May 20, 2024

The Kingdom Continues to Grow

Acts 8:1-8

A great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. . . . Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.

—  Acts 8:1, 4

History has shown that the church has often grown during times of persecution. While the early church was growing rapidly in Jerusalem, it also began to spread widely as people scattered from persecution and “preached the word wherever they went” in the surrounding territories.

At the college where I serve as a campus minister, I often see a similar thing happening. Christian students come to the college from Africa, Asia, and South and Central America. Many of these foreign students have a passion for sharing the good news of Jesus with friends and classmates.

It is exciting to see the kingdom of God advancing as Christians from other lands reinvigorate the church here. It is also exciting to see the kingdom welcoming newcomers among students who did not know Jesus before they came to this land.

I routinely meet people who are unhappy about the number of immigrants coming to the “West” from around the world. But for those who are kingdom-minded rather than country-minded, those objections pale in comparison to the joy of seeing God’s kingdom growing.

Lord God, thank you for Jesus, who bled and died for us and then called us to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, “and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We rejoice and marvel at the growth of your kingdom! Amen.

About the author — George Koopmans

George Koopmans has served as an ecumenical chaplain at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, since November 2021. Prior to entering into chaplaincy, George served as a pastor to two congregations—one in Minnesota (Luverne), and the other in Medicine Hat. George and his wife, Emily, have four adult daughters and three grandchildren. Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are his favorite hobbies.

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