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August 19, 2022
Today’s reading: Acts 8:1, 4
From persecution to preaching the Word
We read in Acts 8:1, 4:
At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles… Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.
Yahshua commanded His followers that they should go out into the world and preach the Gospel (Acts 1:8). However, up to this time, the majority of Christ’s followers are in Jerusalem. It seems that these people were reluctant to go out of their comfort zone and share the good news.
Now, we see here how the first-century Christians were persecuted. The death of Stephen was just the start. First, the Apostles were harassed, now, the religious leaders were attacking the whole church.
It’s quite interesting that one of the results of this persecution is that the Christ-followers were made to scatter throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. From there, they were scattered everywhere, preaching or sharing God’s word.
We are seeing here how God fulfills His purpose and will. Even in bad situations, God finds a way to use it for good.
Christ’s followers would have just stayed in Jerusalem. This might have greatly delayed the spreading of God’s word. However, because of persecution, the followers of Yahshua were forced out of necessity to find a new place. In the process, they also shared the Gospel with people whom they met.
This teaches us an important lesson: God can shake us out of our comfort zone and guide us into His will and purpose.
It is not because God is happy when we suffer. It is because God perfectly knows that it is through trials that we develop the right character we need to reign with Yahshua in His Kingdom.
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