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Called from Success to the Desert


desert run
Philip was a leader among leaders having had an accomplished career. He was an articulate spokesperson having been an influencer in his day. After the ascension of Jesus Philip selflessly served fellow believers. In
(Acts 6)“They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the word of God spread. v5-7”
Philip is the second named in the list those chosen to lead to address the complaint that widows and others among the disadvantaged were neglected in the distribution of resources.

Philip was selected having a good reputation, godly and full of practical wisdom. This is like many among us in our churches today. After commissioning the seven deacons, Philip was among those that moved out as opposition mounted. He ended up in
(Samaria)“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
where the gospel was destined to go. Philip had a very effective missionary ministry as we read in Acts 8. Today those that are of good repute, full of godly wisdom and people of accomplishment are selected as leaders.

What happened is a lesson that reaches to many of us who are in successful careers. In the midst of success the Lord got a hold of him. Philip was an effective communicator. Crowds gathers and were moved to action by his compelling messages. His godliness was confirmed as demons were cast out, people were healed and there was great joy at that time.
(Acts 8:5-8)“Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.”
What happened to Philip next? The Lord called him away from his successful endeavors. He was told to go south to the desert! He might have reacted, “The desert? What is in the desert? I’m doing great where I am.” It was only after he left success and went out, that the Lord revealed to him why. What follows is the story of Philip explaining Christ to the Ethiopian Eunuch. Philip could not have predicted the result of fulfilling that missionary calling. It was the start of the entire Coptic church movement that persists to this day.

What will be the outcome of you as a Christ-follower moving out of your successful zone to serve and influence those that need a touch from the Lord in an unfamiliar place? Can you be like Philip, be willing to leave success to go to a place where you might least expect? This is a call for you to explore your options with all that the Lord has invested in you. We are not our own, but bought with a price
(*)1 Corinthians 6:19-20
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Nelson Malwitz, Founder, Chief Innovation Officer

Nelson Malwitz, Founder, Chief Innovation Officer

Nelson is the generic Evangelical baby-boomer. Born in 1946, raised in the C&MA, he attended Urbana ’67 in college. He holds an MS degree in Chemical Engineering and worked in R&D positions in American industry for 33 years. Nelson is an inventor with formal training in methods of creative problem-solving. He was a founding elder at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, CT (1982) and served in many leadership capacities of what is now one of the largest Evangelical churches in New England. In 1998 Nelson founded the Finishers Project, now MissionNext. Locally he attends a Torah study and serves as chairman of the Sewer Commission in his community to be a witness among unchurched leaders.

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