Monday, February 11, 2008

Day 8 - 28 Day Challenge

Persecution and power - Acts 8

The martyrdom of Stephen seemed to be a catalyst for more and more persecution of the church. Stephen was the first but it was only the opening to a flood.

Things were really changing. The church up to this point seemed to be one continuous story of growth and development. Now it was entering a dangerous and difficult time, one which the early church met head on.

Someone once said that being in the will of God was the safest place to be. That did no seem to apply to the early church. Dangerous, adventurous, heartbreaking and exciting may be some better adjectives.

The death of this great man Stephen really hit the church hard. So much so that we are told that it was a solemn occasion with not a dry eye in the house. God has never promised to take away the hardship but he did promise to be with us through it.

Sure there were tears in the early church. They faced difficulty and danger the like that I can only imagine but nothing would stop them.

v 4 - Forced to leave home base, the followers of Jesus all became missionaries. Wherever they were scattered, they preached the Message about Jesus.

My prayer

Thank you Father that you are always with me. You have promised to be with me at all times both the good and the bad. Help me never to forget that when things are easy and when things are hard. Help me always to listen to what you are saying and use every circumstance for your plan.


Anonymous said...

This only shows that there no gain without pains.We need to remember that in every story of success,there are a lot of chapters of tears,sacrifices,etc.Just think what if the apostles,seeing one of them stoned to death,decided to stop preaching the gospel.Maybe we would be who we are now.But knowing there would be hard times to come,our Lord Jesus sent them first his Holy Spirit to be with them all the time.In fact,Jesus was with them all the time via the Holy Spirit.This is one of the reasons why i love Jesus.He's always there to help us to keep going whatever the situation.Just knowing that He's here with me,makes me feel at peace.

Anonymous said...

I have come to realise how important is to read the bible there is always a solution to every circumstance we face, when going through these the holy spirit comes near and reminds us of God's promises which enables us to keep believing no matter how desperate the situation.
Father please help us / help me not just to go through this study , but help me to grasp the truth of your word and change me from the inside out. what if?

Anonymous said...

"Help me ... use every circumstance for your plan"
The challenge of persecution created the opportunity for exponential growth. The account of Philip in that chapter showed how they worked in obedience to God going where he wanted them to go and taking up every opportunity that God provided to share the message.

From experience the tendency is to allow the inconvenience of the challenging situation blind us to God's plan. Your prayer is a simple but key prayer we should all be praying.

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