Psalms 100-102

1 Corinthians 1


“On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.”    — Acts 8:1


When the churches in our communities are quickly gaining popularity, we should be cautious before we get too excited. If everything is running smoothly, we can become a little too comfortable, which may lead to complacency in what God has called us to do as His church.

        God’s tool is not our comfort, but again and again, our discomfort in order to get the job done. After Pentecost, the disciples had turned Jerusalem upside down with the Gospel. Acts 2 records the first church of Jesus Christ being established in Jerusalem. In Acts 3 and 4, the disciples were witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Acts 5-7, they were still witnesses in Jerusalem. This was months and possibly years gone by where the church remained in Jerusalem, still at stage one and going nowhere. Instead of being concerned with the procedure Jesus had given them, they remained comfortable in their own routine, with no one venturing into Judea, much less Samaria.

        So what does God do? He disturbs their comfort. The church in Jerusalem is suddenly faced with severe opposition, which began with the martyrdom of Stephen. But here are the consequences: “All except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.” These were the very places they were told to go, and the church of Jesus Christ has now become a persecution-driven church, driven to obedience.

        Interestingly, it was not the apostles who first crossed the borders, but “all except the apostles.” Evangelism is not the professional task of a few, but of the whole church taking the whole Gospel to the whole world. Though we live in a different era, we can look back and see to what extent we are looking into a mirror within our own churches. The purity, fullness and experience of the Gospel are related to whether or not we are on mission for Christ. The moment the church in Jerusalem began to mix their self-interests with Christ’s agenda, there was a decline in power, outreach and growth.

        Sometimes God will take us out of our comfort zones into new areas of service for Him, which may involve risk. If corporately we want to be a part of a movement of God, it will be to the measure of which individually we bring our lives in line with the purposes of Christ. And when we do, there is nothing more exciting than seeing what God will do!


PRAYER: Lord God, I pray for a great work of Your Holy Spirit within Your church that will band all Christians together with the agenda of reaching the world for You. Thank You, Lord.


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