A great persecution broke out … [and] those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.
Acts 8:1, 4
A few years ago our church began to mentor at-risk children who attend a nearby school. After a while some of the mentors began to invite the kids to our church’s boys’ and girls’ programs.
We went to pick up one of the girls once and were surprised to find two little girls waiting for us (a cousin had been invited to come along). The following week there were four little girls waiting for us (two friends wanted to join the fun)! The volunteers who ran our church’s boys’ and girls’ programs had to make room for the unexpected guests who came. You might say that God’s blessing in one part of the church’s ministry pressed another part of the church into new ministry. Sometimes God presents new opportunities for ministry in surprising ways.
That happened for the believers in Jerusalem—though much more dramatically. When they were pushed because of persecution, they developed new preaching ministries “wherever they went,” spreading the good news of Jesus.
The Spirit has mysterious ways of moving people into ministry. Later, the Lord even changed Saul into a missionary (see Acts 9:1-22; 11:19-30; 13:1-14:28).
God can be pushy sometimes. He doesn’t mind using even persecution as an opportunity to do more ministry. Have you felt any divine nudges lately?
Lord, use us in any way you need us. And give us joy in new ministry opportunities, even if we face hard challenges. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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