Thursday, April 21, 2016


…and on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and
they were all scattered… Acts 8:1 NIV
The stones that struck Stephen fell smack into the middle of the newborn church and sent Christians fleeing in every direction like ripples on a pond. Wherever the believers were scattered to, they preached the good news. Everywhere they preached, many believed, and the church grew, even in the face of persecution.
Or was it because of the persecution?
Last Sunday, TV preacher James Merritt quoted Billy Graham: “Mountaintops are for the view and inspiration, but fruit grows in the valleys.”
The church grows explosively in seasons of persecution. Worldly wisdom says, “Look what’s happening there to those people! No way I’m getting anywhere near that storm.” But people hungry for more look and say, “Wonder what they have that’s worth so much? I’m gonna check it out.”
When the things of the world—civil rights, property, livelihood, even life—are taken from you, you learn what you really need. And you learn what you really have that can never be taken away.
Avi, I like the life You’ve blessed me with here. I like being free to worship You openly. I like being able to talk to You out loud. I like being able to talk about You anytime I want to. I don’t want to be persecuted for my faith.
But if I’m tested with the things that have happened, and are still happening, to so many Christians, help me to remember what an honor it is to stand with You in the sight of that great cloud of witnesses and face down the enemy.           
Help me to trust You with my life, Avi.  
In Your holy name, Amen.


No comments:

Post a Comment