Today is such an important day! Today is a good day to be baptized. Today is a good day to follow Jesus. Today is the most important day of your life. All of these things remain true about every single “Today”.
Baptism and Urgency
What Would Your Life Be Like… If you didn’t have access to Jesus? What if you didn’t know about Him, or no one ever told you about Him? What if you drove by churches on Sundays and thought, “What do those people do in there?”
What if there was nowhere to go to learn about Jesus? It humbles me to think of the people thousands of years ago who rejected the true God. They ended up denying their children and grandchildren access to God.
Acts 8:27 (NLT) …The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship,
Acts 8:31 (NLT) The man replied, “How can I unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.
We must NEVER take the Good News for Granted… It is sin that makes the Good News necessary. We can’t simply excuse our sinfulness just because everyone else does it. We can’t excuse sin because it makes for a more comfortable situation. Our sinfulness should never be an IDENTITY.
It is sin’s removal and the forgiveness of sin that makes the Good News amazing.
When You Can’t Get To God
A Man Looking for God. Simeon was an Ethiopian man who was a very important official in the Ethiopian kingdom. He had learned about Judaism from the Queen of Sheba, who learned about it from Solomon. Simeon embarked on a 1,500-mile journey from Ethiopia to Jerusalem with the sole purpose of connecting with the God he had come to know in some limited way.
But there were Challenges. Of course, the long journey and the expense of it were prohibitive. Simeon was a foreigner, so he would have experienced scrutiny from the beginning. But, there was a temple courtyard where foreigners were welcome to learn about and practice Judaism. Judaism was meant to trumpet the goodness of God.
But he was a Eunuch. There was no place for a Eunuch in the temple courts. Someone else took something from him that kept him from worship. Surely he already knew they would not let him into the temple courts. After his long journey, his worship would have to be from afar. Apparently, that did not discourage him.
Acts 8:26 (NLT) As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
God Comes To You
There are a lot of Ways for God to Show-up. You aren’t waiting on God; He’s waiting on you. There is so much to cloud our vision. So much static in our world. It’s hard to notice the “still small voice” of God. He could send a person, a song, a gift, a sign or an act. But for Simeon…
God SENT Someone. I’m glad God sent Philip. I’m glad Philip listened. He was in the middle of something great, but Philip knew that when God doesn’t make sense there is something VERY important going down. He also knew his job wasn’t to get results. His job was to remain faithful.
Acts 8:32-33 (NLT) The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 33 He was humiliated and received no justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”
So, when God Shows-up, Ask Your Question. Simeon asked Philip about the man in the scripture he had been reading. He wanted to know, “Who is this man? Why would anyone do this? Why would anyone remain silent in the face of such injustice?”
This is the Good News About Jesus! Jesus has accomplished what we could never accomplish. Jesus has finished what we started. And he did it as an act of mercy, rather than an act of vengeance.
We often complain about God. We accuse Him of not caring about us. We imagine that He is uninvolved and unconcerned about our difficulties. But Jesus…
Hebrews 1:3 (NLT) The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God…
What is God Like? Well, what is Jesus like? When you see the tenderness of Jesus, that is what God is like. Of course, there is toughness too. That is also what God is like. When you see the sacrifice, the suffering, and the surrender, that’s what God is like. The idea of an aloof, disconnected uncaring God is a lie. God sent Jesus. Jesus demonstrates who God is in a way that we can begin to understand. He also demonstrates God’s love. Not to mention, Jesus is …
THE ANSWER! We owed everything. There is NOTHING you can do to make it right. The reason you often feel as though you can’t get anything right is that only God gets it right. And we don’t listen to Him. We are the DEEPLY indebted servants of Matthew 18. We feel like we are in trouble because we ARE in trouble.
But, Jesus paid it all. There is an answer. Jesus. He paid it all. He got it right. What you can’t do, He can do for you. What you owe, He pays.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Don’t miss TODAY’s Opportunity
Instead of being discouraged by our problems, we need to rejoice in the opportunity for God to show up. Instead of waiting on God to do something else to prove Himself, we could just ask Him to save us..
AND… today is an opportunity to share. Maybe you are God’s way to someone who just can’t get there. Maybe you are in the way, and you could become a help instead of a hindrance.
We shouldn’t miss out on the opportunities that TODAY presents us!