The First Martyr – Acts 6:8-8:8

The First Martyr – Acts 6:8-8:8Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.

Has it ever occurred to you that we are among the scattered?  We don’t worship at the temple in Jerusalem. We don’t have a particular holy site that we make pilgrimages to.  We don’t have a centralized monolithic authority that speaks on our behalf.  Instead, we are just like millions of other Christians, scattered throughout the earth.

I suspect that the persecution that broke out after Stephen’s death was one of the primary catalysts for the explosive growth of the Gospel.  Even the authority of the Apostles was decentralized, and individuals were given the authority and calling to preach the gospel to all around them.  It appears as though God’s strategy was not to use an institution… but to use individuals.

We miss the point of the Gospel if we think that it is solely the pastor’s job to witness and evangelize.  Paul makes it clear in Ephesians 4 that the job of the pastor is to equip the saints (that’s all of us) for service and acts of ministry.  In Acts, even though we hear a lot about the Apostles, it’s apparent that the work of the ministry belonged to everyone.

So… to you who are scattered… who has God called you to reach?  Who can you share the Gospel with today?  To whom can you show the love of God?

Out in the highways and byways of life,
Many are weary and sad.
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,
Making the sorrowing glad.
Make me a blessing; make me a blessing.
Out of my life may Jesus shine.
Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray.
Make me a blessing to someone today.
– Ira B. Wilson