As I read this encouragement, I was reminded of a lesson in our study on God’s Faithfulness. God’s Faithfulness Sent the Gospel to the Gentiles closely compliments the devotional below. I hope you enjoy both!
"Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them" (Acts 8:4-5). "So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus" (Acts 11:19-20). Israel is a big gathering of exiles from the four corners of the globe. To a certain extent, the country and its congregations are divided into people who speak Hebrew without an accent, and people who do (and/or people who cannot speak Hebrew at all). For those of us who fall into the latter category, we can all attest to the sudden 50-point plunge in our IQ when we try to make an intelligent statement in Hebrew. We are also keenly aware of the feeling of being far less useful and/or needed in the church. The book of Acts, however, tells us how incredibly strategic the Greek speaking Jews were in the spread of the gospel. Twice, Luke refers to the subsequent scattering of believers from Jerusalem after the death of Stephen. In both instances, the spotlight of God's activity falls, not upon the Hebrew speakers, but on Greek speaking Jews who radically push the gospel boundaries to include peoples who had been overlooked and/or despised by the Jewish community (Samaritans, Gentiles in Antioch). Language skills or lack thereof never limit God from accomplishing his purposes in and through us. Only a lack of willingness on our part does! "Then Moses said to the LORD, 'Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.' The LORD said to him, 'Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say'" (Exod 4:10-12).
BTW, we will visit Caesarea and Samaria (referenced in the link above and this devotional) to discover God’s faithfulness to new depths. I hope you will follow along with us! We will post updates live from Israel right here on this blog, so stop by frequently!