“Scattered with Purpose”
Pastor David Moore
Old Testament reading: Psalm 67:1-7 (NIV)
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us—so that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise You. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise You.
The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear Him.
New Testament reading:Acts 8:1-8
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city.
Theme: This sermon series in Acts is about how did a small movement that followed a man named Jesus conquer the Roman empire? This week we will look at God’s plan to bring the gospel of Christianity to the city of Samaria through the disciple Phillip.
The Christian missionaries didn’t go everywhere, but mostly to the cities. I believe it was a God-directed strategy, taking the cities. ~D. Moore
God was sending His leaders, His key people to major cities. Tim Keller says joy in the cities means healing for the world. ~D. Moore
Phillip was sent to the capital of Samaria, and other cities to spread the gospel to the intellectuals, business people, salesmen, people of power and wealth, people from all walks of life and from many other counties of that day. A fertile ground for spreading the gospel to all ends of the earth. ~D. Moore
1 Peter 1:1: To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.
God was scattering the Christians during that time to share the gospel to the hurting world. This theme also draws on the idea that our home is in heaven, and we are displaced (scattered) as well.
Hebrews 13:14-16: For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess His name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
As Christians our real home is in heaven, we are here for a little bit, in exile. If we understand the gospel and really believe, it changes not just who we are but also where we understand ourselves to be. Our adoption into God’s family becomes our primary identification. You are a citizen of heaven. God will use other skills or gifts in our lives, but at your core you are a follower of Jesus. ~D. Moore
Phillip during his journey, discovered his larger purpose for being scattered and trusting God.
The understanding of Phillip’s purpose is brought to light in his interactions with the eunuch. The eunuch is baptized and is sent on his way to carry the gospel message of hope and love through Christ.
This week: Think about our home, which is in heaven. Think about what our ultimate purpose on earth is?
We should want the city to be a place of hope and healing and joy. Do we care enough about our city to want its joy and are we willing to sacrifice our time, energy, and talents, ourselves until that comes to pass? We have been scattered and it is my hope that our scattering will bring joy to the cities around us.