Question: In what way is your family gifted?
And when we had finished our voyage from Tyre,
we came to Ptolemais,
greeted the brethren,
and stayed with them one day.
8 On the next day
we who were Paul’s companions
departed and came to Caesarea,
and entered the house
of Philip the evangelist,
who was one of the seven,
and stayed with him.
9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.
Paul and his companions stayed with Phillip and his family before going up to Jerusalem. Phillip has always interested me because he is not called an Apostle nor a Pastor, but Phillip was an Evangelist and servant, and his four daughters were Prophets.
Are you a servant?
In this passage, Phillip is called one of the seven. These seven were referenced earlier in Acts 6 quoted below. The calling of the seven happened before Stephen was martyred which resulted in the believers being persecuted and dispersed. In the above passage, Phillip is now living in Caesarea. At the time before the dispersion, the duties of the seven included serving widows and most likely organizing others to serve the widows. This type of service was definitely out of the spotlight, but this humble service was still needful. I am writing this at the hospital with my wife. She had a complication with a procedure, and needs a little help walking around. Helping her for a few days helps give me just a very small glimpse into Phillip’s humble service to the widows. Are we willing to serve the church in a humble way as Phillip?
1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
3 “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;
4 “but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,
6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.
Are you an Evangelist?
Today’s passage also mentions that Philip is an Evangelist. This is most likely the same Philip that taught and baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8. An evangelist is a preacher of the good news who may travel around. The prefix Ev or in some words Eu means – Good. The word Angel means – a messenger. Therefore, you put the two words together, and you have a messenger of good news. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news the Evangelist speaks.
The gift of evangelism is said to be given from Christ. Like the gifts of an Apostle, Prophet, and Pastor / teacher, the purpose of the Evangelist is to equip and encourage the body of Christ.
Do you have a strong desire to proclaim the Gospel ? If so, then possibly you have a measure of the gift of Evangelism. However, even if you don’t have this strong desire, I believe all Christians are commanded to share the Gospel with those around them.
Over the years I have felt this strong desire. I enjoyed doing a little door to door work this past summer. Also Global Media Outreach has provided the best opportunity for me to evangelize online. Everyday we get email contacts from all around the world with whom we may share the Gospel (and so many other issues as well).
Ephesians 4:8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
What spiritual gifts do your Children have?
Phillip had four daughters with the gift of prophecy. Whether this gift is normative for today, I will discuss in my next blog post regarding Agabus.
So often we only think about our own spiritual gifts, but if our children are in Christ, then they are also gifted in some way. It is very challenging to determine our own gifts, and it is even harder to determine the gifts of our children. I know my teenage boys are very shy at church, and it is very challenging to get them involved to discover their spiritual gifting. This may be something they will just need to figure out when they get older.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
If anyone has any good family ministry stories, I would love to hear about them. Please share them in the comments section below.
God bless, Bob