For God’s Purpose

Acts 8:3-4
As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.  Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

Saul, not yet the converted Paul who would do so much to spread the Gospel of Christ, is still furthering the spread of the Gospel even through his persecution of the church.  He meant it for evil, but so often God uses even those things for His good purposes.  While Saul meant to silence Christians and put a stop to the preaching of Christ, his persecution dispersed the church beyond the walls of Jerusalem, far abroad for many more to hear the truth of Christ and receive salvation.  God was using Saul before he ever turned to Christ himself.

God can use anyone and anything to accomplish His will.  Nothing is going to stop Him.  Nothing can hold back His Word from going forth.  Nothing can stop His Spirit from moving in the hearts of men.  Nothing can oppose His power.  And His Word can cross any border, break through any barrier, and impact any heart no matter who and no matter where.  He is fully in control.  He is able to do the impossible.  He is not hindered or deterred from His purposes by the actions of men.

And so we can, like those early disciples, continue on in the work ourselves.  Sometimes it gets hard, and we are opposed, and barriers arise.  But that doesn’t have to stop us.  God is with us.  He’s not discouraged by persecution, but turns it into a tool for His cause.  He’s not afraid of the plans that men devise to slow Him down, but uses those things to gain more glory for Himself.  His goal of bringing the Gospel into all the world hasn’t changed, and so our mission as the church remains the same as it always was.

In the most amazing way, God used Paul while he was yet in ignorance of the reality of Jesus Christ, while he was fervently opposing Christianity.  And when he joined those he had once persecuted in proclaiming the truth of Christ, he did so just as passionately and persistently as they did.  May we never underestimate God’s ability to use anything for good, and may we never underestimate the importance of that commission that is still ours today to fulfill.  So may we faithfully be used by God to spread His Word everywhere we go.

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