Read Acts 8 – Stephen has just become the first Christian to be martyred. He is the kernel of wheat – and now persecution is breaking out, scattering believers from Jerusalem in Judea and Samaria (:1).
Philip begins to preach in Samaria and great crowds gathered and believed. One man, a sorcerer named Simon, believed and was baptized. He followed Philip in amazement. Such great work was taking place that Peter and John were sent. They laid hands on the people and they received the Holy Spirit. Simon wanted this ability and offered to pay for it. Yikes, bad motives. He wanted the gift for the show of it. He wanted to continue to amaze people as he had as a sorcerer, but with the power of the Holy Spirit. Peter rebuked him and told him to repent.
Beloved, you may get caught up in jealousy, bitterness, or the like. It happens (especially in parking lots this time of year). Be quick to confess and surrender to Christ’s care and control. The law is there to show you your need for a Savior more than to condemn you.
Next Philip comes upon an Ethiopian Eunuch who is reading from the book of Isaiah (in the old testament). It is the portion of prophecy that speaks about Jesus. Philip explains everything and the Eunuch wants to be baptized on the spot! As soon as this happens the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away – MIRACLE ALERT! The Eunuch goes on rejoicing.
This Eunuch was the queen’s treasurer. He was a powerful and influential man and he carried the Good News into Ethiopia. The Coptic Christians today trace their spiritual heritage to him (according to a commentary by David Guzik). Beloved, be alert and obedient to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Whether you are addressing a crowd or a single person – be obedient and trust the Holy Spirit with the outcome.