In Acts 8:1-25 (click here to read), persecution caused the church to scatter. But the Holy Spirit was at work and the Church grew! This is the exciting development I mentioned in Monday’s video devotion (click here to view).
The pandemic is causing the church to scatter. Each of us has had to establish “church” in our home as we join in worship online (click here to join in yesterday’s worship and click here to watch Sunday's message).
Could the Holy Spirit be working powerfully at this time? Could the Spirit be using this pandemic so that we become comfortable worshiping from home? Will this experience make us more comfortable sharing the link and inviting our family and friends to join us virtually?
And when the social distancing rules are relaxed, will we be able to use this experience to establish house churches in our neighborhoods? Will it be easier for us to invite someone over to worship with us in the comfort of our own living room? Could it be that the Holy Spirit will work powerfully in God’s Church today as he did at Philip’s time? That is my fervent prayer!
Our Old Testament Lesson (Deuteronomy 19-21, click here to read)continues Moses’ application of God’s laws to his people as they are about to enter the promised land. These chapters are filled with what we call “civil law.” Ancient Israel was a theocracy. In our nation, laws regarding justice and punishment and property rights are established by the state legislatures. As ruler not only of his Church, but also the nation of Israel, God established these laws.
How do we know if these laws are part of God’s unchanging will for all people or laws only applying to the Israelites? The easiest answer is this: Are they repeated in the New Testament to apply to us? The laws in these chapters are not. But they can be useful for us to understand how God views justice and punishment and property rights as we seek to establish laws for our own country and seek to do God’s will in our personal lives.
May God bless your personal worship of him today.
Pastor Pete for the Ministerial Team