It is amazing how God often reveals the true character of people when the circumstances are the most difficult. Persecution was rising through the stoning of Stephen and afterwards, but it did not stop what God was doing. In fact, because there were faithful men chosen by God to serve, “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7).
“Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ” (Acts 8:4–5). Philip had been chosen to be a deacon in chapter 6:5 along with others who were “of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom…full of faith” (6:3, 5). The stoning of Stephen and the rise in persecution never stopped Philip from pursuing the proclamation of the gospel.
There is another feature about Philip that is very important to note. He was obedient to divine instructions; “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went” (Acts 8:26–27). He asked no questions and raised no arguments.
As I mentioned about a week ago, we often exercise selective obedience when it comes to following what the Lord wants us to do. Philip’s obedience led to a further expansion of the gospel into another part of the world. We too will never know where God is going to harvest souls for the kingdom of God until we are faithful and obey His directions and follow His methods.
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