5 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Kings 8:1-66
Acts 7:51–8:13
Psalm 129:1-8
Proverbs 17:1

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Acts 8:4 (NLT): “But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

When we read the context in which the verse I have chosen for today is found, we realize that men and women who followed Jesus were being persecuted.

In Acts 7, we read that Stephen, one of the deacons at the first church (Acts 6:1-6), was taken into custody. He boldly proclaimed the Gospel and courageously pointed out the sin of his listeners. His Gospel efforts were met with a force that effectively silenced him – they threw big rocks at him until he died.

In Acts 8:1-3, we read that men and women, boys and girls who followed Jesus, were dragged out of their houses and put in jail for refusing to deny their allegiance to Jesus.

In Acts 8:4-8, we read that Philip (another of the original deacons) was unfazed. He refused to let jail time or death keep him from proclaiming the Gospel to those who so desperately needed it.

Acts 8:4-5 (NLT): “But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah.”

They were “scattered” because of persecution. They were looking for places that might prove safer. But, whether they stayed or left, those persecuted Christians couldn’t help but talk to others about Jesus.

In America, we are free to share the Gospel. There are virtually no repercussions for sharing the Gospel with those we encounter throughout the day. Yet, very few people who claim allegiance to Jesus ever tell others about Him. The early Christians shared the Gospel that caused them to be persecuted, while too many contemporary Christians rarely share the Gospel in the face of freedom.

Lord Jesus, please renew a fire within us to proclaim Your Name to those who desperately need to hear about how they can be forgiven and come into a relationship with You. It is not Your will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But, in order to repent, they need someone to share the Good News of what You have done for them. Please give me boldness today to be ready to share the Good News of the Gospel with whomever I have an opportunity. Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Arthur Miranda on Unsplash