Imagine you are one of the early disciples whose stories are told in Acts 8. Your dear friend Stephen has just been martyred and you could be next. You scatter throughout Judea and Samaria along with the rest of the disciples.
But you don’t stop preaching. Your heart has been so changed by Jesus’ death and resurrection that you cannot stop telling people about it. Not even the threat of death can keep you from preaching.
This was the case for Philip. He was so passionate and fervent for the gospel that, when the doors of opportunity closed in one city, he “went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them” (Acts 8:5, HCSB). Despite being in danger, Philip was not going to stop preaching about Jesus, no matter what.
Remarkably, Philip chose to go to a Samaritan town. In that time, Jews and Samaritans did not get along, and Philip could expect ridicule for even associating with Samaritans. But the gospel had changed Philip. He didn’t hold prejudices against others. Instead he went straight to those who would listen and fearlessly preached the life-giving gospel to them so they might be saved.
What if we got past our biases and fears? What if we went to places others would never go and preached the gospel boldly like Philip did? What if we had confidence in the gospel’s power to radically change people’s lives? Philip didn’t care what others thought or did to him. He knew Jesus was the only way to real life, and he loved the Samaritans enough to go and tell them the good news.
Sending and Funding Missionaries
As we come together for Christ’s kingdom, we all should follow Philip’s example by preaching “the good news about the kingdom of God and name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12, HCSB). No matter where we are, we should all proclaim the gospel, His coming kingdom and the name of Jesus.
But one person cannot reach everybody. To reach more people with the gospel, believers must band together and send out missionaries. That’s why the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® (AAEO) exists, to fund the sending of missionaries throughout North America. When you give to AAEO, you join forces with millions of believers to reach the estimated 269 million lost people in the United States and Canada with the gospel.
When we give to AAEO, God uses our offering for His mission. When we give to AAEO, we work together for His kingdom.