Faith Promise - What's Next - Day 09

Read Acts 8:26-40

As we mentioned yesterday, Acts 8 focused on the gospel spreading out from Judea to Samaria, just like Jesus said it would in Acts 1:8.  This involves the gospel saving and restoring people who were traditionally excluded from being able to engage in worship of Yahweh at the Temple.  The story of the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch is amazing on the surface, but when we understand the religious subtext of what’s happening the redemption of this man only grows in its beauty!

The Samaritans discussed in the first half of the chapter were excluded from worship at the Temple by mutual choice: the Jews didn’t want them there and they had built their own temple anyway.  But a eunuch would be different.  The text tells us that the eunuch desired to worship and that he had even procured a scroll of the Book of Isaiah, which would not have been cheap or easy to get.  However, what isn’t said directly in the text but would have been understood by early readers of the Book of Acts, this eunuch would not have been allowed to enter the Temple grounds because of his physical imperfections.  Deuteronomy 23:1 explicitly states that no immaculate male could be included within the religious community.  When Philip tells this man the Gospel and leads him into a life-changing relationship with Jesus, there is more going on than immediately meets the eye.  The Gospel is not only saving this man from his sins, but it is also bringing him into a community that he had been previously excluded from because that community was based off of works and not on grace.  But Jesus’ work on the cross changed that forever!
Reflection & Prayer
For this reading plan we will be using a tool to guide our study of Scripture that’s called the S.O.A.P. Method.  It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.  We recommend you use a journal with this method and write out your thoughts on each of these areas for each day of reading.  It doesn’t have to be long-winded and you don’t need a fancy journal.  But for anyone that has not journaled before, the benefit is that it often helps us focus and avoid distractions during prayer and Bible study.

S.O.A.P. Method

Scripture - Pick a verse or two that stood out to you and write it in your journal.  Be looking for a “Holy Spirit Highlight.”  What did you read and think “I needed to hear that” or felt like it was written just for you?

Observation - Now write some observations about the verse(s) or passage. What is this passage or verse saying? About God? About people? How is Jesus revealed in these verses? 

Application - Now write a few sentences on how this passage applies to your life. Is there truth about God that you are to believe? A promise to receive? Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of something you need to do or stop doing in light of God’s truth? 

Prayer - Now write out a prayer to God in response to this Scripture. This is a way to turn God’s Word to you back to Him. Be honest and express your heart to Him. God always listens and He delights in your prayers. (Psalm 34:15; Proverbs 15:8)