Summary: Philip's life serves as our example of what Intentional Christian Living is.
I got curious and did a search on Intentional Christianity. Mountain Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, SC, made a commitment last fall to be a part of ICE. The area around the church has exploded in growth recently with approximately 67,000 people living within ten minutes of the church. (SBC SC Newsletter).
Tonight we will look at the life of Philip the disciple. (Wikipedia)- Included in the Acts of Philip is an appendix, entitled "Of the Journey of Philip the Apostle: From the Fifteenth Act Until the End, and Among Them the Martyrdom." This appendix gives an account of Philip's martyrdom in the city of Hierapolis. According to this account, through a miraculous healing and his preaching Philip converted the wife of the proconsul of the city. This enraged the proconsul, and he had Philip, Bartholomew, and Mariamne all tortured. Philip and Bartholomew were then crucified upside-down, and Philip preached from his cross. As a result of Philip's preaching the crowd released Bartholomew from his cross, but Philip insisted that they not release him, and Philip died on the cross. Another legend is that he was martyred by beheading in the city of Hierapolis.
The book of John points out Philip more than any other gospel. It is believed that the primary recipients of the book of John were somewhat familiar with Philip so his story is more detailed in this book.
1. Philip’s Call. John 1:43
Jesus had just called Simon Peter and his brother Andrews. John 1:43 - The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me."
Here is what we need to notice here. Jesus went to Galilee and FOUND Philip. How did Jesus know to go to Galilee to find disciples, such as Philip? He had just come from the wilderness from being tempted. He had just spent 40 days in prayer.
The first lesson: Pray before you go. Col 4:2-4 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison-- 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
I believe we start where Jesus started His ministry. Prayer. The month of May will be a time of prayer on Wednesday night. It will be an exciting time for our Church. However, we need to pray now, to Continue Steadfast in Prayer. When we pray, we will know where to go, how to go, and to whom to go. If we are at a loss now as to what to do, there is one answer: Prayer.
Joh 1:44-46 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." 46 Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."
2. Philips community:
Second, after prayer, notice that Philip went where he was familiar. Philip was from Bethsaida, his home town.
3. Philips companion:
Third, he went to someone with whom he was familiar. Sometimes Nathanial is called Bartholomew. When the disciples are listed, Philip and Bart are usually listed together. Our guess is if they are not related in some way, they are best friends.
Just as Jesus went looking for Philip, Philip went looking for Nathanial. This reflects intentionality. He actually targeted this one with whom he was familiar.
4. Philips Compassion:
Fourth: Being intentional is very sensitive to see people’s needs.
Joh 6:3-5 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?"
It was Philip who noticed that the people were hungry and their problem was his problem. This sensitivity to the needs of those around him led to one of the most witnessed and wonderful miracles of Jesus.
When we recognize a need in our community, we can expect Jesus to want to act, to do something, to accomplish something.
Joh 12:20-23 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified…”