Have you ever thought you were zealously serving God only to find out you were mistaken? I remember in my undergraduate days I used to love to have a really good argument about the Bible. My first roommate at Harding and I didn’t exactly see eye to eye on everything (duh) and got in some pretty heated discussions. What further fueled the flame was the fact that we had the same freshman Bible class and so we would discuss what had been taught in class. I must have thought God had a points system for winning arguments or something because I tried really hard to always come out on top. My roommate became a Christian that semester and I was priviledged to baptize him. Sometimes I think he did that in spite of me and my example that semester. I am glad to see that God’s plans trump me and my own weakness.
In Acts 8 the stage is set for the disruption of the church. Saul has his plan all worked out. A little persecution and they will scatter. And he was right. The scattered all over the place! It would seem Saul was victorious at disrupting this “Christ conspiracy.” He thought he proved himself righteous by his acts. Little did he know God had bigger plans. What is often missed in this section of Acts is just how important this scattering of Christians was. This scattering set the stage for many gospel victories in chapter 8 and a string of fortunate events lay out that all depended upon these Christians being scattered. It sets the stage for the message to be shared around the world and has a dramatic impact on the rest of Acts. God had bigger plans than Saul. He was able to use what Saul did to spread the message about His Son. Isn’t it good to know that God is able to take our feeble attempts to please him and make them better than we could have planned?
More on Acts 8 soon.