When I was a lecturer at Ridley, I used to listen to the stories of faith that students shared regarding how they came to be studying Theology at Ridley, and putting themselves forward as Christian ministers. One such story struck me. She told of a dysfunctional family life, where she ended up living with her grandparents. She remembers early years of going to church, when her parents went to church, but then had a falling out with the minister, and never went again. There was much heartache in her young life, and anger at God, if there was such a being, for her unhappiness and misery. Her grandparents were her only shining light. And, they died in her late teenage years. After high school, when she was a student at the music conservatory, she relates waking one morning with a burning need, almost like a voice inside her mind, to go to church. So she got up, got dressed, and went to the local church. It was boring, and irrelevant, and confusing, and afterwards, no one spoke to her. She went home, saying to herself, never again. But a week later, she was again woken early in the morning with a pounding in her head and a conviction that she should go to church. Again she obeyed the inward command. This time she went to another church. She didn’t much understand what was being said, about God, but afterwards, there was an amazingly warm response from people towards her. There were people her age, who welcomed her, and invited her to come to social gatherings, and studies. It was over the next six months that she was eventually led to a commitment to Jesus. This idea of God not being far from any of us permeates this story of the Ethiopian eunuch, and how he came to be a Christian. Three things stand out from this story, and the story of my young student. And it is those three things that I want us to explore today.
1. God is not far from any of us, and God wants all of us to come to experience his love. No obstacle is too large for God to overcome.'
2. Jesus is the key to seeking after God, and understanding his message of love found in the Scriptures. We need to help people see this truth.
3. The Holy Spirit prepares us, the situation, and the people we go to. We need to discern the Spirit’s movement in our lives. We need to take time to listen to the wind of the Spirit, in prayer, and through God’s Word. And then, we need to be obedient to what we are being called to do.
Will you take the challenge as we seek to work with God to open the doors of his kingdom to those whom he is seeking to save?