He sat and once again read the scriptures, and they did not make sense to him. He was a man of great authority, who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and yet he did not understand what he was reading. What could he do to gain the understanding he desperately wanted? Suddenly, a man ran up to him and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And with that simple question, Philip opened a conversation that led to understanding and salvation. Philip had been faithfully preaching Christ, so he was ready and able to meet the needs of this Ethiopian eunuch. Can you imagine how excited and thankful this man was after his interaction with Philip? Understanding the Word of God changed his whole life, and this great change was because Philip was ready to share the Word of God to meet this man’s need. Like Philip, we can be ready to meet someone’s need by preparing ourselves with the Word.
In order to be able to meet someone’s need, we do need to prepare ourselves with the Word. We can only give out of what we have. Thankfully, we do not necessarily need to study for hours and hours in order to have a “word fitly spoken” for someone in need. The Word of God is living and energetic, even if we just have a few verses in our hearts on a particular topic. The key is to read the Word and retain it with the intent of sharing it with others.
Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
In the record of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, we can see that Philip had retained the Word in his heart and was ready to meet this man’s need. After identifying what the need was in this man’s life, Philip spoke up and shared what he knew. We can do the same!
I Timothy 4:16:
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
While participating in our ministry’s outreach program, my team and I studied the Word every day and then believed to share what we read with someone else. I read articles in The Way Magazine or chapters in a volume of Studies in Abundant Living, and the Word that these ministry resources taught me would consistently be just what I needed. Every day God opened doors for me to share what I read as I was out and about!
One day I started a conversation with a man at a bookstore, and after listening to what he said, I learned his need—he was unsure whom he should pray to. Well, that very morning I had read an article in The Way Magazine entitled “Whom should Christians direct their prayers to?” Because I had read with the intent of sharing my learning with someone else, I was able to show him what the Word of God says. I shared John 16:23: “And in that day ye shall ask me [Jesus Christ] nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” The man was amazed by how clearly the Word addressed his question. Afterward I shared the article with him so he could continue to build his understanding.
As we prepare ourselves with the Word of God, we can use our ministry resources to our advantage. Whether it’s an article from The Way Magazine, a Give and Share Series booklet, or a volume from Studies in Abundant Living, ministry resources contain the rightly divided Word presented in a manner that is easy to understand and easy to apply in our lives. They are wonderful tools for us to draw from as we establish the Word in our hearts.
Another way we can be ready with the Word is to bring it with us in our pockets. Sometimes when a verse really blesses me, I’ll write it on a small card and keep it with me in my pocket. This helps me continue to think on that truth from God’s Word, and it offers me the opportunity to give that verse to someone else! Something else I usually carry with me is my cell phone. It is so easy to pull up theway.org and find truths about what the Word says on a particular topic! No matter where we are, this Web site provides a multitude of resources at our fingertips that we can use to stay ready to meet the need.
Those that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled. Like Philip, we can believe to be part of God’s solution by being prepared with the Word to share. Take a moment and consider how many people are out there right now who are desiring to understand the Word of God. These are people with needs that we can absolutely meet. God has given us His Word, and we have many ministry resources that give us easy access to the truths of the Word. Just as Philip was prepared, we can prepare ourselves with the Word, bring it with us in our hearts and in our pockets, and believe to share the Word that meets a need. As we do, we will be ready and able to change people’s lives with the fitly spoken Word.