26 An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip: “Get up and go south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is the desert road.) 27 So he got up and went. There was an Ethiopian man, a eunuch and high official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to worship in Jerusalem 28 and was sitting in his chariot on his way home, reading the prophet Isaiah aloud…  The eunuch said, “Look, there’s water! What would keep me from being baptized?”… both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any longer. But he went on his way rejoicing. ~ Acts 8:26-28; 36, 39

   I doubt Philip understood why he was whisked away from productive work for the Lord, (a mighty revival), to find himself in the desert with one man, and a eunuch at that! 

What was God thinking? 

Uh… perhaps God was thinking that this man needed to be saved?

Future generations of Christians would be impacted because of Philip’s obedience and the Ethiopian’s salvation.  (The great early church fathers Origen and Augustine came from the church in Northern Africa.) 

Much is at stake when we sense the Spirit of God moving us to a new area of ministry, or prompting us to speak up for the Lord, or to give to those in need.  It is never for superficial reasons; no, there is always a plan and purpose at work.  Someone needs us to obey. 

Perhaps God moves us out of our “comfort-zone” to use our lives for a greater good than we could ever imagine, allowing us to impact many more people than just those in our contact list.   

Who will “go on their way rejoicing” today, because we obeyed?

I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart

“When you obey me, you remain in my love… I have told you this so that… your joy will overflow.”  ~ John 15:10-11 NLT


According to Jesus, there is a formula for joy: Joy = obedience + love, or to simplify: Joy is found in loving obedience.  I discovered this truth today as I looked up scriptures that highlighted the example of Christ that his “followers” should follow.  Jesus was always challenging us with choices that seem way out of our reach and this one definitely is a stretch.  We all want to remain in the wonderful, comforting love of the Lord, but coupling it with obedience raises the difficulty factor.

So many times when we walk in obedience we find ourselves questioning the Father’s plan and struggling to embrace joy.  Could it be that the elusive emotion is not joy, but happiness?  Happiness comes and goes with the circumstances of our lives; but true joy abides and cannot be impacted by the situation we find ourselves in.  Knowing that we are loved and held in the palm of the Father’s hand should cause joy to explode in our hearts, no matter where those (physical) hearts may currently be residing.

   Dear Father, as I struggle to obey joyfully, please help me to never forget that your never-ending, perfect love is also written into the equation.  YOU are love and when I am in You, joy will occur as naturally as the breath I breathe.  Thank you for this truth.  Please help me to remember it…  Joyfully yours, Amen.