Our 31st day is finally here! In closing, I want to share with you a Bible story I just love –
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place.
And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”
And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.
And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:26-39)
I love how intentionally God placed Philip in the path of the eunuch and that he went where he was called. In this divine appointment, Philip was able to explain the Scriptures to a seeking soul in a way that illuminated Jesus and led to a man’s salvation. This reminds me how important it is to devote myself to knowing Jesus in Scripture if I am to share him with others.
What would it be like if God put me in the path of someone who needed him and I was able, like Philip, to open my mouth, beginning with one Scripture, and and tell that one the good news about Jesus (v. 35)? Is that the ministry we want? Is our experience of Bible study making us eager to share its good news about Jesus? Perfect knowledge isn’t the requirement, and our words only play a small part. But God chose to use Philip’s Bible knowledge – along with his availability – in drawing this eunuch’s soul to himself.
I don’t know about you, but that encourages me to consider whether my Bible study life is preparing me for moments like that.
In terms of how you handle and minister God’s Word to others, what kind of friend are you? Are you one someone would invite to come alongside them to guide them in understanding it, like the eunuch invited Philip (v. 31)? And when the Spirit leads you into opportunities like this, are you quick to help them see Jesus in the Scriptures? It’s not that we have to know everything, but we do have to know HIM. How are your Bible study habits leading you to know Jesus?
Over the past month, we’ve looked specifically at five ways personal Bible study is a gift of God’s grace:
Gift #1: Bible study is a grace-laced discipline that does the exact opposite of adding to our burdens; it leads us deeper into grace; it’s the one thing meant to alleviate our burdens and lighten our heavy loads.
Gift #2: Bible study provides direction, training us in the grace of God and teaching us the right way to live.
Gift #3: Bible study can be LEARNED!
Gift #4: Bible study turns my eyes in the right direction.
Gift #5: Bible Study strengthens our experience of community within the Body of Christ.
My biggest hope for anyone struggling with cultivating this discipline is that the only thing pulling you toward it is a big impression of God’s grace. I pray the exact same for those who don’t struggle in making it a habit. We want to grow in this because of the gospel freeing us from making our own righteousness. The only good motivation is gratitude for his amazing love.
Thank you for coming along on this journey, and I’m happy to continue any conversation about this thing that’s so dear to my heart!