Acts 8:1-8 Video Devotional

“And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in that city.” (Acts 8:1-8)

Here is exile story number 3 – the great dispersion. In chapter 1, Jesus tells the disciples and those at the ascension that they WILL be His witnesses there and across the globe. It’s the same command in Genesis 9. Be fruitful and multiply. However, that isn’t how the disciples initially respond. Instead, they hide in the upper room unsure and afraid. Even after they receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the story is still centered around Jerusalem. That is, until Paul arrives on the scene (as Saul) and persecutes the believers.

Interestingly, it is Paul’s actions before his conversion that cause the great dispersion of which he would become the chief missionary. It seems, though, that the Christians in Jerusalem were kicked out of town by God through Paul’s persecution. Side point for those that are curious. Saul did not become Paul because of his conversion – Saul is simply the Jewish version of his name and Paul the Roman version.

Anyway – the dispersion is the third scriptural example of God sending out His chosen people because of a failure to get His blessings out there on their own. This command is a chief command of God and a huge part of His purposes for us – we are to be the blessing to the world by going out and sharing Jesus with others – down the street and across the oceans. If you as a believer choose not to do that, do not be surprised if your choice is taken away and you are sent out there anyway. God has a way of making sure His blessings are passed on. Pray that His will would be done in your life – willingly and joyfully.