Check out all the previous Acts readings here.
Acts Reading Plan | Week 7 | Day 1
Pause. Still your mind and heart for a few moments. Pay attention to your breathing. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” As you come to spend time with Jesus, ask Him to come close and to fill you with joy in His presence.
Bible Reading: Acts 8:4-8
Read these verses three times slowly.
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.
Reflection & Questions
The persecution that broke out after Stephen’s stoning scattered the followers. But amazingly, it didn’t stop them preaching Jesus “wherever they went.” How could it? Their lives have been changed, and they wanted others to know Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit. As God so often does, he uses even suffering for good – the persecution spread the gospel to more places.
Luke focuses us on one of the scattered followers in chapter 8. We read about Philip before. He was one of the seven who were chosen to help solve the practical problem of feeding widows in chapter 6. In the scattering, Philip has gone to Samaria – the people the Jews hated (for their corrupt religion), but Philip is bringing them Jesus! He’s performing signs, proclaiming the Messiah. And the response is incredible: “There was great joy in that city.” That is what the gospel of Jesus brings: joy. Like the scattered followers, where we face trials in our lives, it doesn’t have to stop our mission. In fact, it might well give us more opportunities to talk about Jesus, to bring “great joy” to the people we encounter.
- In hard times, how can a believer stay on mission?
- Are you facing trials right now? Has it stopped or hindered your mission to reach your ONE(s)? Is there a way your trial could also be an opportunity?
Talk to God in response to the reading today.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
Check out more Bible Reading Plans here.