Up and At It for The Lord (Acts 8:30-31)
Acts 8:30-31, “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.”
John Heinz, who was born in 1844 to German immigrants in Pittsburg, PA, was an industrious teenager. He turned a business of selling horseradish grown in his mother's garden into the largest pickle and condiment manufacturing company in the world. In 1875, a national financial collapse drove the young company into bankruptcy. Despite the legal freedom bankruptcy gave him, Heinz regarded each of the company’s outstanding debts as a moral obligation and personally paid back every penny. H. J. Heinz built his company to be a people-oriented place.
Heinz went on to found the H.J. Heinz Company with its 57 varieties and became a leading American businessman. A devout Christian, he was known for the generous treatment of his employees and his generosity to Christian causes. Throughout his life Heinz conducted his business and personal dealings with the same integrity that led him to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars he technically did not have to pay back.
It is said that no fairer, franker man in business affairs ever lived. He helped promote the Pure Food and Drug Act in the U.S., which greatly enhanced the quality of processed foods. His epigram was that every successful business must be "run from the heart." His other memorable saying was: "Make all you can honestly, save all you can prudently, and give all you can wisely."
One day, at an evangelistic service, the speaker challenged Heinz saying, "You are a believer but with all your energy why aren't you up and at it for the Lord?" The young businessman went home in anger. That night he couldn't sleep. At four o'clock in the morning he prayed that God would use him to lead others to Christ. Soon afterwards, at a meeting of bank presidents, Heinz turned to the man next to him and told him of his joy in knowing Jesus. His friend looked at him in surprise and said, "Because I knew you were a Christian, I've wondered many times why you never spoke to me about salvation." That man became the first of 267 people H. J. Heinz eventually led to Jesus Christ.
In Acts 8, God directs Philip to a roadside encounter with an Ethiopian court official who stood reading from the book of Isaiah. Philip met him in the middle of a desert, not by coincidence. In the Scripture, we see that the Holy Spirit prompted Philip to “go over and join the chariot.” Philip ran to the man and found him reading from the book of Isaiah. The Ethiopian man expressed his desire to know more about what the Scripture was saying. As one reads through the chapter, it is clear that Philip seized the opportunity to explain the Scripture and proclaim the good news of the Gospel to the man. We see even further evidence that the man responded in faith to the Gospel because we see him pursuing baptism straight away.
POINTS TO PONDER:
When I am busy with my day, am I looking for “God ordained moments” to share the Gospel?
Have I ever had an experience like the one just described? What did I do?
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
People's hearts are ready to hear the good news about Jesus Christ if we only would share His joy with them.
Today, give thanks that the Lord is your hope and ask for an opportunity to share Him with others.
PRAYER: Father, thank You for Your wonderful gift of the Gospel. Help me to keep my eyes and ears open to Your leading to help share what has so impacted me. Give me the courage and the words to share with any person You direct me to meet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.