Saul was one of the official witnesses at the killing of Stephen. A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem, and all the believers except the apostles fled into Judea and Samaria. - Acts 8:1
When the first persecution arose around Stephen, the Christians were scattered abroad. Acts 8:4 tells us they “went everywhere preaching the Good News about Jesus.” In other words, they gossiped the gospel. A good definition of “preaching” is the communication of truth through personality.
Ordinary people fleeing for their lives told other ordinary people along the way the reason they were on the run. This was the way the Good News was carried to the uttermost parts of their world. There were leaders among them, even though the apostles stayed in Jerusalem. But the majority of the people were just like you and me—ordinary folk.
It is the same today. God wants ordinary people to tell other ordinary people about his Good News of salvation. The leaders can’t do it all. The leaders can help us to know what to communicate, and the evangelists can show us how to lead people to Christ. But if our world is to be reached, it will take every single one of us passing the news on to another.
I was invited to some meetings in Atlanta. I asked the lady who had called to inquire about my coming what church or organization she represented.
“Well,” she replied a little shyly and hesitantly, “it’s just us.” I found out the “just us” were a bunch of God’s ordinary people gossiping the gospel. It was a sheer delight to serve them!
For Further Study: Acts 7:51-8:3
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.