God with one is a majority. Look at this. In chapter 6 of the Book of Acts, Philip is identified as one of the seven men appointed to take care of feeding the widows in the new church. In chapter 8, one key individual stands out, Philip. Here, we see that he was the one-man army who went to share the good news with the Samaritans and we learn that because of his preaching, the whole city of Samaria was positively impacted and won. He was willing and obedient to God “So there was great joy in that city, says Acts 8:8. With all that is going on around us in this present world, for example, the nasty politics, the confusion in priorities, the uncertainty with jobs, dilapidated health care, economic downturns and the list goes on and on, doesn’t that make you want God to visit your community in such a way that there will be joy filling hearts where there has instead been guilt, anxiety, betrayal, shame, condemnation and endless mistrust? Well, it happened in Samaria, just because of one man. Be that one man.
So the crusade is going on in Samaria and in the thick of this citywide revival God simply reached down and pulled out Philip the evangelist. God had another work for him to do; God then sent him to the hot, dusty and arid desert south of Israel to meet one Ethiopian. This Ethiopian eunuch was rich and powerful and also learned (doesn’t that make you wonder what we hear about Ethiopia today?); he was the treasurer of his country, well educated, and this Ethiopian was heading home from Jerusalem. Sitting in his chariot, he was reading his Bible (the Old Testament), the Book of Isaiah.
I’m talking about the power of one. And consider this, that God Almighty took Philip the evangelist out of that powerful crusade to reach one man! Doesn’t that tell you something, that it is so very easy to underestimate the power or the importance of one individual? Well, let me tell you that God never does that; He cherishes every single one of His creation. Do you know of the story of the Woman at the Well? Jesus preached to large crowds of people, 5,000, 10,000, 15,000 but we find Him in John chapter 4 spending a significantly good part of one day talking to this one woman who had come to draw water at Jacob’s well.
Anyway, back to Philip and the Ethiopian. Philip preached to the Ethiopian and this treasurer received the good news about Christ, accepted Christ and was therefore converted, then baptized (not sprinkling of water but baptism by immersion), then continued on his way home to Africa. The gospel, as taught by Jesus, reached Africa way, way back, in the first century AD through this Ethiopian. Chronologically, we learn later in chapter 16 of Acts that that was when the gospel, as taught by Jesus finally reached Europe; this is the Europe that today we call Western Europe. In chapter 16, somehow, Paul and his troupe (Silas, Timothy, Dr. Luke) were headed for eastern Europe but God sent Paul a vision that these missionaries should head westwards, to Macedonia (Greece), which they did. We all know the rest of the story.
Back again to Philip and the Ethiopian. Philip never saw him again. When European missionaries first arrived in Ethiopia, they found a well established church already in existence. Fact is, Christianity was declared a state religion in 330 AD in Ethiopia. So far, this church is the only known pre-colonial Christian church of Sub-Saharan Africa and today, it is documented that this church, the Ethiopian Church has a membership of between 40 and 45 million. Recently, I visited a nearby bank, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in my home city and who attended to me? One of the 40-45 million members of the Ethiopian church! You see, one man, Philip, ministered to one man, the Ethiopian treasurer and this one man had gone home and his nation changed; they became part of the church. Christ and His church form one body, as Head and members. Christians become members of this body by baptism. The power of one.
The Power of One
One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room.
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true.
One life can make the difference,
You see it’s up to you!
Proposed prayer: Dear Father, thank You that You care for each one of us. With all the lights and flashes going on around in our churches today, thank You for seeing my the need like You did the Ethiopian man riding his carriage through the desert. You know others either need to understand or need more understanding so I want to be willing to go where You send me. With Your help, I will make a difference in one life, to Your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
You are one, but this week, you CAN make a difference. please be that difference. Be blessed.