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Author Topic: Who is your neighbour?  (Read 552 times)
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« on: June 12, 2007, 01:02:41 PM »

Read: Acts 8:1-40                                             Who is your neighbour?

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” Matt. 24:14

The success of the apostles in spreading the gospel was that they followed the leading of the Holy Spirit. They consulted the Holy Spirit in prayer and fasting. They had been instructed to wait on the Holy Spirit and not leave Jerusalem until He was come. Jesus said the Holy Spirit was the promise of the Father. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”   John 16:13
Paul the Apostle in his letter to the Galatians encourages us to be led of the Spirit. If we are not led of the Spirit of God then it is possible that something else is leading us. Our success is dependant on our connection with the Spirit of God. Jesus made this clear when He said, “ I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5. The Father sent the Holy Spirit to us in response to Jesus prayer. We need the Holy Spirit’s help if we are to be effective for the kingdom of God on earth. To ignore the Holy Spirit’s instruction and help is to ignore the help that God has given us and is nothing else but pride.

In our reading today, we see Philip the Evangelist had an effective ministry in Samaria. Many came to faith in Jesus Christ. It might have been a good place to settle down. Things were progressing well even as other apostles joined Philip from Jerusalem. There was not much persecution, in fact, we are told there was great joy in the city. Through the ministry of Philip, Simon the sorcerer, was now converted to Christianity. It was at such a time that the Spirit of the Lord instructed Philip to leave everything and go down into the desert. Philip was being sent to minister to one man. Had Philip disobeyed the Ethiopian eunuch would not have heard of Jesus and been saved.

An effective ministry in one place does not mean that God will not lead us elsewhere. We need to be open to where the Holy Spirit wants us to minister at any given time. “One” man matters to God as much as an entire city. It could have been thought a waste for this great evangelist to leave his big ministry and take time out for a single individual, yet in this we see the heart of God revealed. Jesus himself talked of this when he spoke the parable of the shepherd who left the ninety nine sheep to search for the one which was lost. “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”   Luke 15: 7   
Though we do not know this for a fact, the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch may have been instrumental in the spread of the gospel to Ethiopia. Much is spoken these days about ministering to the millions, but God may be leading us to minister to the one. We do not know how many lives we impact when we reach out to the one whom the Spirit is leading us to.
Even though, successful in places, we read that the Apostles went on from city to city sharing the gospel fulfilling the commission of Jesus, And he said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15 When Philip finished ministering to the eunuch; the Holy Spirit carried him and placed him in another place. We read Philip began preaching in that place in every city there. The Commission has not changed; the individual who is lost is still Gods concern. This is our responsibility as children of God following the Holy Spirit’s leading. We can start where God has placed us right now. May we be willing to hear from the Holy Spirit whom He wants us to minister to and be obedient.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”2 Peter 3::9
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