Step by step, the beautiful plan of Acts 1:8 unfolds in sequence: And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Some of the key players in the stages of this plan are featured in Acts 6-10.
Stephen (chapters 6-7) was originally selected for a food distribution program in Jerusalem. But along with that, he made good use of his God-given wisdom and power for preaching and doing miracles. As we know, he was falsely accused and killed by jealous religious leaders.
Philip (chapter 8) was also chosen for that feeding program, but like Stephen, he couldn’t help but preach and do miracles to spread the Good News about Jesus, especially when persecution drove him out of Jerusalem. God used him in the neighboring province of Samaria to bring crowds of people to faith in Christ and also to an Ethiopian convert to Judaism.
Saul (chapter 9), more commonly known by his Greek name Paul, was a sworn enemy of Christ and His followers. But he was arrested by Jesus, was turned around 180 degrees, and called to service among Gentiles in “the ends of the earth.”
Peter (chapter 10), though his primary ministry was to the Jews, was chosen to “midwife” the first real Gentile conversions—Cornelius and his household.
And on went the Good News from there, reaching around the world, and still spreading.
Aren’t God’s ways and Word amazing? I’m so glad His plan includes me!
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!