By: Lisa Wilmore
Scripture Reading: Now Saul was consenting to his (Stephen’s) death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Therefore, those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word (Acts 8:1-4 NKJV).
My Dear Friends,
Recently, I received a call from the supervisor of the ladies’ prison in the area which I reside. God allowed me to teach Bible class to a group of ladies during their residing in this particular prison. The Thursday night before I received a call that all of the ladies were being dispersed back to their local facilities, the lesson was about “What do we really need to pray for?”.
Years ago, when God and I first began the prison ministry, many of the ladies’ prayer was to miraculously return home to their spouses, parents, children, etc. However, over time, their prayers were centered around thanking and praising God for Jesus and the Holy Spirit. On our final Bible study night, which was a surprise to me, we labored in God’s word from the Book of Luke 11.
During our study, God illuminated Luke 11:13, “If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” At this moment, we understood that with the wisdom, comfort, guidance, intelligence, etc. that the Holy Spirt provides, there is not much more to ask for.
In the noted text, there was an uprising of believers. Stephen was stoned to death and Saul (who later becomes Paul) is wreaking havoc with those who believe in Jesus the Christ. These believers undoubtedly ran for their lives and were scattered. The Bible teaches us that they went everywhere preaching the word of God.
I believe in my heart that now that these ladies have been scattered and positioned in their local facilities, they are compelled to share with others the love of Jesus Christ. So, as I wallow in my disbelief, miss the fellowship while teaching the class, it became clear that “the enemy may have meant it for bad, but God meant it for good.”
My peace comes from believing that the ladies, while in their new accommodations, will compel others to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Thank you, God for that season of my life. Amen.