Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 16, 2016
If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26
Each Sunday after church, my husband and I pile into the car and head to our favorite salad spot. On the way, we talk about the sermon and share what part of the message hit us. This week, Acts 8:1 grabbed me right in the heart. “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.”
Can you imagine it? The Jews were forced to leave their homes in Jerusalem because of persecution. They didn’t have a choice. They had been done wrong and they had to leave. The great news is that these faithful believers were like little spores—or seeds—sent into the world to share the love of Christ with those who had never heard.
“Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (Acts 8:4).
When they were forced out of Jerusalem, I can’t imagine they said, “This is awesome. Because of our persecution and scattering away from home, God is spreading the Good News of salvation to all people.” They couldn’t have seen through the front windshield what could only be seen through the rearview mirror. But they were obedient to share Jesus’ love wherever they went and trust Him with their futures—even though it was somewhere that didn’t feel like home.
This message speaks to me and my husband as we prepare to move away from our cute, little Chicago suburb just 18 months after we moved in. Even though God is calling us to a new, noble assignment, we can’t help but feel a little like we’re being scattered. We don’t want to leave just when are getting to know our favorite waitress at our Saturday morning breakfast spot, just when the house is painted and we are making good friends. But we remember that our lives are not our own, that we are not here to be served but to serve, and that there are people who need to know Jesus and His grace. So like the Jews and all believers, we are little seeds that are being sent into the world. Even though we can’t see through the front windshield what we will be able to see through the rearview mirror, we are choosing obedience over comfort.
Has God asked you to go where you don’t want to go? Trust Him and choose to serve Him wherever He calls, even if it’s somewhere that isn’t comfortable or doesn’t feel like home.
“Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25).
Prayer: Lord, help me to love you more than I love my life. Please forgive me for those times when I have been a whiny child, only willing to serve you when it’s comfortable. I want to follow you wherever you lead. Amen.
Application: Talk with the Lord today and tell Him you are willing to go wherever He calls.
Related Readings: Acts 20:24; Psalm 73:25-26; Matthew 22:37
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© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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