Daily Thought for: 11th November

PHILIP THE EVANGELIST

Acts 6. 1-6; 8. 5-13, 26-40; 21. 8-9

Philip is the only man in Scripture specifically described as an evangelist, to differentiate him from his namesake, one of the Twelve. His main service was spreading the good news of Christ and thus he played a noble part in the fulfilment of the commission of the risen Lord to world-wide witness. Yet he served in other spheres too. Luke introduces us to Philip in the church, in the world and at home. 

In the church, we meet him as one of the seven chosen to administer relief to the Jerusalem widows. He had won the respect of his brothers and sisters by his Christian maturity. His life was manifestly Spirit-led. His actions were wise. Philip did not consider table service to be beneath his dignity, but rather he was willing to serve God by humble service to others. God still puts a premium on spiritual maturity and a servant heart. 

In the world, we see Philip at work, pioneering with the gospel. He is bold and innovative in outreach. He heralds Christ in Samaria. No lingering Jewish prejudice restrains him. His service is blessed to multitudes, yet Philip is sensitive to God’s leading even when unusual and unexpected. He obeys God’s command to leave the city for the desert road where he is prompted to witness to an individual. Philip is highly adaptable. Effective with large congregations, he witnesses one-to-one with equal skill. His grasp of Scripture shines through as he expounds the Suffering Servant to the eunuch. His message wholly centres on the Lord Jesus. Philip’s service is persistent. Caught away from the desert, he travels up the coast of Judaea, keeping on at his task, preaching in every city. The cause of Christ today desperately needs men like Philip. 

Twenty years later, we see Philip opening his doors in hospitality to Paul and his companions. He uses his home for Christ. This is a vital ministry today. Many of us have comfortable homes. Do we use them selflessly in the interests of the Kingdom of God? Philip was blessed in his family life as his daughters shared his faith and commitment to service. May God grant us a similar blessing, and may we follow Philip in whole-hearted service in each sphere of life. 

 

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