Opposition to the gospel: Acts 19.23–41 (31 July 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

Lord, open my ears to hear what you have to say to me; open my heart to love your word, and open my mind to understand your truth.

Reflect

Daily reflection: Acts 19

In Ephesus there was a temple dedicated to the Roman goddess Artemis, and visitors would buy silver idols to take home. Because Paul’s Christian ministry was so successful, the idol makers’ business was suffering, leading them to riot.

In the UK people are very blessed to have relative freedom to express worship; however, in many places in the world, Christians suffer persecution. There may be economic incentives for people to put pressure on others to give up or compromise their faith. There are also political, ideological and religious reasons why this might happen. However, many people are willing to put their life on the line rather than deny their faith in Jesus.

Some fight back. Paul wanted to confront the crowd as he had no fear of mob violence (in fact he was frequently on the receiving end of it). But how can we respond to persecution? We can pray for and support organisations that tackle physical persecution of Christians around the world. But also, we can be brave enough to stand up for our faith even when others around us are cynical or even hateful. In Acts 19, the situation was eventually calmed by reason. We too can pray that reason and acceptance would bring about peace for all those who are being persecuted.

Pray

Pray

Dear God, I pray for all those who are suffering persecution. I pray that you would be with them and bring about a swift end to their situation. I also pray that you would give me the strength to make my faith known to others and defend your name when I see it being opposed.

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