All of my life we have prayed for revival. We ask God to send people that need Him to our churches. As much as we love each other, and the new people coming in, we still will have problems. Look at the first church.
Acts 6:1, “Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.”New American Standard Bible
Complaints come from those being overlooked. In this case, the Hellenistic Jewish widows were not being fed. So, after fasting and prayer, they chose Stephen to ensure they were given food. Stephen was martyred.
Acts 8:1, “…And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.”New American Standard Bible
Disciples scatter. Apostles stay. How do we become an apostle? Spend time with Jesus.
The disciples did not abandon their faith. They preached everywhere they went. They were witnesses in their country, the next country, and to the remotest parts of the world, see Acts 1:8. But eventually, they had to come back to Jerusalem.
Acts 8:25, “So, when they had solemnly testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, and were preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.”New American Standard Bible
Those who scattered were sent, and the road they were on wasn’t pleasant.
Acts 8:26, “But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, ‘Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a desert road.)”New American Standard Bible
The disciples couldn’t avoid persecution by leaving town. It followed them.
Acts 9:2, “…so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.”New American Standard Bible
Jesus stopped Saul on the road to Damascus. He went from being a persecutor to joining the persecuted.
Acts 9:22, “But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews…”New American Standard Bible
Where did Saul’s strength originate?
Acts 9:9, 11, “And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. 11) …a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.'”New American Standard Bible
Strength comes from fasting and praying. But no matter how strong we become, at some point, we have to return home, see Acts 9:30. Home is where they know you – the good and the bad. They know your history and will not shower you with honor, see Mark 6:4.
Your greatest witness is going home and letting them see how God has changed you. Your greatest testimony is how you treat your family, friends, and those in need.
Acts 9:36, “Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.”New American Standard Bible
It is easy to do “Random Acts of Kindness” for strangers. Charity begins at home.
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