February 05, 2024



And he ordered the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:38-39)

When some folks leave, there is a bitter aftertaste, a sad reminder of an encounter that didn’t go well. Such moments are usually marked by what they said or didn’t say and how they dealt with you.

The best part of the conversation with some folks is, sadly, when they say, “Goodbye!” They left us discouraged, humiliated, confused, angry, hurt. Or, their time with us gave us nothing at all. Unmemorable and empty.


One of the early deacons of the church, Philip, was led by the Spirit of God to the desert road from Jerusalem to Gaza. His instant, unquestioning obedience to God’s prompting took him right to a man in deep spiritual thought. To Philip, this was not a coincidence but a Divine appointment.

26 But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.)
27 So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship,
28 and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah.
29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.”
30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this:
“He was led as a sheep to slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He does not open His mouth.
33 “In humiliation His judgment was taken away;
Who will relate His generation?
For His life is removed from the earth.”
34 The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?”
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, he preached Jesus to him.


Philip seized the moment and gave the man the one thing he desperately needed. He told them the good news about Christ, which led to his salvation and baptism. It was the best possible conversation.

The Spirit led Philip away almost instantly after the man’s baptism. Although the eunuch would never see him again this side of heaven, he “went on his way rejoicing.”


I was recently returning from preaching in Canada and was seated by a middle-aged mom who was also a fascinating entrepreneurial businesswoman. She and her husband had started a company that had grown rapidly. Her story was intriguing.

She was very kind, and in time, the Lord opened a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with her. She had been a philosophy student, so I let my dear, departed friend, C.S. Lewis, help us in our conversation. We talked for over an hour about the necessity of Christ and Christ alone to save us, not our good works.

Lewis reminded us, once again, that you had to decide about Christ. He was either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord. And, if He is Christ, you must deal with His claims to believe in Him and bow before Him. There is no middle ground.

As we were leaving, there was joy in my heart as well, I think, in hers. “I think you were supposed to sit by me," she said. "I’ve been wondering about many of the things we talked about, and you’ve really helped."

I challenged her as we were leaving to read two of Lewis’ books (“Surprised by Joy” and “Mere Christianity”) which she had written down. I’m praying for her this morning that our conversation would be one more piece in the tapestry God is weaving for her, bringing her to full faith in Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. This would be the ultimate joy.

I was joyful, for I had been blessed by the privilege of sharing the most important truths in the world with a hungry heart. And, I trust, she was joyful, for she had heard the best news in the world.

My only regret was the nagging thought of how many times I’ve missed such Divine appointments. If our eyes were opened and our hearts more sensitive to the Spirit, we would find such opportunities often. Remember today: the greatest thing we can do for anyone is give them the good news. They may never remember you, but they could experience He-Who-Is-Joy forever.

Father, help me to listen to Your Spirit and go where you tell me. Open my mouth and give me utterance to proclaim the gospel—the source of ultimate joy—to those around me. I pray my moments with everyone I’m with today will help them “go on their way rejoicing.”


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