Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Receiving the Word of God (February 2016 Newsletter)

And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”

File_001So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this:
“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is taken from the earth.”
So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Acts 8:27-35

This month I went to L____’s house in the morning with my brother in Christ Neil to read Isaiah 53 with L____. L____ comes from a Muslim background and has been very responsive to the gospel and articulated his faith in Jesus as the sacrifice for his sin and that Jesus was King over his life. English is not L____’s first language, and I wanted to be sure of his understanding and commitment to Christ.

We caught up with L___, prayed with him, and asked him about sharing last week’s story, which was the story of Moses and the Passover. L____ had shared the story of the Passover with a Muslim friend from work.

“Some things are different,” L____ explained, “He didn’t know about the blood on the door.” We talked more about the sacrifice of the lamb and how the Bible is different from what he had heard before. Then we began to read Isaiah 53. We read it in English and then in L____’s language. He took his time and asked questions, “This is a poem,” he said. “Does Isaiah write this about himself or someone else?” Neil and I looked at each other, reminded of the Ethiopian eunuch who asked the same question. We explained that Isaiah was writing about Jesus. We asked L____ what he would say if he were to retell this story to a friend in his own words. He took a long time to reread the passage several times and then explained, “God had a plan for Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins.” He continued to retell the passage, ending with “Some people, they like Jesus, and some people, they do not.” He reaffirmed his faith in the cross and resurrection.

Two weeks later we returned to his house to read the story in Mark 5 of the demoniac who Jesus delivered from bondage. We looked at how the man wanted to stay with Jesus, but Jesus commanded him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you” (Mark 5:19). After thoroughly going through the passage in two languages we asked L____ to make a map of friends and family who he needed to tell about what God had done in his life through Jesus. He listed four Muslim friends and his mother! All five of the people L____ were from unreached people groups and there were two different people groups on his list. He will be sharing across cultures. Please pray for continued miracles, blessing, and Holy Spirit transformation in L____’s life. The best for him is yet to come!

Read the rest of the February 2016 Newsletter