Jesus had said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all kinds of people." In fact, Jesus specifically mentioned Judea and Samaria as the first places to take the Gospel Message beyond Jerusalem... "But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8 NLT)
However, the believers had stayed in Jerusalem, and the church grew and flourished there until persecution scattered them from the city.
Contrast this with the Antioch Church where missionary outreach was a direct and obedient response to the prompting of the Holy Spirit: 1 Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called "the black man"), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul. 2 One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them." 3 So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. 4 So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus. (Acts 13:1-4 NLT)
Friends, what do you think about this statement? "If I don't respond promptly and obediently to the direction of the Holy Spirit for my life, I may either miss the blessing of fulfillment or else he'll have to turn up the heat to get me moving!"
Is this a legitimate Life-Lesson from today's reading?
Father, Please help me to be sensitive to your Holy Spirit and responsive and obedient to your instruction and your direction. I don't want to miss my part in your plan, and I don't want to have to go through unnecessary pain to get moving forward. I trust you, and I say "Yes" to your will and your way. Amen.
10/04/2015 by Jim Stephens
Reference(s): Acts 8:1,4, 1:8, 13:1-4
Reading: Acts 8; Psalm 84
1 ...A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. 4But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. (Acts 8:1, 4 NLT
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