Apr 26th 2021 · Day 116
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Acts 8 is such a dynamic chapter! It’s about persecution, it’s about scattering, it’s about individuals. We see Saul, later Paul, beginning to destroy the Church, we see Christians fleeing – but we also see wonderful miracles, and joy as a result (v8). There’s the story of Simon, who ‘practised magic’ (v9) trying to buy the gift of God; totally misreading what it’s all about. You can’t buy your way into heaven; you can’t buy what’s freely given.
Then we see Philip being instructed very meticulously by the Holy Spirit to meet with one individual. An Ethiopian man of great influence has been reading the Word of God and doesn’t understand it. Philip turns up and tells him ‘the good news about Jesus’ (v35). Then there’s more joy, and rejoicing (v39).
In the middle of dark days and difficult times, lives are being changed.
In the Old Testament reading, we see that ‘God gave [Saul] another heart’ (1 Samuel 10:9), but something that started with great promise, in a man who was clearly flawed, ultimately had a sad ending, as King Saul turned away from God.
God deals with individuals; He calls us, reveals Himself to us, and as we yield to Him, moulds us and releases us to live in the dynamic power He provides, that our lives would overflow with Him, to others. We can’t change ourselves. We can’t buy our salvation. We can’t make ourselves right with God. All we can do is come to Him, just as we are, and receive the gift that is being offered.
God cares about individuals! That’s you, that’s me – and that’s the people we meet. Let’s make sure our hearts don’t turn away from Him; rather, let’s allow the Spirit to continue to work in and through us today.
Pause and reflect: Of all the characters in our readings today, who can you most relate to, and why?
Sheila Jacobs is a Christian writer and editor, and an award-winning author. She is also a retreat leader and day chaplain at a retreat house. She loves listening to people’s stories, and encouraging writers to hone their
potential. She is passionate about pursuing God and helping others meet with Jesus.
© Victory Church UK 2021