ODJ: ministry without borders
October 10, 2014
READ: Acts 8:26-40
The [official] asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus (vv.34-35).
I’ve been serving an inner-city church in an African- American neighbourhood of a large American city. It’s not common for Korean pastors to serve in this type of cross-cultural context, and so I’ve been asked more than once what brought me to the church. My answer? “God!” I never planned on serving here, but it has become clear that it was indeed God who called me.
I think Philip the evangelist felt the same way. Firstly, he was led by an angel of God to go where no one would willingly choose to go—a desert road (Acts 8:26). But even more surprising was the person to whom he was called to minister—an Ethiopian official in the court of “the queen of Ethiopia” (v.27). What could he possibly share with this man who was so different from himself?
The important official was reading the book of Isaiah, and specifically, a passage that presented Jesus in a way that the man was uniquely equipped to understand (vv.28,32-33). As Phillip explained the Scripture, the man recognised the truth of the gospel and asked to be baptised! (v.36).
As unlikely as it all seemed at first, this ministry was undoubtedly God’s plan. And lest we think this was an isolated moment, we see a similar thing happening throughout the book of Acts as the church expanded geographically to Judea and Samaria (v.1). It also expanded culturally, reaching the Ethiopian official as well as the Roman officer Cornelius (10:1-33).
Through these accounts, I’ve learned that I should never be too quick to assume that I know where God will call me or to whom He will call me. All the world is God’s domain, and the gospel of Jesus is a light for all people. We should be prepared to do His work and ministry wherever—and to whoever—He calls!
365-day plan› Acts 3:12-4:4
Read Acts 16:11-15 to see how the gospel continued to spread around the known world of Philip’s day.
Do you think you have a sense of where and to whom God is calling you to minister? How might God be calling you to minister beyond your comfort zone?