Empty Cross Ministries
Daily Devotional in Acts 8
January 20, 2021
Philip was given a command by an angel to go south (Acts 8:26). Without receiving any other details, the man of God obediently went. After thirty miles or so, he encountered a lone chariot riding in the desert. As he got closer, he saw it was an African man being chauffeured in a chariot.
Running to keep up with the traveler, Philip overheard the man who “just happened” to be reading Isaiah 53:7 at the time. As any alert soul-winner would surmise, Philip knew that the timing was of God. It was the perfect opportunity to tell the Ethiopian eunuch about the One that was prophesied about in the Scripture. The preacher then asked lead-in question considering the soul-winning opportunity he had; “… Understandest thou what thou readest?”
The answer was too good for any soul-winner to resist: “… How can I, except some man should guide me? …” That man’s answer should be the driving force of any Sunday school teacher, preacher, or faithful soul-winner. His response is why most church doors should be open and why many bring strangers to church. The eunuch’s question shows a Christian’s purpose in life: to tell others about Jesus.
Follow the story further, and you will find that Philip immediately talked to the man about Jesus, and the eunuch got saved. Our goal in this life, as a Christian, is to also take as many occasions as the Lord allows us to tell others about Jesus. We need to tell them that accepting Jesus’ payment for our sins is the only way to Heaven.
Did you have an opportunity to talk to a person today? Did that occasion result in your telling someone about Jesus?
“Whatever God gives you to do, do it as well as you can. This is the best possible preparation for what he may want you to do next.” — Macdonald
Words to Understand:
Eunuch: Most often a eunuch is one that has been castrated and cannot reproduce.
Esaias: Greek word for Isaiah
Gall: Poison to one’s health; bile
Haling: To force or pressure one physically, intellectually, or morally
Iniquity: Void of moral or spiritual values
Lamentation: a moan from great sorrow
Persecutions: hunt down, execute, or harass another for their religious or political stand
Repent: Halting from continuing in sin, often replacing that iniquity with behavior that God commands or approves of; behavior changing remorse in doing wrong.
1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
4 ¶ Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
8 And there was great joy in that city.
9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
14 ¶ Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
26 ¶ And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.