Do you understand what you are reading?

Notice how Philip starts his conversation: with a question.   That leads the Ethiopian official to respond with a question of his own.   Soon enough, a natural conversation begins, and Philip is telling this fellow about Jesus.   Something had been stirring beneath the surface, and Philip’s one innocent question opened the floodgates of grace.

If only it were that simple, we may think.   Sharing about our faith can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.   It can start with asking one friendly question.   As he did for Philip, God goes ahead of us, sight unseen.   He prepares people’s hearts by prompting the kinds of questions the Ethiopian official was undoubtedly asking.   Our job, then, is to connect with them so that God can use us. How?   Like Philip, we can care, ask, and listen.

First, care:

Philip was ready to go wherever God led him to share the good news of Jesus.   You may not receive visions directing you as Philip did, but the Spirit can help you notice the people God sends into your path.   He can help you care about them and find the time to make contact with them.   Even if it’s just by smiling and looking them in the eye, you are telling them that they matter to you.   And that can make a world of difference.

Next, ask:

Just ask a question. Many people live isolated lives.   They may be delighted when you take an interest in them, their family, their concerns.   You can find out what is going on in their heart.   Remember, you’re not the only one who likes to talk about himself; everyone does!

Finally, listen:

Don’t try to convince; just try to connect.   Listen to what they have to say.   Your job isn’t to persuade them; it’s to walk beside them on the way to their own encounter with Jesus.   Many lasting relationships—and conversions—have begun over friendly conversations about God.

Talking about God doesn’t have to be complicated.   Start small: care, ask, and listen.   As he did with Philip, the Holy Spirit will give you opportunities to share your faith—at just the right time.

word among us

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