We are going to delve into God’s Word this morning. We’ll be in Acts Chapter 8. So, if you have a Bible, and I love seeing hardcopy Bibles. I know everyone loves their phone, and I love my phone too. I read from my phone from time to time. But if you have a hard copy, whip that puppy out, and we’ll be in Acts Chapter 8. Just to refresh your memory, we started in Acts Chapter 1, talking about faithful prayer and the Christ-centered, faithful prayer of the believers after Jesus ascended into heaven. Then, in Acts Chapter 2, we discussed the faithful journey together, signifying the birth of the early church following Christ’s ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. We’re currently going through a series titled ‘A Faithful Journey.’ Despite what Dad might say, it’s not a ‘journey of faith.’ We’re sticking to the original title; we won’t let him change it, please! He keeps saying it wrong even at home, and we need to put a stop to it. It’s ‘A Faithful Journey: A Study in Acts.’ Thank you; you’re all on my team.
So, after the church’s birth, we discussed faithful expectation and the anticipation of persecution, learning how to remain faithful in both good and challenging times, even amidst persecution. Today, we’ll study the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, focusing on a faithful expansion. So, today’s sermon is titled ‘Faithful Expansion.’ But first, I’d like to start with a story, even though you know I don’t particularly enjoy telling stories—actually, scratch that; I tell a lot of stories, don’t I? You were supposed to say, ‘No, you tell stories, but half the time we’re asleep.’ It’s okay; I’m going to tell a story. It might be a bit lengthy, but trust me, it all ties together, just like most of my stories. My wife back there is probably thinking, ‘Wrap it up, come on, let’s go.’ But I want to share the story of the first time I ever baptized someone while working in the field. I can’t provide many details about the who, what, when, where, and why. I can share the why, but the specifics of the who, when, and where are unclear. However, you should know that we lived in a Muslim-majority country in South Asia, and I used to work at a Christian hospital for women. Inside the hospital, many staff members were from the Christian community. I held a position as a department director in administration and also managed the hospital’s chaplaincy program, as it was a Christian hospital that had a chapel and chapel services. My wife and I were discipling a young couple as part of the Christian Ministries program at the hospital. The hospital was exclusively for women. My office was situated separately from the rest of the hospital because, as you may know, in this culture, women worked to protect their modesty by covering themselves and avoiding interaction with men who were not their family or husband. When we admitted women for treatment, we not only committed to providing excellent physical care but also to safeguarding their modesty, reputation, and physical well-being from potential predators. People trusted us, which is why we had a stringent entry policy, including an outer gate, a men’s waiting room, an inner gate, and the hospital itself. My office was situated in the inner sanctum where treatments were administered, a place I was never allowed to enter. It was a complex set of barriers. One day, out of the blue, around 2017, during the winter, a Muslim man arrived at the gate. He had no wife, mother, daughter, or sister with him, just a single man that no one recognized, knocking on the gate.
This is bad, okay? Let me provide some context within our cultural setting. What transpired would be considered inappropriate. Or as my kids would put it, ‘inappropriate.’ He should not have been there, knocking on the gate, but he was. The guard’s suspicion was aroused, and he sternly inquired, ‘What are you doing here? Who are you?’ The man responded by giving his name and urgently stating, ‘I need to speak with a Christian, right now.’ So, we contacted the chaplain, the husband of the couple we were mentoring, and he went up to engage with the visitor. He asked questions like, ‘Who are you?’ and ‘Where do you come from?’ Eventually, they sat down in the men’s waiting area, sipping on chai. Now, quick sidebar and timeout here – if you happen to visit Starbucks and want to order chai tea, please refrain from saying ‘Chai tea,’ because chai itself means tea. Just say ‘I’d like a chai.’ Can we all promise to do that? Thank you for that little correction. Now, back to the story. They were sitting there, enjoying their chai and engaging in conversation.
The visitor began to explain that while he was in Saudi Arabia, he had become interested in God’s Word, specifically the New Testament and the story of Jesus Christ. He had come to faith in Jesus through interactions in an online chat room. This person he met online had been sharing various stories with him, eventually leading to discussions about baptism. At this point, the person from America who had been chatting with the man in Saudi Arabia (from the same country where I live) had advised him to find a church or some form of Christian community during his vacation back home. They would guide him on what baptism entails. It’s quite extraordinary, right?
So, here’s this guy at the gate, desperately seeking to speak with a Christian. My friend, the chaplain, began texting me for guidance, as he was new to this situation. We started going through our basic discipleship lessons – asking if he had discussed certain topics and whether he comprehended them. My friend assured me that the visitor understood everything, including the concept of baptism. So, my response was brief but clear: ‘Baptize him.’ It was just a two-word text: ‘Baptize him.’
The chaplain rallied some other Christians from the hospital, and they were enthusiastic about the opportunity to witness a Muslim being baptized, especially within the hospital’s premises. They went to the back of the hospital compound, where there was a space known as ‘Dobby Ghat.’ Dobby is a washer, and Ghat refers to an area, so ‘Dobby Ghat’ was the laundry area where all the bed sheets and labor and delivery clothes were hand-washed and then sterilized. It was an extensive, labor-intensive process. The elderly Muslim man who worked there had been inquisitive about Jesus throughout his life, given his association with the Christian hospital. So, we gave him a break, telling him to enjoy some chai for a while, as we needed to use the Dobby Ghat.
We filled it with clean water, cleared the sheets away, and even set up some sheets for privacy. Only a few people were present – the chaplain, his wife, myself, and the hospital administrator. We prepared to baptize this man, and I had previously walked through the procedure theoretically with my chaplain friend, providing guidance on what to do.
This is our process. Yes, okay, we’re all set to proceed. I was filled with the most incredible missionary spirit, thinking, ‘We’re rocking and rolling.’ And then this happened: the Muslim man who had embraced faith and become a follower of Christ stepped into the water. It was winter, so he was shivering in his soaked clothes. As the chaplain, I said, ‘Alright buddy, let’s get this done; we’re all freezing out here.’ He began to lift himself out of the water, but then he looked at me and said, ‘I can’t do it,’ and walked away. So here we had this man, a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, willing to obey Christ’s command by undergoing baptism, standing in freezing cold water, and the person supposed to baptize him had left. To add a layer of complexity, where we live, there was a historical issue related to some individuals who had poorly handled conversions to Christianity by paying people to convert. Certain Catholic priests and others were caught doing this. Consequently, when a white guy like me performs a baptism, it can raise concerns and add a delicate dimension to the situation.
Now, with the man standing in the water, what do you think I did? I imagined my grandfather’s stern disapproval if he knew I had left this faithful believer in the water. That was a moment where I thought, ‘My grandpa would be very upset with me right now if I abandoned this faithful follower.’ Despite having a fever of 102 degrees that day and barely making it to the hospital just to observe, I got into the water. Without a change of clothes, I baptized him. My illness made it difficult to think clearly, and I stumbled through the words, but we managed to complete the baptism. We all celebrated, and the man went to change. Eventually, he returned to Saudi Arabia for work. I hopped on my motorcycle, rode back home, and entered the bathroom. I was soaking wet, and I started to remove my shower chamise, the local dress with a long shirt and baggy pants. That’s the last thing I recall that day because I fainted and hit the marble floor. The next thing I remember is my son, who was about four or five years old at the time, attempting to pull me out of the bathroom and yelling for his mom while I was partially undressed. It was incredibly embarrassing. That’s the story of my first baptism in the field – awkward and not at all how I had envisioned it. It made me reflect on the challenges we faced.
Then came the second baptism in the field, and trust me, it all ties together in this lengthy narrative. Another man had come to faith through watching YouTube. He had stumbled upon a variety of teachings, some of which were not truly aligned with the Bible. But within all those mixed teachings, he grasped the core of the gospel. When we first encountered him, I was convinced he had genuine faith, but there were inconsistencies and unscriptural elements we needed to address. We began discipling him, and it eventually reached the point where he needed to be baptized – an act of obedience to Christ. He explained that he had visited multiple churches, but no pastor or congregation would accept him into their fellowship.
No pastor would baptize him, and no church would permit him to attend. Why? It was because he hailed from a Muslim background, held a high caste position, and was a landlord. He wielded significant influence, and this made the churches apprehensive. They were fearful of the potential repercussions of welcoming him into their community. Similar to the skepticism faced by Saul after his conversion, the disciples questioned whether this man had genuinely converted and become a follower of Jesus. For more than a year, this man found himself in a state of uncertainty, aware of the truth but unable to act upon it until he crossed paths with us – myself, my chaplain friend, and his wife. We began discipling both him and his wife, and the time for baptism had arrived. We meticulously planned the entire event.
I had a frank conversation with my chaplain friend, making it clear that he could not leave me in that situation again. If we aimed to be faithful disciple-makers, we had to follow through and carry out the baptism without any awkward mishaps. So, we had our discussion, and we reached the point of the next baptism, which took place in a water tank. It was not wide, so the baptism involved immersion by dunking. I’m a bit on the larger side, so we both squeezed into the tank, and there we were. However, for the second time, my chaplain friend made his way into the water, the man was ready for baptism, it was cold again since it was winter, and then my friend turned around and said, ‘I can’t do it. You should do it.’ I couldn’t believe it. Baptize him? But why this hesitation? What was the underlying struggle? Why wouldn’t my chaplain friend perform the baptism?
There were two primary reasons why the church and my chaplain friend were hesitant. The church was reluctant to accept these individuals because their inclusion would necessitate significant changes within the church. It might mean one of their daughters marrying one of this man’s sons, potentially causing social unrest in our community. Additionally, there was concern about the man’s sincerity and honesty. What if he committed a sinful act or had a moral failure that would reflect negatively on the church? They were unwilling to take the risk of what might happen if they welcomed him in, which ultimately reflected a lack of faithfulness.
As for my chaplain friend, I later discovered that culturally, in their context, it wasn’t the one who shared the gospel verbally who established the spiritual connection in discipleship. It was the person who administered the baptism. This person became, in a sense, the spiritual mentor. In their cultural context, this was called the Muridi system, with ‘Murid’ meaning disciple and ‘Pier’ being the holy mentor or, in the Muslim religion, a mediator to God. He didn’t want his name associated with this new convert because he feared that if he baptized the man, the man might start sharing the gospel vigorously, potentially posing a threat to him. Are you all following my story thus far?
Now, we see a very similar situation in Acts chapter 8:26-40. In this passage, we witness a baptism that had a profound impact on the world, altering the course of history. While it didn’t take God by surprise, it certainly would have surprised those who were following God during that time. Let’s read Acts chapter 8, starting from verse 26:
“An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, ‘Get up and go south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is the desert road.’ So, he got up and went. There was an Ethiopian man, a eunuch, and a high official of Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to worship in Jerusalem and was sitting in his chariot on his way home, reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit prompted Philip to go and join the chariot. As Philip ran up to it, he heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah and asked, ‘Do you understand what you’re reading?’ The man replied, ‘How can I unless someone guides me?'”
So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. The scripture passage he was reading was this: ‘He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb is silent before the shearers, so he does not open his mouth. In his humiliation, justice was denied him. Who will describe his generation? For his life is taken from the earth.’ The eunuch said to Philip, ‘I ask you, who is this prophet talking about – himself or someone else?’ Philip proceeded to tell him the good news about Jesus, beginning with that scripture.
As they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, ‘Look, there’s water. What would keep me from being baptized?’ So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any longer. But he went on his way, rejoicing. Philip appeared in Azotus, and he was traveling and preaching the gospel in all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
Now, who was Philip? Philip was the one evangelizing as we see at the beginning of this chapter. He was going through Samaria, evangelizing, making disciples, and sharing the gospel. He was even used by God to heal people. He was a significant Jewish believer, possibly one of the seven chosen to serve in the church with Stephen. However, in this passage, we see one consistent theme that stands out prominently.
First, let’s discuss the global mission of the Church. This is evident in Habakkuk 2:14, where God’s vision is presented. God has a vision for the world, and He has a mission for us to be a part of it. Habakkuk 2:14 reads, ‘For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory as water covers the sea.’ It’s almost unimaginable to think of a day when the earth will be saturated with the knowledge of God’s glory.
Additionally, in Revelation 7:9, we catch a glimpse of what the future holds. It’s not a possibility but a certainty. Revelation 7:9 says, ‘After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands.’ This passage depicts a scene of worship involving people from every nation, tribe, people, and language. Can you imagine arriving in heaven and realizing that, before worshipping Jesus Christ, you were the only one speaking English? You will hear it and much more because this is not a mere possibility – it will undoubtedly happen. People from all over the world will know and worship the Lamb of God, the King. It is a certain future.
That’s God’s vision, and God also has a plan. We catch a glimpse of this vision in the conversion of an Ethiopian man who, as many of the early church writers believed, would later spread the Gospel in Ethiopia, contributing to the Ethiopian Church, which is one of the oldest churches in existence today. God indeed has a plan, and we can discern this plan in Acts chapter one, verse 8. This verse captures Jesus’ commission to His disciples as He tells them, ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ God’s plan is to utilize His people, and His people are the church. We serve as the instrument through which God intends to manifest His glory on Earth and expand His Kingdom. Matthew 28:18-20, often known as the Great Commission, offers valuable insight into this plan.
Now, let’s delve into Matthew 28:18-20. In our language, we refer to it as ‘Shadi Azam,’ which certainly adds some flair, doesn’t it? The Great Commission begins in verse 18, where Jesus approaches and addresses His disciples. He declares, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ This is the Great Commission, God’s plan to employ His people to make disciples. Now, let’s say it together, ‘The Great Commission,’ 1-2-3. ‘The Great Commission.’ I might have confused you earlier, and for that, I apologize. But let’s focus on the numbers now. ‘1-2-3, The Great Commission.’ In this passage, we encounter one primary command: ‘Go.’ Just as a farmer cannot expect success while lying in bed and tossing seeds out the window, God’s plan necessitates people to go. We have one command—’go.’ Consequently, we find two assurances.
So, we have one command and two assurances. Let’s clarify what assurances mean. They are promises – unwavering and enduring. Our confidence lies in them. In the Great Commission, we find these assurances: first, all authority has been given to Christ Jesus in both heaven and on earth. There isn’t a single corner of this world where God is absent. This fact should humble and awe us. Second, God’s presence is assured. As He says at the end, ‘I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ His authority and presence are constant companions. As a follower of Christ, there is nowhere you can go where Jesus is not within and alongside you.
Now, let’s repeat this together: ‘1-2-3, Great Commission.’ There are three tasks involved – say it with me: ‘Three tasks.’ These tasks are to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that Christ has commanded. It’s essential to understand that the Great Commission is not solely about sharing the gospel. While sharing the gospel is important, it constitutes only a small part of the Great Commission. The real work starts when we make disciples – through baptism and teaching them obedience. The Great Commission involves much more work and obedience. We have one command, two assurances, and three tasks. Say it together: ‘1-2-3, Great Commission.’ Louder than the previous time! That’s better. So remember this: 1-2-3, Great Commission. If you take away nothing else today, remember this. As one commentator aptly put it, the mission of the church revolves around the study of Scripture and the proclamation of Jesus Christ. God’s vision is revealed in Revelation 7:9, and God’s plan is outlined in Matthew 28:18-20. It’s as straightforward as that. Faithfulness, however, is the challenging part.
Now, let’s delve into the passage in Acts, where we learn that the gospel of Christ is meant for everyone. Consider what it meant for an Ethiopian eunuch to embrace faith in Jesus Christ. As a God-fearer and a proselyte, he was restricted from entering the inner sanctuary and was not permitted to be part of the Sanhedrin or serve as a judge. His worship privileges were limited. Nevertheless, in this story, we witness a glimpse of God’s expansion and the fulfillment of His vision. Recall the story of the Samaritan woman at the well in the book of John? It too reveals a fraction of the global scope of Christ’s Kingdom and mission. Jesus engaged with a sinful Samaritan woman and used her testimony to reach an entire village. The Samaritan woman at the well and the Ethiopian eunuch demonstrate that the Gospel of Christ is for everyone.
Why am I reiterating this point repeatedly? Because in the place where I live and work, and at times even in the United States, I have observed that there are individuals who, either directly or indirectly, believe that the gospel is exclusively meant for those of us who come from a Christian background or worldview. Some have stated in churches, ‘Why bother going there? Those people had their chance. They are beyond redemption.’ This perspective is truly disheartening. Moreover, I have seen churches in the region where I live unwilling to embrace new converts, like the men I mentioned earlier, and even their wives who have also come to faith in Jesus Christ. They hesitate due to concerns about potential repercussions and how it might disrupt their people group, marriage arrangements, or established church practices. Their fear of change leads them to push these new believers away.
Additionally, I’ve witnessed situations where people from one cultural group come to faith in Christ and form their own church, while individuals from another cultural group do the same. When they attempt to merge their churches, cultural barriers often lead to constant conflicts. This scenario does not align with the vision described in Revelation 7:9, where people from every nation, tribe, and language worship together harmoniously. It’s crucial for us to acknowledge that no one is beyond God’s reach, and no one is beyond hope. The gospel of Christ is intended for anyone who receives it. Do we all agree on this, dear church?
Now, consider the Ethiopian man who asked, ‘What would keep me from being baptized?’ Remember his background. He hailed from Kush, which is the modern-day region encompassing Ethiopia and Sudan. It is likely that he was a eunuch, as the text repeatedly suggests, which would have set him apart and made it difficult for him to fully integrate into the early church. Early Christian writers believed that he went on to take the Gospel to Ethiopia, ultimately giving birth to the Ethiopian church. It’s remarkable to think that this event, where he said, ‘Look, there’s water,’ played a pivotal role in the faithful expansion of God’s Kingdom. This marks one of the earliest instances of an Ethiopian individual coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Today, we see Ethiopian missionaries spreading the gospel globally. It all started with this man who recognized the significance of water.
Now, let’s shift our focus to where I live and work, where there are five barriers hindering people from sharing the gospel and making disciples among Muslims. These barriers may not be too dissimilar from the challenges faced here. The first barrier is fear, which is understandable. However, there’s also a significant amount of bitterness and hatred towards Muslims among some Christians. Surprisingly, this bitterness and hatred can deter people from wanting to share the gospel. I’ve heard Christians say, ‘They’ve done terrible things to us. Why should they receive the message of the gospel?’ In such moments, I’ve had to remind them that none of us deserve the message of the gospel. Additionally, I’ve encountered Christians, both there and here, who express a sense of hopelessness regarding Muslims.
If Saul could become Paul, if I could become a believer in Christ, if you could become a believer in Christ, there isn’t a hopeless person in the world. God’s gospel is for everyone who will believe, and Revelation 7:9 affirms that there will be individuals from every nation, tribe, and language.
Another barrier is language. Some people are unwilling in their hearts to adjust how they speak to connect with those from different cultural backgrounds or persuasions. Another barrier is bitterness and hatred. Some individuals harbor negative feelings towards specific groups, preventing them from wanting to share the gospel with them. Fear is a significant obstacle as well, as it can deter people from engaging in evangelism. Lastly, there’s a lack of tools, with many not knowing how to effectively share the gospel due to complacency and comfort in their Christian walk.
When we provide training and teachings in the Church, we address these five barriers. Before proceeding with our teaching and training efforts, we pause to pray and ask God to remove these barriers. The presence of these barriers signifies a lack of faithfulness.
As Galatians 3:28 states, there is no distinction between Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female—all are one in Christ Jesus. In Matthew 28:19, the term “nations” encompasses more than geopolitical nations; it includes the idea of people groups with cultural and linguistic connections. God’s message and gospel are intended for everyone.
Lastly, we recognize that the work of spreading the gospel is God’s work. Sometimes, my wife annoys me, and I confess that. It’s okay; we’re not in trouble. She’s a New Yorker of Italian descent and can be intimidating. She occasionally annoys me because God uses her as a catalyst to push me to take action. Philip’s actions in Acts were directed by an Angel of the Lord and the Spirit of the Lord—everything was orchestrated by God.
There are times when I’m simply focused on routine tasks, like paying the electric bill, when Stephanie’s compassion bone is stirred. It’s likely the Holy Spirit convicting her and then me. She’ll ask if I shared the gospel with someone by the roadside. Even if I was merely focused on the bill, if I don’t get out of the car and share the gospel, it’s going to be a long day because she won’t let it go. It can be tough and uncomfortable, but when that compassion is stirred, it’s hard to resist. If I were to continue driving without sharing the gospel, she would start crying, and it would become a significant issue.
I’m thankful that God uses her to push me to respond to these promptings. Not everyone has a Stephanie White in their life, so we need to be attentive to God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes, my wife may seem a bit unconventional, but that’s just the way it is. Nonetheless, it’s evident that all of this was orchestrated by God. His divine work and the guidance of His Holy Spirit were at play. The Lord directed Philip’s actions, telling him where to go, even though Philip didn’t know what would transpire upon arrival. Nevertheless, he obeyed, and when he reached his destination, the Spirit instructed him to join that chariot. There, they engaged in a conversation that led to the Ethiopian’s baptism. Remarkably, the Spirit of the Lord then transported Philip away. Imagine that! This highlights the fact that the work of spreading the gospel is indeed God’s work.
When considering faithfulness in our journey of faith, we can glean some essential insights from this narrative. Faithful individuals are those who share in God’s global vision, as we learn from passages like Revelation 7:9 and Habakkuk 2:14. Faithful people do not perceive anyone as beyond God’s reach. When we view someone as hopeless, we’re essentially reflecting our own shortcomings and a lack of Christ-like thinking.
I didn’t choose to live where I do because I have a deep personal affection for the place. Instead, I reside where I do because God loves that place, and I responded to His promptings. Despite the eccentricities of our choice, we’ve chosen to live here. Sometimes, faithfulness might appear a bit unconventional, but that’s the reality of it.
For faithful people, there are no insurmountable barriers. They readily respond to God’s prompting and influence because they recognize that the work is ultimately Christ’s. Faithful people entrust the gospel message, knowing that God takes care of His own work, just as He took care of the Ethiopian eunuch in this story. At times, we may inadvertently act as though others lack the same Holy Spirit within them when we rely solely on our own efforts. However, faithful people truly entrust God to work through them.
Furthermore, faithful individuals have a solid foundation in God’s Word. Philip, in verse 35, demonstrated this by sharing the message of Christ starting from the scripture he was reading. They are knowledgeable about God’s Word and use it as a basis for their actions.
Lastly, faithful people simply go when God calls. Stephen and Philip exemplified this obedience as they participated in the work of spreading the gospel. They didn’t engage in endless debates or hesitations; they responded promptly, illustrating a profound picture of faithfulness for us today.
Now, listen, I’m going to invite the worship team to come up, and I’ll lead us in prayer. I want to pray that we become those faithful people who follow Christ with His global vision according to His Gospel plan.
Heavenly Father, we thank you wholeheartedly for who you are. Once again, we express our gratitude for your divine vision. We are profoundly humbled by the image of people from every nation, tribe, and language knowing and worshiping you in the end. Lord, may you use us to play our part in this grand vision. May we prove ourselves faithful and actively engage in this global mission. May we be found faithful and never perceive anyone as beyond your reach. Lord, we ask you to remove any barriers from our hearts. If there are any hindrances present in anyone’s heart here today, we pray that you break them down before they leave these doors. May they be found faithful in your sight.
Lord, we pray that we, as faithful individuals, will respond to your promptings immediately, free from fear or hesitation. We entrust your gospel message to others, believing that the same Holy Spirit dwelling in us also empowers those who choose to follow you, regardless of their background.
We also pray that we remain committed to knowing your word and storing it deep within our hearts, making it our unshakable foundation. Lastly, Lord, we ask that you transform us into a people who actively go out into the world. Help us see people from every nation, tribe, and language, even in our local communities, here in Hillsboro and Beaverton. May we don our global perspective today, responding to your promptings and making a profound impact on the nations, being your faithful agents of expansion here on Earth.
Lord, we’re truly thankful for the inspiring testimony of the Ethiopian man, and we celebrate the unwavering faithfulness of Philip. May we, too, be found faithful in our time. We lift up this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
So now, let us sing praises to our Lord.