Today's reading is form Acts 8-9
So often we view trials and hardships as problems to be overcome and forgotten. What we see here in this chapter is that the persecution of the believers scattered them to other areas, and soon after people from other places are putting faith in Christ (Simon the Sorcerer and the Ethiopian Eunuch). It was through this persecution that the church actually began to move outside of Jerusalem and into Judea and Samaria as the Acts 1:8 passage foretold. Is it possible that the trials or difficult circumstances we are going through today or yesterday is so that God can get us to the place where He wants us? Without this persecution from Saul and others, who knows if the church ever consciously scatters?
One of the great chapters of the Bible. We actually get to first-hand witness the greatest missionary/evangelist/pastor ever come to faith. The point of the story that I like the most is that no matter evidence he had heard about Christianity, nothing could replace the personal encounter that he had with Jesus. He was there while Stephen made a case for the faith, and he was aware of the claims the apostles were making about this man named Jesus, but it wasn't until he had real encounter with Jesus that he laid down his life. Two things it tells me: even the hardest of hearts cannot resist when they encounter Christ face-to-face and we have to do everything we can as followers of Jesus to help others have these encounters.
This is a great book! I'm loving it! Your thoughts?