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READING: Acts 8-9 – Church Scatters Because of Saul & Saul Is Converted by Jesus

Verse of the Day: “Who are you, Lord? I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; you will be told what to do in the city.” (Acts 9:5-6) 

The day Stephen died, Saul began a vicious persecution against the church that scattered it into Judea and Samaria. 

Philip, another of the seven, went into Samaria. Crowds listened eagerly to his message about the Messiah, for they saw the signs he did. A man named Simon Magus for a long time amazed the people with magic; when they believed Philip who taught the Kingdom of God and Jesus, they were baptized. Even Simon was baptized. 

An angel told Philip to go to the road from Jerusalem to Gaza. He went, and there was a man from Ethiopia, the treasurer of the Queen Candace. He had been to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home reading in his chariot. The Spirit told Philip to join the chariot. 

Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He answered, “How can I unless someone guides me.” He invited Philip into his chariot and asked, “Does the prophet say this about himself or someone else?” He was reading from Isaiah 53. Philip began with this scripture and preached Jesus. 

The man said, “Here is water. What prevents me from being baptized?” He stopped the chariot, and he and Philip both went into the water, and Philip baptized him. The treasurer went on his way rejoicing, and Philip was caught away by the Spirit and preached until he came to Caesarea. 

Saul’s persecution of the church went to other cities. He had letters from the High Priest to synagogues in Damascus authorizing him to take any who followed the Way into custody and bring them to Jerusalem. As he and his companions neared Damascus, a bright light from Heaven shone around him. He heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 

He said, “Who are you, Lord?” The voice replied, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Saul asked what he should do, and Jesus said, “Go into the city, and you will be told what to do.” He was led by the hand, for the light he saw blinded him. 

Ananias came to Saul and told him Jesus had sent him to restore his sight and for him to be filled with the Spirit. Immediately, something like scales fell from his eyes, then he was baptized. He immediately began preaching in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God, the first mention of Him being God’s own Son in Acts. 

When he came to Jerusalem, he though his earlier companions would accept his message, but they plotted to kill him. When the believers learned of this plot, they sent him off to Tarsus by ship from Caesarea. Then the church had peace. 

Peter was called to Joppa where Dorcas (or Tabitha), who made clothes for the widows, had died. Peter raised her from the dead and remained in Joppa for some days with Simon the Tanner. 

The church, despite persecution, grew rapidly. 

Church growth today is lethargic. Have we lost the evangelism gene from our spiritual DNA? 



Father, I see a need for evangelism, but I do not know how to begin. My prayer is that You will help me overcome my fear of rejection and show me how to draw people into the grace and love of our Savior. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus, my Savior who gave His all for me, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me) 

Father, I pray for all who may read these words, and for myself, that we may think about how we can become more evangelistic, but we need to go beyond thinking about it. We need to act on what we can come up with after we see how the early church evangelized without the tools we have today. Let us begin by more fervent prayer for more people to reclaim the evangelism gene in our spiritual DNA is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, AMEN! 

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