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Acts 8

Father, make a difference in my heart that’s daily evident in my life.

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“BUT YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES ON YOU; AND YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES IN JERUSALEM, AND IN ALL JUDEA AND SAMARIA,AND TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.” (Acts 1:8 NIV)

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place…. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…” (Ac 2:1, 4 NIV)

“Those who had been scattered preached the Word wherever they went.  Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there… When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them… they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit… Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit” (Ac 8:4, 14-17 NIV)

“At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment.  He and all his family were devout and God-fearing … While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message… the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles…” (Ac 10:1, 44-45 NIV)

Just before You returned to Your Father’s side, Jesus, after You’d conquered death, You told Your followers “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Lk 24:49 NIV).  You explained that the reason for this was that “repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in [Your] name TO ALL NATIONS, beginning at Jerusalem” (Lk 24:47) and that You were “going to send [them] what [Your] Father promised” (Lk 24:49).

As I read in this passage in Acts 8, I could see the components falling together from the passages above, Lord.  In Acts 2, You share the account of Your clothing Your followers with power.  Your Holy Spirit is poured out and “Jerusalem and all Judea” hear the message of “repentance and forgiveness of sins.”  In Acts 8 is the account of the outpouring of Your Spirit which opens the doorway of Your Church to Samaria.  Finally, Acts 10 gives a view into the beginning of that same message and promise poured out on people who stretch “to the ends of the earth” (Ac 1:8).

These three outpourings of Your Spirit on Your people opened the doors and ushered in those who hearts were open to You.  These beginnings paved the way for that message to reach ME!  Thank You for looking across time, as we humans see it, and seeing me…beginning a work that would lead me to know You, to love You, to follow You and to allow You to shape me to be just like You one day.  Amen.

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