MORNING MEDITATION

“God’s Ways…!”

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“God’s Ways…!”(Acts.8:1-8)
In one of his resurrection appearances, and before his ascension into heaven, Jesus told the apostles, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”(Acts 1:8).
This promised wave of evangelisation did not happen through a decision taken during a Church Council. Rather, it happened through the stoning of Stephen, who before his death, prayed, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” What irony that at the stoning of this martyr, “Saul was there, giving approval to his death.”
Reflecting on the death of Stephen and other martyrs, Tertullian, a 2nd century Church father wrote, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” So to say, when a martyr willingly sacrifices his life, it leads to the conversion of others.
God works in ways we cannot decipher until the deed has been done. The death of Stephen sparked a great persecution against the Church in Jerusalem, “and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria…”, and “those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went…” Meanwhile, “Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.”
We note that the apostles to whom the commission to spread the good news had been given, did not participate in this first great wave of spreading the gospel. They sat tight in Jerusalem! Is it that they had not yet received the promised Holy Spirit?
Philip was among the scattered believers whose proclamation of Christ had a positive impact in the city of Samaria. The people heard him and saw the miraculous signs he did, and paid close attention to what he said. There was great joy in that city as God used him to perform healing miracles.
Opposite to Philip on that day the persecution broke out was Saul, who moved from house to house, dragging off men and women to prison. But not long after this, this enemy of the Gospel will become the most outstanding soul winner for Christ and great defender of the Gospel of Christ. It is never over until it is over!
Whoever has heard the gospel is an evangelist of the gospel. Even if you are running away from persecution, tell the people you meet the reason for your persecution. In this way you will be spreading the gospel.
Also, we should be loving towards those who oppose the gospel today. They may be the Sauls of today, but soon to be the Pauls tomorrow.
Weekend prayer: Holy Spirit empower us to spread the Gospel under any and every circumstances. Amen!
Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.

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