“Then Philip opened his mouth, . . .” Acts 8:35
The Lord’s people play a part in His plan of salvation. Taking salvation doesn’t happen by accident. God’s mission requires intentionality from His people. Philip was called away from the great revival that was happening in Samaria to go to find one person.
What Philip found was a man seeking something diligently, sincerely, earnestly, yet without understanding of how to make sense of it all. This was Philip’s great opportunity. It’s ours too. Today we are surrounded by a world of individuals who are discouraged, disappointed, disillusioned, and, asking questions. They are listening for answers.
There are two ways to make a movement move. One is to live it yourself. We have relied mainly on living it out to spread the movement of Christianity. We’ve lived quietly, yet there seems to be no magnetic force about us. Our friends and family are not interested and the world passes us by.
The other is to talk about it. The early Christians drew others because they talked to others about Jesus. The tipping point of the story of the Ethiopian man is when Philip climbed into his friend’s chariot and opened his mouth.
We would assume Philip made small talk with this man, maybe he said, “Hey, nice chariot!” and “How about this weather we are having today?” Not so with Philip. No, he began with the scripture where the Ethiopian man was reading, and preached Jesus to him. Philip went straight to the things that concerned him most.
The problem for us with this story is we are not sure how to do that nor are we sure we want to do it. The remedy for our fears is we must live the faith so that others will want to listen. The point is, talk by itself is empty, but when straight honest talk is supported by character and directed by gentle understanding, it is the key to moving a movement forward.
Have you ever sat down with a friend or co-worker and opened your mouth and talked about the things that concern them most, and shown them how Jesus connects to their life?