God’s Acts…All believers became missionaries!
As look back over my life, I remember many moments in time when God literally pushed me out of a “comfortable, just got my act together and doing well, going to do this for the rest of my life” place for another challenging task. He will always move us on when the time is right. Why do we fight it? Because we like being comfortable. When we are comfortable we are prone to take control and think we have control of life. We don’t. We must say YES to God’s best.
God has scattered the believers from their comfort zones by allowing widespread persecution of the new believers. The infant church of God is forced into outlaying districts because of threats on their lives. The apostles hold their ground as they reach and teach others to exponentially reach others where they live and beyond. This phrase, this glorious thought, leaps out to me today…”Forced to leave home base, the Christians all became missionaries.”
Let’s take the next chapter a little at a time. Meditate on what God is doing and still does in all our lives.
Acts 8, The Message
After the stoning of Stephen…
(Saul was right there, congratulating the killers. More about him later!)
Simon the Wizard
8 1-2 That set off a terrific persecution of the church in Jerusalem. The believers were all scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. All, that is, but the apostles. Good and brave men buried Stephen, giving him a solemn funeral—not many dry eyes that day!
3-8 And Saul just went wild, devastating the church, entering house after house after house, dragging men and women off to jail. Forced to leave home base, the followers of Jesus all became missionaries. Wherever they were scattered, they preached the Message about Jesus. Going down to a Samaritan city, Philip proclaimed the Message of the Messiah. When the people heard what he had to say and saw the miracles, the clear signs of God’s action, they hung on his every word. Many who could neither stand nor walk were healed that day. The evil spirits protested loudly as they were sent on their way. And what joy in the city!
What do we learn?
–Paul is allowed to scatter the Christians through persecution.
–Believers leave home base and become missionaries preaching the message of Jesus Christ fervently.
–Believers are on fire with passion to preach! Why? When we are forced to fully rely on God, miracles happen, hearts fill with passion for His work in us and through us, we see the bigger picture that does not include where we live but WHO we live for!
Reflection: WHO do we live for, bank all we are on and believe in with passion? Are we willing to leave what we know best for where God is leading for His glory and praise? How bad do we want God’s best? As believers, are we telling the story or comfortably holding it to ourselves.
Dear Heavenly Father, We are all missionaries in this dark world who is dying to know You…they just don’t realize it…yet. Ignite Your passionate longing for people to come back to You, love you back and trust You…in us. Give us boldness as You give us opportunities to tell Your Story that gives Life to the lifeless, Hope to the hopeless and saving Love and Grace to those who feel unloved. May Your Name be praised forevermore. I believe!
In Jesus Name, Amen