A GOD WHO IS EVERYWHERE
Lord, thank You for being with us, regardless of our location.
Read ACTS 7:9–19
9 “Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.
11 “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. 12 When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. 13 On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. 14 After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. 15 Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. 16 Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.
17 “As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. 18 Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’[a] 19 He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.
- Acts 7:18 Exodus 1:8
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Worship the Lord God who is everywhere with you and with other Christians worldwide.
The second part of Stephen’s sermon is about Joseph, who was sold into slavery in Egypt because of the jealousy of his brothers – but God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles, making him ruler over Egypt and the palace. If Mesopotamia was a strange place for God to speak to Abraham, then Egypt was the equally surprising scene of God’s dealings with Joseph. Stephen is showing that God was at work everywhere – not just in the temple.
Jesus showed us that God is everywhere. He told the woman of Samaria, ‘… believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem … God is spirit, and His worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth’ (John 4:21, 24). There are no obligatory pilgrimages for Christians, no holy spots because God is everywhere, from Bangalore to Boston. As I have travelled around the world, I have met Christians everywhere, preached in their churches, and worshipped with them.
We need to uphold the worldwide church and pray for those who are under persecution – though in spite of this persecution the church is growing rapidly all over the world. As one writer said, ‘As I knelt in prayer with my Savior by my side, I travelled on my knees and I saw souls saved, twisted persons healed, and God’s workers’ strength renewed while laboring in the field’. Can we be so faithful?
Pray for Christians all over the world, that you may share in their joys and problems, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you to pray for persecuted Christians worldwide.
Lord, we Your people are amazed at Your providence and how You are able to engineer whatever outcome You please.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2024 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.