Tuesday, October 06, 2009

"Teachable hearts"

Today’s reading: Acts 8:30-35 (NIV) 30Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked. 31"How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

32The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth."

34The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?" 35Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

To some degree there is a teacher in me. I seem to be drawn into starting groups or studies, get them on their feet and then God calls me in another direction and off I go. Example, I had felt the calling to start a new Sunday School class a few years ago, so I began to process of choosing a topic, getting a couple people interested, advertised and began the class. It took three different launches to get off the ground but we made it and the core of that group is still together today.

As the class grew, it filled with men and women, couples, widows, singles and they were all older than me. I found the age thing a bit strange as I felt most of them were much more capable of teaching than myself. I soon found out the people had hearts ready to hear the gospel. We used the bible as our studying, usually a particular book.

There was one particular retired woman in the class who knew the scriptures well and always contributed. One day she told the class that she had never been baptized and wanted to know what everyone thought. Out of that discussion it was decided they wanted to study the trinity. So I sat out to study and prepare and four weeks later we were taking on the trinity. The class was somewhat like the eunuch, having read the word but not yet understanding how some parts fit together.

God provided a spirit-filled Philip to help the eunuch to understand the coming of the messiah. When a person is ready and open to listen to scripture, God provides them a way, a friend or leader to help instruct them. God also provides the means in which to prepare, study and teach. As we take the opportunity to admit we don’t understand, we are taking another step in our spiritual journey with our savior. It is essential to learn of the savior and to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. How would we have known if we had not heard? How would we have heard if someone had not read? How would we have read if someone had not listened? Take a few minutes today to read and then another few minutes to listen and another few minutes to tell.

By the way, 2 years later, at age 77, she was baptized in the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit!

Dorothy Brucks
Aldersgate UMC
Nixa, Mo.


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