A messenger of joy.
Philip: the disciple that helped bring joy to the outcasts.
The environment created by bad news can be very contagious. Bad news can stir sadness, anger, discouragement, and hopelessness in the heart of many, especially in those who already live as outcasts.
Some had said that teenagers nowadays feel like outcasts in our society. What about the undocumented, the uneducated, the poor, those with diseases, and many other that our society label as “unwanted”?
The message of the gospel is “good news”, news of joy!!! And God’s people are the ones that should be carrying the news to the outcasts.
Philip, in the book of Acts, is a great example of a messenger of joy to the outcasts.
From his life, we learn some important lessons:
· Do not let anything or anyone stop you from sharing His good news. Acts 8:1. In Philip’s case, a great persecutions against Christians could make him think “I better be quiet about sharing the gospel. I have a life to live. I have family and friends that need me and I will not put my life at risk. I am an outcast myself.” But, instead, Philip went to Samaria and proclaimed the good news there. What or who is trying to stop you from sharing the gospel? Do not fall into that temptation.
· Be open to what the Lord tells you to do and go. An angel spoke to Philip. Acts 8:26. God is always communicating with us. He uses His word, other people, His Spirit, and many means to lead us and order us. In the case of Philip, God uses an angel to give him instructions on what to do and where to go. You need to be open and willing to His voice. He wants you to be a messenger who helps others find joy for their lives.
· Go and share even when you have to walk through the desert. Acts 8:26. The road Philip was about to take passed through wilderness. God, you are telling me to go and share good news of joy to the outcasts even when I need to walk in the desert? Sometimes you have to give up your comfort zone to bring a message of love, joy, and peace.
· Be ready to interpret the Scripture for the sake of salvation. Acts 8:30-31. Philip explained with love and patience the interpretation of the Word of God. His Word is not information that we use to fight against the outcasts but to bring them joy. His Word is not information that we use to hit the head of those who fall but to give them hope of forgiveness and salvation.
· Be open to share the Good News to the outcasts. Samaritans. Ethiopians. Acts 8:8 and 8:39 give us an account of the results of Philip’s obedience on sharing the good news of joy with the outcasts: “So there was great joy in that city” and “the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing”. Maybe you know many people that feel “unwanted” and God is telling you to give them good news of great joy. Be obedient and make them feel loved by God and you.