout Acts 8. In verse 5, Philip obediently went to Samaria. In verse 26, we read, “But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, ‘Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.’”  Verse 27 proclaims that Philip “got up and went.” In verses 39-40, we are told that when he and the eunuch came out of the water, “the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away…But Philip found himself at Azotus…” Philip is a great example of willingness and obedience. He was willing to go wherever God sent him, and he obediently preached the Gospel at each location. Are we willing to go wherever?

Acts 8:27b – Be open to cross cultural boundaries. While Paul was called to preach to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15), and Peter was convinced through a vision to share with Gentiles (Acts 10:9-16), Philip was open to sharing with all people. He shared with the people of Samaria. He preached to the people of Azotus (v. 40). In verse 27b, we read that he explained the message of Isaiah to an Ethiopian eunuch. Philip was willing to cross cultural boundaries and share the Gospel with whoever God placed before him. Are we open to crossing cultural boundaries and sharing the Gospel with African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and other ethnic groups in Mississippi?

Acts 8:28-35 – Be ready to share Jesus. Not only was Philip willing and open, he also was ready to share Jesus when he had the opportunity. When the eunuch had questions about Isaiah, Luke wrote, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him” (v. 35). The result of Philip’s readiness was the eunuch’s conversion and baptism. Are we ready to share Jesus when the opportunity arises?

Folks, God’s heart and mission is that all people everywhere know Him, and our God-given mission is no less. Please do not fall for Satan’s lie that only the preacher, evangelist, and missionary are to share Jesus. Scripture tells us otherwise. Consider Acts 1:8, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” When Jesus said “you,” He was speaking to the believers seated before Him and to all believers for all generations. Moreover, Matthew 28:19-20 reads, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Notice what He did not say. He did not say, “Go preacher.” He did not begin with “Go evangelist.” Neither did he proclaim, “Go missionary.” He simply said, “Go,” speaking to all believers. And one more thing. Did you notice that Jesus was not making a suggestion? No! He was commanding His believers, all of his believers, to “Go and make disciples.”

You see, my brothers and sisters in Christ, we are ALL called to be on mission sharing the Gospel with a lost and dying world. The problem is the vast majority of us are not fulfilling our God-given mission. We are too worried about what others might think, say or do. What if they think I’m crazy? What if they say ugly things to me? What if they don’t invite me over anymore? Listen, the salvation of our coworkers, friends, and families is worth the risk!

Won’t you join me and take your place in God’s mission to the nations? Follow Philip’s example. Be willing to go wherever God sends you. Be open to cross cultural boundaries. Be ready to share Jesus. Let’s fulfill our God-given mission to tell the Good News about Jesus.

McGraw is development director of Crossroads SW Counseling Center, a conference speaker, life coach, and member of Woodville Church.