Acts chapters 8 and 9 have recorded in them a number of amazing stories. Actually, more than amazing, they are MIRACULOUS! These two chapters are full of people that responded to the commands and the leading of the Lord. When they were directed to move or go…they did!
In these two chapters, people were continually told to get up and move. They were sent, told to arise and go, come to, go thy way, and various other versions of being called to action. God was continually sending people out to share the gospel. The message being sent then and now is that Christ died for ALL. Mercy, grace and salvation are available to everyone. The impact of the faithfulness, the willingness and obedience of Philip, Peter, Paul and others was dynamic!
The results of these efforts are recorded in Acts 9:31: “The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.”
One of the amazing aspects of this spiritual growth is that it was preceded by a time of great persecution. So there may be times when we are called to suffer for Christ. After all, Jesus Christ, God’s only son, suffered greatly and willingly so that we all can have the opportunity to become a child of God.
So what does this mean to us? How does this impact how we live our lives? Well James 1:22 says, “Be ye doers of word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” The fine folks in Chapter 8 and 9 were certainly doers of the word. James 2:18 says, “Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” As believers, we have to ask ourselves, can the people around us see our faith by our works?
The answer to the question may be “no” for some and “yes” for others; or for some the answer may be “yes” some days and “no” other days. One thing that might help us to be consistent doers of the word is to remind ourselves just what it is God has called us to do.
Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
In other words, God has called us to do the same thing he asked the believers in Acts 8 and 9 to do, arise and go share the gospel with those around us. Please remember you don’t have to have hundreds of verses memorized to share the gospel. All you have to do is testify, share your story and tell someone what God has done for you. God has called us to be faithful and obedient in sharing the gospel and we can trust him for the increase.
Being faithful to the will of the Lord may result in struggles, trials, and hardships for us, but it is worth it. For God will bless our obedience and faithfulness. Also, remember the promise of our Lord, that He will be with us always, even to the end of the world!