Someone recently asked Pastor Miles, “How do I get God in my life? What is the purpose of my life?”
Would you like to know your purpose on earth and to get more of God’s blessings into your life?
Would you like to know your purpose on earth and to get more of God’s blessings into your life? What have you done to seek these things? Your purpose is to have a relationship with God, and the Rock's Equip ministry is to help you get into your purpose, to glorify God in your life. Nothing is stopping you except for you; you have to want to know Him better, want to find your purpose, and want to live for Him, and keep asking until that happens!
People get saved (begin a relationship with Christ) at the Rock in many different ways - at Sunday services, online, through one-on-one relationships, or through outreach ministries. But after one is Saved, the next step is to grow, or become Equipped, and then Sent out as God’s hands and feet to do ministry for others, taking His love to the world.
So what’s next? How do you become who God calls you to be? First, attend a free, four-week LIFE class. These are offered every Sunday at every campus. They will help you discover your unique gifting and what to do next to grow in your faith. Next, join a Group of 5-10 people who meet every week. Get to know some other believers in a place where you can study together and support one another. Next week there will be 200 booths of ministries to consider - find your place and get involved!
Our passage today is from Acts Chapter 8 and is the story of a man who asks for help in his faith journey.
Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of gre]at 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.”
So 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. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea. Acts 8:26-40
In Biblical times, a eunuch was a servant, castrated so as to manage his master’s affairs without any “funny business.” This Ethiopian eunuch is not a believer, but he wants to know God. He is reading Scripture, but does not understand it. So the Holy Spirit sends Philip directly to him, and he takes the responsibility of asking Philip for help. Sometimes asking for help is the most powerful thing you can do!
Here are four things you can do to grow into the next steps of faith:
1. Read the Bible whether you understand it or not.
Do you not read the Bible because you “don’t understand it”? How are you ever going to understand it if you never read it? Just as you won’t learn to ride a bike without ever mounting one or learn to brush your teeth without ever putting the brush in your mouth, you’ll never understand the Bible if you don’t keep trying to read it.
How do I start?
Pastor Miles has written a book called 21 Jump-Start Devotional: Getting Started on Your Incredible Christian Life. The purpose is to get you started and teach step by step how to read your Bible.
Alternatively, the Rock has an online reading plan for you. You can start here by reading one chapter per day!
The Bible is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), which means as you read, the Spirit works in your heart and mind as you read and study. In fact, Jesus Himself is described as the Living Word. Pick a time and place to meet with the Lord. Bring a paper and pen, so you’ll be ready to listen to what He has to say to you.
2. Ask for help.
Identify someone who can teach and guide you in the faith.
So 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. Acts 8:30-31
Pastor Miles recounted that when he was first saved, he was so hungry for truth that he began asking biblical questions to everyone around him. Finally, one person on his team suggested he be discipled so that he could learn the answers to his questions and be guided and mentored. Without even fully understanding what this meant, he asked around until he found someone to disciple him. A small group met for three hours every week. Imagine how much Pastor Miles learned and grew in that time!
Ask somebody for help. If the people in your inner circle don’t know and walk with God, don’t ask them! If you invest junk, you get junk. But if you want goodness, change the people who are pouring into you. This is a great opportunity for you to find a Life Group and find people of faith to invest good into your life.
The first person you ask or call may say, “no,” but don’t let that be an excuse to stop asking. Keep pounding on the door and seeking the Lord (Matthew 7:7). It’s your life and purpose at stake, and it’s your responsibility to grow.
3. Trust and obey the Word.
This is a simple concept: simply do what God says. Don’t worry about what others are doing. It’s not your responsibility to judge others. Simply take care of yourself and love as God has called you to do.
4. Be baptized.
If you feel it is time to show this outward display of faith, go and be baptized! You can approach any info booth at any campus and ask to be baptized. It can be done individually like the eunuch with Philip or at an event where many are being baptized, but whenever and however it is done, it is simply a symbolic act representing the death of your old self and rising again, a new life in Christ.
You may be the one who needs help to understand the Bible and grow in your faith, or you may be the one whom God is calling to help someone else. If you receive help and then give it away, the faith grows, people’s lives change, and the culture changes.
Your challenge today is to commit your life to Christ and commit to seeking Him, asking for help if you need it! Don’t put it off another week - nothing is stopping you but you!