Friday, April 11, 2014

something good from bad

Within the history of the early church in the book of Acts there was a shift in culture and in spread of the Gospel.  Acts 11 is actually the spot where Saul or Paul begins to be used by God in big ways.  The power of God is evident when His story is shared.

Romans 1:16  NASB
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Power and the Gospel are linked.  They cannot be unlocked from each other.  There are all kinds of power on earth from dynamite to fusion or science to political power and beyond, yet the power of what God does is much stronger and longer lasting.

Acts 1:8  NASB
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

God provides power through the transfer and the transformation of His word.  Further, remember that the Word is actually Jesus who consumes the word of God.  God takes bad situations and turns them in to good ones.  In the first part of Acts 11 we learn about the stoning of Stephen, and Stephen’s death sent people running in all directions.

Their move to points north and west meant that the Gospel was going to go to people who had yet to meet Jesus.  Yet the followers of Jesus didn’t realize that there was about to be a change.  It was the time when the Gentiles, not just Jews, were given the opportunity to follow Jesus.  Things would never be the same for the new group of people now being called Christians.

I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your statutes.

We can trust that God to help us and others get to know His way.  By sending Barnabas and eventually Paul to teach the people of Antioch there was support from older believers to new ones.  Again it was in difficult situations that change was brought by people who began to follow God with confidence.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

May God use us and His church to help many people and even communities come to know and trust God.  We can take God at His word.  God will turn your life and all situations around if we let Him.

I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.

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