When we read the Book of Acts, it's easy for us to read the stories as if they are just history stories. But the writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that the Bible is "living and active." In other words, the Bible isn't like other books that we read. Our life reacts to it. The story of the encounter between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts chapter 8 demonstrates how the active, living words of the Bible affect our lives.
Philip goes to Samaria and starts preaching Jesus. Crowds are flocking to him to hear the message. Miracles are flowing, people are getting healed and "great joy was experienced in that city," Acts 8:8. Under the direction of the Lord, Philip leaves this incredible revival in Samaria and goes out to the desert.
Most of us would probably question God at this point and ask, "why would You have me leave all the action? This is where it's happening - a revival has broken out and You want me to leave?" But of course, as Paul Harvey puts it, we know the rest of the story. Philip goes out to the desert and meets up with the Ethiopian eunuch. Through this encounter with Philip, this eunuch brings Christianity back to Ethiopia. History tells us that through this one man, this eunuch, the church was established in Ethiopia and today Ethiopia is considered to be a Christian country, 61 percent Christian. One man changed an entire nation.
All we're told in Acts is that this Ethiopian that Philip meets in the desert is a eunuch. This speaks to me about the heart and eyes of God. We don't know if the man made himself a eunuch willingly or if it was forced on him. We don't know if it was his choice to be a eunuch. We do know that a man that was made incomplete, being made a eunuch, was used by the Lord in saving a nation. It's a tender message of how God is able to take those instruments who think of themselves as unworthy, those that don't see themselves as a whole person in the eyes of God. It's not necessarily in the area of your sexuality, but something that happened to you that you view as a disqualifier. Maybe it was some thing you did by choice or maybe it was something that was done to you by someone else. But because of what happened you are now disqualified and can't be a fit instrument for a dramatic impact of the Lord to touch other people.
The message of the eunuch says just the opposite. Jesus will use any instrument that's open and willing to Him. Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-2:5. Paul reminds us that he didn't come with eloquence or superior wisdom in his preaching. Paul came in weakness and fear and trembling knowing only one thing - Jesus Christ died so you and I can have life. Jesus delights in using the weak vessels of the world to prove Himself strong. We're the ones that disqualify ourselves and fall into one of Satan's greatest traps by withdrawing from God's call on our life and become ineffective vessels. Paul ends that passage in Corinthians declaring that he didn't come with wise and persuasive words but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power.
The eunuch could have worshipped in Ethiopia. He could have stayed in his country and worshipped there. He was seeking God and wanted more so he traveled some 500 miles to Jerusalem. Even though he wasn't a whole man, he wasn't going to be denied. God answered his heart's cry. Kill that lie inside of you that says you're not good enough. Embrace the attitude of the eunuch. Isaiah 1:19 says "if you're willing and obedient, you will taste the good of the land." At the end of the story, Acts 8:39 says that the eunuch leaves rejoicing. He went to Jerusalem to worship as a non-believer, a non-Jew coming from another country seeking God.
Think of the emptiness the eunuch must have inside to come that distance to worship. Think of the emptiness he must have felt as he's on his way home. The void and emptiness is still in him because he's reading Isaiah when Philip catches up to him. He's still searching and Philip comes along and introduces him to Jesus and now he's filled. Now he's made whole. You are not disqualified because of your past.
Come to Jesus today and be filled and be made whole. God has called you to reach out and touch others. Receive His healing touch so you truly can taste the good of the land and you too will be rejoicing.
-- Ron Mogab the pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, 1415 Industrial Way, Suite J, Gardnerville, 783-1444. Sunday service, 9:30 a.m.