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The Great Shepherd of the sheep keeps new believers strong

The Search Party
The Persecution – Part 2

Scripture Reading: Acts 8:1-8

Key Verse: Acts 8:1

And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.

As noted yesterday, all the early believers, except the apostles, were being scattered by the persecution.  Can you imagine what was going on in the minds of the apostles?  Put yourself in their place; your church is full of excitement and growing like crazy on one day.  Then on the next day, they must have assumed their church was destroyed and vanished!  Surely their discussions turned to a dozen “whys” and their prayers were desperate to stop the persecution.

At first anyway the apostles had no clue what God was up to and how He was using the persecution to spread the Gospel around the world.  They, no doubt, wondered if these new believers would survive this terrible wave of persecution.  Would they give up and give in?  Would they go back to the Jewish faith and find relief from all this persecution?  The answer, the apostles would soon find out, was “no”!  The Great Shepherd of the sheep was keeping these new believers strong.  These untrained and mostly uneducated “saints” were preaching the Word wherever they went.

What are you up against today?  Is anybody threatening your life because you believe in Jesus?  No?  Then be sure to live a life of gratitude today.  Be faithful and rejoice always!  At least for now, we are free to live out our faith!

Father, forgive me for complaining about the small things that go wrong in my life.  I will shine bright for you today so a dark world can see a better way.  In Jesus’ name, amen.