June 23, 2020
Today’s reading Acts 21:7-9 KJV, 1 Timothy 5:7-8 KJV
And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day. And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. (Acts 21:7-9 KJV)
And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (1 Timothy 5:7-8 KJV)
After Philip led the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ and baptized him, he literally disappeared right in front of him. Acts 8 said that he showed up about twenty miles away in a town called Azotus, and when he got there he started preaching again. He is not mentioned again in the book of Acts for thirteen chapters, a period of about twenty years. Just a couple of weeks after he volunteered to serve in his church he was performing miracles, preaching to thousands, and leading important government officials to Christ. Imagine all that he could have done to advance the Gospel in two decades! Maybe he led a gigantic church. Maybe he continued to travel and proclaim the forgiveness that was available through Jesus’ death on the cross. Or maybe he got married, and raised a family. The truth is, we have no idea. All we know about Philip’s life during those twenty years is that he had four daughters, that they were all followers of Jesus.
It is a little anticlimactic, isn’t it? You would expect that someone whose ministry started off in such big way would continue to be in the limelight. But God had other plans for Philip, and as always, Philip was willing to do whatever God had planned for him. This time, he was willing to stay. Instead of reaching thousands, he reached a few. Instead of performing miracles, he performed routine tasks. Philip’s family became his priority, and God blessed him for it by giving him children who loved and honored the Lord.
His mission trip was done, and it was an amazing experience! He was willing to serve, and God used him in ways he never thought possible. He was willing to go, and he saw what God could do, in a place, and among a people, that others might not be willing to go. He was willing to leave his comfort zone. But now, was he willing to stay? Was he willing to make his family a priority and minister to them the way he ministered to others on his trip? Was he willing to serve them? Was he willing to go to them and try to understand their needs? Was he willing to leave the comfort of his familiar relationship, and pursue something deeper, something that reflects Christ’s love for his people? Are you willing to serve? Are you willing to go? Are you willing to leave? Are you willing to stay?