16th April 2021

Go south

As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
Acts 8:26 (NLT)

I know this is not for everyone but some of my happiest moments have been in a busy classroom surrounded by noisy youngsters who are engaged in learning. When their eyes light up in those ‘aha’ moments I feel my excitement stir along with theirs. To see something you’ve never seen before, and to finally understand something that you’ve struggled long and hard with is a joy and delight.

Jesus told his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matthew 18:3 NIVUK). Jesus tells us to be childlike which is not the same as being childish, so what are the qualities that children have that Jesus tells us we need?

Could it be a humble heart and a willingness to learn?

I see these qualities in both Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch whom we read about in Acts 8:26-39. An angel of the Lord tells Philip to travel south on a desert road and he does. No excuses, no questions asked, he just goes. Then the Holy Spirit tells him to run alongside a passing carriage. Again, he just does it and because he humbly does what God asks him to do, he is instrumental in bringing Christianity to Ethiopia.

Then there is the eunuch himself, an important and influential individual who is in charge of the treasury of Ethiopia, yet he humbles himself to learn from a stranger he finds on the side of the road. He is keen, desperate even, to learn the meaning of the scripture he is reading. And what is his response in that ‘aha’ moment? “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” (Acts 8:36). There is joy and delight in his reaction; I wish I had been there to witness it. I suspect I would feel my excitement stir along with his.

Do we have this same kind of joy in learning about our Lord and Saviour? Are we keen to delve into scripture and share what we learn with others? Are we humble enough to be teachable? If we have lost some of that childlike joy and delight along the way, pray that God reignites it within us and let the excitement once again begin to stir.

Lord, there is great joy in learning about you and your plan of salvation for all mankind. Please help us to be humble and teachable so that we may share your good news with others. Bless us with a heart that rejoices in you, Amen.

Study by Jackie Mill


About the writer:
Jackie Mill is a Minister and Pastoral Worker for Grace Communion International in Scotland and Ireland and Camp Director for SEP summer camp.

Local congregation:
GCI, Edinburgh
Gilmerton New Church
Ravenscroft Street
EH17 8QJ

Meeting time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local congregational contact:   
Peter Mill
Email: edinburgh@gracecom.church

Word of Life contact: