As we approach Love Winnipeg, a two-week time of intentional evangelism for the church of Winnipeg, I wonder about my lifestyle for the other fifty weeks of the year. And as I do, a little verse in the book of Acts comes to mind: "Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word" (Acts 8:4).
This was no evangelistic program organized by the church. These were people running for their lives! Acts 8:3 tells us that Saul was ravaging the church, systematically dragging men and women out of their homes and throwing them in prison. Stephen was dead and Saul no doubt intended the same fate for many others. So people scattered. And in my comfort-oriented, pleasure-seeking, self-gratifying world, I think that if I were going through similar circumstances, it might be said of me and my kind, "Now those who were scattered went about keeping their heads low and out of sight!"
Is it a given that those who are threatened because of the Gospel go about telling even more people about it? Would Christians in the culture I'm a part of be just as quick to risk our lives for the Gospel? It's as though the attitude of the Christians in Acts 8 was something like, "Hey, let's tell as many people as we can before they catch us!" That's because they were so convinced of the truth of the Gospel -- so satisfied in their lives in Christ -- and so aware that this world is not our home. All this must have filled them with a desire to tell others about Jesus even as they were running for their lives!
Such a scene compels me to examine my own heart as I realize that I'm not so eager to make waves through the sharing of the Gospel. May I treasure Jesus as much as the early believers did so that I'll be found sharing the Gospel as eagerly as they did!