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6th July 2014
We read in Acts 8:26-40 about a Holy Spirit set up! This meeting between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch was set up by God. Philip had just come from an atmosphere of revival, where he had been seeing people set free and joy in the city. But the Spirit whispered to him about leaving that revival environment to go out to the desert road.
The Ethiopian had travelled hundreds of miles to visit the temple, but he wouldn’t have actually been allowed into the temple because he was a eunuch. He went thinking he would meet with God, but all he found was religion that kept him out.
What the eunuch needed was not a set of rules, but someone to stand in the gap and invite him in. He would’ve been struck by the verses in Isaiah that talked about God giving eunuchs a legacy – and indeed we are talking about this one 2,000 years later!
He would’ve been struck by the passage he was reading, where it mentions the man who had no descendants. No wonder the Ethiopian wanted to know who the man in Isaiah is! It is Jesus – and just as Jesus knew what the eunuch was going through, so he knows what we are going through.
For the eunuch, it wasn’t about what had gone before. It was about what he would do now. The end of the race is always more important than the beginning of the race. Some of us have done things of which we are deeply ashamed, but the end of our race is more important than the beginning – today, you can draw a line under the past. Jesus died the death that you should’ve died so that you can live the life that he should’ve lived.
The apostle Paul had persecuted Christians, but when he came to the end of his life, he could say: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)
It’s not how you’ve started your race, it’s what you’re going to do with the rest of it. No matter what’s happened so far, are you going to finish well?
Listen to the 'Finishing well' sermon here.
Image: 'The Finishing Line' by Pete.
Posted by Tom Head