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[thoughts] The Gospel Goes to Samaria (October 3-9, 2005)

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  • Mark Roth
    Thoughts for the Week Mark Roth http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/ ... This edition goes out today to 3386 subscribers. Thank you! ... THE GOSPEL GOES TO
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3 10:55 AM
      Thoughts for the Week
      Mark Roth

      This edition goes out today to 3386 subscribers. Thank you!

      (Acts 8:4-17)


      Do you carry the Gospel with you wherever you go?

      Do you conceal it, or convey it?


      Christians have a message they bear.
      Wherever they went, the early Christians carried the Gospel
      message and that they faithfully proclaimed. Not only had they
      found the great treasure and not only had they personally sold out
      for it, they wanted to make sure others made the same acquisition
      (Matthew 13:44).

      Persecution enhanced the proclamation of the Gospel.
      "We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold
      our peace...now therefore come, that we may go and tell..." (2
      Kings 7:9). "This then is the message which we have heard of him,
      and declare unto you..." (1 John 1:5). "And we declare unto you
      glad tidings..." (Acts 13:32).

      The "dogs" received a full meal...and a full transformation.
      The adversaries of Christ thought to contain and destroy the
      Church. They succeeded...in enhancing the further and faster spread
      of the Gospel. While opposition and persecution surely had a
      dampening, discouraging, defeating effect on some, the majority
      "went every where preaching the word" (Acts 8:4). Peter and John
      weren't alone in their testimony that "we cannot but speak the
      things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20).


      Why did God allow His people to suffer persecution?

      Since God "spared not his own Son" (Romans 8:32), it hardly
      seems fitting for the Son's followers to expect the Father to spare
      *them*. When the apostles faced the threats, we have no record that
      they demanded to know why God would allow such a thing. Listen to
      a portion of one of their prayers: "And now, Lord, behold their
      threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness
      they may speak thy word" (Acts 4:29).

      At one point in His own ministry, Jesus had referred
      figuratively to non-Jews as dogs who should not enjoy the
      children's bread (Matthew 15:26). On an earlier occasion he had
      forbidden the twelve from ministering in any Samaritan city
      (Matthew 10:5). In today's lesson we see the "dogs" being
      transformed to children and receiving full rights as children!

      Furthermore, the apostles recognized God's sovereign will and
      plan at work. Before their above request for boldness to speak the
      Word, they acknowledged to God that their Master had suffered from
      His enemies "whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before
      to be done" (Acts 4:28). As Sovereign, God is fully entitled to do
      as He wishes. We have no legitimate or logical grounds on which to
      challenge or question Him. He has no obligation to tell us why He
      does any given thing. And if He were to tell us, would we always
      understand anyway? "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither
      are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are
      higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my
      thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8,9).

      Yes, but why?
      "Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where
      preaching the word. And the people with one accord gave heed unto
      those things which Philip spake.... And there was great joy in that
      city" (Acts 8:4,6,8).
      "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" (2 Timothy 2:12).
      "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and
      the fellowship of his sufferings" (Philippians 3:10).
      "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our
      consolation also aboundeth by Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:5).
      "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's
      sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad
      also with exceeding joy" (1 Peter 4:13).
      "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in
      heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you"
      (Matthew 5:12).
      "We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation
      worketh patience" (Romans 5:3).
      "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh
      for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2
      Corinthians 4:17).
      "The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have
      persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my
      saying, they will keep yours also" (John 15:20).

      You might also enjoy my "mini devotional" -- my daily blog:
      Panting Hart


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      Mark Roth

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