01 February 2011
Today’s Reading: Exodus 30-32; Acts 8
1 …A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. 4 But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. (Acts 8:1, 4 NLT)
Jesus had said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all kinds of people.” The believers stayed in Jerusalem and the church grew and flourished there until persecution scattered them from the city.
Contrast this with the Antioch Church where missionary outreach was a direct and obedient response to the direction of the Holy Spirit: 1 Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man”), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul. 2 One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” 3 So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. 4 So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus. (Acts 13:1-4 NLT)
Friends, what do you think about this statement? “If I don’t respond obediently to the direction of the Holy Spirit for my life, I may either miss the blessing of fulfillment or else he’ll have to turn up the heat to get me moving!” Is this a legitimate Life-Lesson from today’s reading?
Father, Please help me to be sensitive to your Holy Spirit and responsive and obedient to your instruction and your direction. I don’t want to miss my part in your plan and I don’t want to have to go through unnecessary pain to get me moving forward. I trust you and I say “Yes” to your will and your way. Amen.