Summary: A look at the story of Philip in Acts 8. This message is one that focuses on God’s timing and takes a look at how God can bring something good from something bad.
The Curious Case of a Man Named Philip
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Story of a man who was born old and grew young.
That’s not such a new concept.
Have you ever heard the statement…
Youth is wasted on the young?
I never really understood that until I got a little bit older. In fact, I used to think it was a little arrogant for people to say that.
But the older I get, the more curious I am to think of what it would be like to couple the wisdom of age with the strength of youth…
The dictionary explains curious as: “Arousing interest because of novelty or strangeness”
There are quite a few stories in the Bible that are curious to me. I wonder how the story played out or what different people thought about the situations they were in.
Sometimes I like just think about what life must have been like for these folks. I mean, we know how their stories end, but they didn’t. They had to walk by faith, not by sight.
Sometimes it’s curious to me how God works. Faith is so important to the equation of following Christ.
Just think about some of the amazing stories in Scripture…
• An angel comes to a young virgin girl of about 14 and tells her that she is going to give birth to the Savior of the world…how does that work?
• God tells a Father in the twilight of his years to take his one and only son, whom God had promised to do great things through, to the mountain top and sacrifice him…are you sure God?
• Or what about Ananias of Damascus…God tells him to go Judas’s house on Straight Street and ask for a man named Saul. The man will be blind when you find him, so lay your hands on him and restore his sight…but Ananias had heard of this guy Saul; he had been arresting and killing Christians…God are you sure this is a good idea?
There are so many interesting stories in the Bible, and sometimes, I’m curious…how exactly did that work out…
This morning, I’d like to share another curious story with you…it’s a story of a man who had a curious calling from God…
His name was Philip.
Philip appears early on in the story of the Christian Church.
We first see him in Acts 6 when he is appointed along with six other men to be a deacon in the early church, in charge of organizing the food ministry.
We don’t see Philip again until we read of him in our story today.
To understand Philips story, you have to understand what was happening at the church during that time…
Acts 7 ends with the stoning of Steven, the 1st Christian martyr.
Chapter 8:1 starts out by saying…
1 Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen. A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.
2 (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.) 3 But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.
4 But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.
It’s curious to me how God often brings something good out of something bad…
Can you imagine? Here are a bunch of newly converted Christians who are basking in the light of God’s mercy and grace, trying to live transformed lives when hardship hammers them…
The 1st great persecution of the church begins and these early forerunners of our faith must have thought, “what in the world is going on here? I’m trying to do what’s right, so why do I have to fight these battles God?”
But God wasn’t done yet, he was about to bring something good from something bad…
This concept almost seems beyond belief.
I know in my life, that when something bad happens, I’m not often jumping up and down saying, man if it’s this bad, I can’t wait to see how much good can come from it.
Maybe you’re different, I know that there are some folks who are more optimistic…
A farmer went to his banker and announced that he had bad news and good news. “First, the bad news...” “Well,” said the farmer, “I can’t make my mortgage payments. And that crop loan I’ve taken out for the past 10 years—I can’t pay that off, either.
Not only that, I won’t be able to pay you the couple of hundred thousand I still have outstanding on my tractors and other equipment.