Think, Act, Be, Day 6-Acts 8:1-17
“So there was great joy in that city.”
Philip is one of my favorite deacons in the New Testament. After Saul began persecuting followers of the Way, Philip went to the Samaritans. This deacon was fulfilling Acts 1:8. “You will be my witnesses in Judea and Samaria.”
As a result of his ministry, there was great joy in the city. Imagine how hard that could be to accomplish without God’s power. Despite the opposition of religious folks like Saul and hostile demons in the region of Samaria, Philip’s presence brought joy to people. They converted to Jesus.
Suzanne Morse writes that this kind of joy comes from attachment. Joy is connection. While happiness turns the individual inward toward meeting his own needs, joy turns a person outward toward others. Joy is about watching your grandmother and brother chase you and throwing a football in the yard with your sons. It’s a bond that says, “ I want to be connected with you.” Joy is about slowing the heart down to bond with the people in your church and in your city. Joy comes as a gift from being connected to the Spirit.
Does your life bring joy to your house, our church, our city? It’s one of the first signs that we “Believe like Jesus.”
That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria. 2 Devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him. 3 But Saul was ravaging the church by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women, he committed them to prison.
Philip Preaches in Samaria
4 Now those who were scattered went from place to place, proclaiming the word. 5 Philip went down to the city[a] of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah[b] to them. 6 The crowds with one accord listened eagerly to what was said by Philip, hearing and seeing the signs that he did, 7 for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured. 8 So there was great joy in that city.
9 Now a certain man named Simon had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he was someone great. 10 All of them, from the least to the greatest, listened to him eagerly, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” 11 And they listened eagerly to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip, who was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed. After being baptized, he stayed constantly with Philip and was amazed when he saw the signs and great miracles that took place.
14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16 (for as yet the Spirit had not come[c] upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). 17 Then Peter and John[d] laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Just a reminder that you will not receive a “daily verse” tomorrow.