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Southeast Asia Where are the Philips? By Alan Brooks While on my last trip to Fiji, I was speaking at the Victory Baptist Church of Suva on a Sunday morning when God impressed on my heart a thought I would like to share. First, I must give some background. During the Fiji Bible Project we had the privilege of giving out over 220,000 Bibles to the secondary and primary school students, teachers, and administrators. God also allowed us to give many to the military and police forces. For years as a missionary, I have preached a message from Acts 8 concerning Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch so many times that one of my children said to me, “Dad, I think Philip is tired of running.” That was my child's way of saying, “Is that the only sermon you know?” In Acts 8, we see three men mentioned, v. 27 a man, v. 31 some man, v. 34 some other man. Though not chronologically mentioned first, I would like to begin with the Ethiopian eunuch. First, he was obviously a man of great authority who had been given a leave of absence to travel to Jerusalem to worship God. Somewhere, somehow he had been influenced with a desire to know God and had been led to believe he would find the answer in Jerusalem. Someone had planted a seed in the heart of this eunuch. This obviously lost but religious man was returning home still searching for answers. As he rode, he read from the scroll of Isaiah. This hand copied scroll would have been very expensive. Usually these scrolls would remain in the temple to only be handled by the men of Israel. Here was an Ethiopian—a foreigner, a man of color, a eunuch—with the scroll of God. How can that be? For him to get a piece of Scripture was a miracle in itself! God always helps to get His Word to those in need. 8 BIMI WORLD Number 2, 2014 We are now introduced to another man by the name of Philip. He had been one of the original deacons of Acts 6. God was now using him in the area of evangelism. He had been in Samaria preaching and seeing great results when God called him to go to Gaza. Philip, this faithful servant, was submissive to the call of God on his life. He did not argue or question, he simply obeyed. I am sure it interrupted his plans but he still obeyed because his desire was to please God the Father. How are we at responding to God's interruptions and who do we want to please? Philip had to be sensitive to the Spirit of God or how else would he know what to do or to whom to speak concerning Christ? When God's Spirit speaks, it is always consistent with and according to Holy Scripture. God has commanded us to witness and Philip was sensitive to the leading of the Lord to speak. Philip was a man with initiative and did not wait for an opening; he sought one by running to the eunuch. The Bible says the eunuch desired Philip to join him. I believe there are people who want someone to take the initiative to come and share the truth of God's saving grace with them. The heavens declare the glory of God but not enough to save a man. Dr. B. Myron Cedarholm, one of my professors in college, used to say, “If a heathen in a dark land looks up to the heavens and says that he believes there is a God behind all that he sees and desires to know that God, God will make a way for him to know the truth and you might just be that way.” The eunuch was such a man and Philip was sent! Philip asked a leading question, Understandest thou…and the Eunuch responded, How can I, except some man should guide me? Philip then explained the Scripture and preached unto him Jesus. We know the eunuch responded and showed his faith by his obedience. The Scripture says, He went on his way rejoicing.