I started drinking coffee in university and I haven’t stopped. I drink about four cups of coffee every day. At Christmas, I often receive gifts of coffee. When I travel, I look for special coffee shops to try different kinds of coffee. My son actually refers to coffee as “Daddy’s drink." It is at the point where some people have actually said to me, “I was having coffee and thought of you”. Why am I telling you this? Because just as some people have begun to associate coffee with me, we make connections between things all the time.
As Christians, we hope that people will see our love for God and for each other, and better understand Jesus. Our brains can make powerful connections between actions, words, smells and pictures so that one thing suddenly makes us think of another. These connections can be wonderful when they remind us of what is truly important. As Christians, the symbol we are most often associated with is the cross.
This has become the symbol that makes just about everyone think, “Christian” because it reminds all of us that Jesus died on the cross to pay the cost of our sins, and free us from sin and death.
As a family, take turns sharing something that you connect with someone. Just as coffee makes my son think of me, think of something that helps you remember your Mom, Dad, brother, sister, etc.
For today’s devotional, we are going to read a story about a powerful man who was trying to understand God’s Word, but needed help in making the right connection to know Jesus.
Today’s Bible Passage: Acts 8:26-40
Activity: Paper, tape, pencils/crayons/markers (to draw or write), access to youtube
As a family, open your Bible and read Acts 8:26-35
Philip was faithful to God by going where he was told, and along the way, he encounters an important official. This man had come from Ethiopia, and it may have taken as long as two months to get from there to Jerusalem. We know that this man had come to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way back, he was reading from the scroll of Isaiah. This very important and influential man was seeking God, but as we see, he did not understand what he was reading, because no one explained it to him. (v.31)
A Scroll with Hebrew writing
The passage mentioned in verse 32 and 33 is from Isaiah 53:7-8 which speaks of the sacrifice that Jesus would make. The lamb that was silent was to symbolize how Jesus willingly went to the cross to save us. By making the connection between what the man was reading and his desire to know God, Philip was able to explain God’s Word and share the good news of Jesus with him.
Now, take a moment and think about something that reminds you of Jesus. It can be an image, an action or word, but take some time and talk about why that particular thing reminds you of Him.
Now, read Acts 8:36-40
As a result of learning about Jesus, this man was overjoyed and he took the first opportunity he could, to be baptized. Afterwards, Philip was led away to continue serving God, but the man went on his way rejoicing! By obeying what God had told him to do, Philip was able to encounter this man who was seeking God but needed someone to help him understand. And this man who was seeking God, received Philip who was sent by God to help him! That was an incredible connection that God made!
A very good question: Where is verse 37?
Many translations have verse 37 somewhere at the bottom of the page rather than right there in the text. If you did not find it, verse 37 reads:
“If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
So why isn’t this verse with the rest of the passage? We do not have the original copies of the books of the Bible, but we do have many different copies and many of them are very old. While a lot of copies have verse 37 in the text, some of the oldest copies do not, and so, to make sure we are being accurate with what was written, most modern Bibles put the verse at the bottom. This tells us two things:
1. Even today, it takes a lot of hard work to make sure what we read in our Bible is accurate
2. Even when small differences occur, we make a note of them to make sure that we are telling the whole truth
Many people in this world are seeking after God but may not have heard of Jesus or made that connection. As Christians, it is our duty to share the gospel, and we have to be ready at all times because we never know when God will present us with an opportunity to share it. This is why it is so important for us to study, and to be willing to go out of our way to share the good news of Jesus. Also, it reminds us that when we have questions, we can ask others who may know the answers.
Activity: Make your own paper scroll!
You will need: Paper, tape, pencils/markers (to draw on it), access to youtube
We read in the story that the Ethiopian eunuch was reading from a scroll. Books and computers did not exist back then, so important documents like the Bible were recorded on scrolls. So, for today, I want to encourage you to make your own scroll. Write on it something you think is important, to remember it and keep it safe!
Check out the YouTube video here.
Have a blessed day!