Saturday, June 15, 2013

bloom where you're planted (or uprooted)

Good morning friends,
Today's passage is in some ways a microcosm of the whole book of Acts. God uses everything, including persecution and escape from danger to spread the gospel. When the church is persecuted, they protect themselves by escaping. They also risk themselves by continuing to spread the message of God's love. When running from danger leads them to surprising places, they keep opening their mouths and God uses that to bring more people into the shelter of the gospel. In the same way today, wherever we go we can bear witness to God's love with our words and actions.

God bless,

Acts 8:1-13
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.

9Now a certain man named Simon had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he was someone great. 10All of them, from the least to the greatest, listened to him eagerly, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” 11And they listened eagerly to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. 12But when they believed Philip, who was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13Even Simon himself believed. After being baptized, he stayed constantly with Philip and was amazed when he saw the signs and great miracles that took place.

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