SCRIPTURE FROM: Acts 8:4-6 (VOICE)
TEXT: 4 All those who had been scattered by the persecution moved from place to place; and wherever they went, they weren’t afraid or silent. Instead, they spread the message of Jesus. 5 Philip, for example, headed north to the city of Samaria, and he told them the news of the Anointed One. 6 The crowds were united in their desire to understand Philip’s message. They not only listened with their ears, but they witnessed miraculous signs with their eyes.
OBSERVATION: The Scripture today continues after we were told how believers were persecuted. One of the disciples, Stephen, had just been stoned to death after a sermon he delivered. Saul, known for persecuting Christians, was coming into town, and the church at Jerusalem just scattered in an effort to save their own lives. Would our church today be any different in trying to protect our lives?
APPLICATION: I believe that the question for us today is: ‘How firm is our faith?’; ‘How committed are we to serving God?’; What will it take to disrupt our dedication and commitment to our Lord? For many today, they are not impacted by persecution such as stoning or maiming or murder, it’s simply some of these things: too rainy; don’t like the pastor anymore; don’t like the small room they’ve placed our class in; can’t handle the new music; The only day I have to go to the beach; the only day I have to sleep in; etc. So putting aside the excuses that we use in attending worship services or doing work for the Lord, can you even imagine having to leave a town because of persecution, then go to the town right next to you and start right away with the same ministry that you were just persecuted for? Notice that the Word says nothing about how much Philip and his companions were blessed or enriched by what they did, but rather how lost people were being saved and touched by the gospel. Friends, I truly believe that the things we unselfishly do for the Lord will have meaningful results for the Lord, and they will not go unnoticed by Him. When our aim in ministry is solely for the purpose of lifting up the name of Jesus, then He will receive glory. When we are trying to use the gospel for selfish reasons to show our neighbor up about their actions, or to see ourselves lifted up, then God nor us receive blessings from that type of action. Its all about Jesus, friends. It’s Jesus that saved us; Jesus that maintains us; and therefore Jesus that should be praised for all things that we become involved in. In closing, let me challenge you with a few questions: When persecutors are hot on your trail, and looking for ways to destroy you, what will you wind up doing? Will you stay strong in the faith or will you run and hide? Who gets more praise out of your ministry, you or God?
PRAYER: Father, we are humbled by what Philip and his helpers did, even under extenuating circumstances. Please impress upon us the importance of staying true to Your work and ministry even when it may appear like our world is closing in on us. I believe it is evident that Satan will use every tactic to disrupt Your work. Please help us to keep our eyes fixed on You and depend on You every day for our every need, and for direction. Our people need the Lord, and only You can touch their heart Lord, so we wait, we wait on You, Lord. Have thine own way and may the glory be Yours for all that’s achieved through us, Your humble servants. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!