Monday, May 23, 2011

martyrdom and evangelism

Good afternoon friends,
You may have noticed when Stephen was killed the witnesses against him laid their coats at the feet of a man named Saul. We're told today that Saul approved Stephen's killing and that this killing was the beginning of a severe persecution. The cool thing is that God can even use persecution to good purposes. The church is scattered, so the word is proclaimed more widely. Philip, another of the seven deacons appointed with Stephen preaches the good news in Samaria and they receive the message about Jesus gladly. Whatever is going on in our life now, God can use it for good if we open our hearts. That doesn't mean it will be easy, just that there is always hope.
Blessing on the new week,

Acts 8:1-8

And Saul approved of their killing him. That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria. 2Devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him. 3But Saul was ravaging the church by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women, he committed them to prison.

4Now those who were scattered went from place to place, proclaiming the word. 5Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. 6The crowds with one accord listened eagerly to what was said by Philip, hearing and seeing the signs that he did, 7for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured. 8So there was great joy in that city.

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