Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Calling of Men of God

What you are about to read is not brand new.  It actually comes from a devotion I shared with a Men’s Fellowship group a few years ago. At the same time, it very definitely contains one of those “AHA” moments, when I recognized something really HUGE in a small two line passage of scripture. This and the words of challenge and encouragement  God inspired me to pass on to men, make it well worth the time to re-share it here…

When we as men of God join our hearts together we are better enabled to move ahead in one accord, stave off attacks of the enemy and temptations of this world and accomplish the task to which God has called us…The task of winning our families and community into the body of Christ!

In Acts 21: 8-9 Luke wrote: “And on the next day we departed and came to Caesarea; and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses.”

To a casual glance, this simple two verse passage of scripture may not speak much, but truly it is crammed full of examples of truth and wisdom that should greatly inspire the life of every man!

1 – Philip was obedient to the call of Christ!

2 – Philip, the great winner of souls, did not neglect his family!

3 – Philip was also a great witness for Christ!

Please allow me to elaborate a little…

1 – Philip was obedient to the call of Christ!

As Saul and the Jews ravaged the church in Jerusalem, Philip fled the city along with many others, but they did not leave behind their salvation or the Gospel message. From Jerusalem Philip went to Samaria and when he got there he couldn’t help but to start preaching to them the GOOD NEWS of salvation through the Blood of Jesus! The result…people were getting saved! This was no quiet, in a corner, event. Revival had hit Samaria in such a big way that the apostles in Jerusalem heard of it and came to help! Now we might think that the next logical thing for Philip to do is establish a church and settle in at Samaria, but God had other work for him to do.

Next we see Philip obediently witnessing to a man being driven in a chariot. This was apparently a man who at least had access to wealth. After he received salvation and had asked Philip to Baptize him, this man might well have used his resources to help Philip build a huge church wherever he wanted, but God had other plans for Philip.

As Philip and the man came up out of the water, God snatched Philip away to Azotus, and he just kept right on moving from city to city preaching the Gospel, until he finally came to Caesarea where he  apparently settled down to raise his family.

2 – Philip, the great winner of souls did not neglect his family!

Philip was a blessed man of great reputation, but he did not allow this to keep him from fulfilling his role as the priest of his family.  In Acts 21:9 an  enormously important fact is stated in a few simple words. “Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses.”

To be prophetesses, his four daughters must surely have been SAVED, SANCTIFIED, and FILLED WITH HOLY SPIRIT!  This does not happen by accident. This happens when a father is active in the lives of his children. Sharing with them the Gospel message and serving as a living example, by a life dedicated to Jesus.

What a testimony for any man!

 What an example for every man!

While I in no way am inferring an equal standing with Philip the evangelist,  I felt led to share at this point some of my own…PERSONAL TESTIMONY:

2011 is my 24th year in Children’s Ministry.  Prior to and along with ministry, I have had a career as a non-degreed electrical engineer spanning well over 20 years.  Today there are places all over the world where you can go and see machinery operating to which my name is connected.  I helped design and build equipment for the Publishing, Passenger Elevator,  Container Handling Bio-Tech and Food Processing industries. In many cases this equipment operates in full automatic mode 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I take pride in the contribution I have made in these areas, but I am blessed far more by how God uses my life as it is surrendered to Him.

Over the many years we have ministered to children, my wife, Patti and I have been blessed to help countless children establish a firm foundation in Christ. A foundation from which, as they continue to grow physically, they also continued to grow spiritually.  Whenever Patti and I visit a Pen-Florida Assemblies of God District Council, we are blessed to encounter young ministers and their spouses who grew-up through our Children’s Ministry.  We also keep tabs on many who have graduated from our Children’s Ministry over the years and are even now in Bible College preparing for a life of serving God.  Many of our graduates are involved as volunteer ministers and/or on-staff at their local churches.

Many times we’ve had children who came to church only because we picked them up and brought them. Today we get reports not only of the many of them continuing to serve God, but also some of their parents have been saved and serve in their local churches.

In addition, God has blessed Patti and me with two wonderful children. As parents our lives have been about sharing Jesus with them. We are doubly blessed to know that their lives are surrendered to Jesus and He has saved them and filled them with the Holy Spirit.

To me it is very exciting to be able to count blessings this way, and at the same time, know that God is not finished using my life for His glory.  I have shared this bit of personal testimony not out of a desire of bragging or presenting anybody extraordinary…but, I share this with you out of a fervent desire to inspire and encourage YOU.  I can assure you that I am no more than an ordinary man with a yearning to serve God and glorify Him.  But God can use ordinary men in extraordinary ways…

The Bible doesn’t tell anything of Philip before he became a deacon, other than that he had been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. There is no reason to believe that before coming to know Christ, Philip was anything more than an ORDINARY man, living an ORDINARY life.  Yet God used this ORDINARY man named Philip to win countless souls unto Salvation and into the Kingdom of God, including the souls of his own daughters!  Yet God didn’t stop there with Philip…

3 – Philip was also a great witness for Christ!

Have you ever thought about where we find the most accurate record of the Ascension?…Mark speaks of it in his Gospel…Paul eludes to it in the letter to the Ephesians…but God inspired a physician named Luke to truly chronicle the event and give the most explicit details…now Luke was most likely from the area of Troas and was most likely not present on the hillside the day the Lord rose up to Heaven in the site of 500 of His followers…so how and where did Luke learn the details?  According to Acts 21:8, Luke was with Paul the GREAT world evangelist when he arrived at Caeserea and spent time in fellowship at the home of Philip, the FIRST world evangelist. (Luke wrote “we departed and came to…”)  Sometimes I like to stop for a moment and imagine being “a fly on the wall” at this most likely unassuming and yet massively historical event:

Two men (Philip and Paul) who had already been used of God to powerfully impact the world for the cause of Christ, and yet both chose to remain humble obedient servants to their Savior and Lord.  Imagine being able to just sit and listen to these two giants of the faith swapping stories about how they had witnessed the move of God: the salvations / the healings / the moves of the  Holy Spirit / the Revivals they had experienced throughout the lands!  And there was Luke…drinking it all in and recording it for all the generations to come…for us, some 2,000 years later to read about and share these great and humble lives!

No doubt, much of the book of Acts may have actually been penned in this very “number of days” that Paul and Luke stayed with Philip in Caeserea.  That would make this unofficial summit of a few MEN…recorded so simply in just two lines of scripture…ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MOMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH!!!

This event, so briefly mentioned in the pages of scripture, should scream to each of us how very important it is for MEN of GOD to fellowship with one another…Whenever men come together and share what Christ has done in their lives, the world is impacted and changed!

In addition to your family, God also wants to use you in the lives of other men. Start seeking now for the men God wants to encourage through you!  Make a point to really get to know them. Get beyond just shaking hands during greeting time at church…sit down with them over a cup of coffee…find a common interest or hobby to share…find a project to do together…invite them to be with you in church / keep inviting until they come / when they come go out of your way to include them / and then invite them again and again and again…Whenever men come together and share what Christ has done in their lives, the world is impacted and changed!

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