"Therefore, . . ." Acts 8:4
Consequences – they are ever before us. We live with the consequences of the choices we've made about ourselves, others and God. Even in the face of God’s great grace, there is still the fruit of our choices that remains.
We don't have to cater to our consequences. God is speaking to us, Christ is giving Himself for us and the Spirit is empowering us to live this life. In the practicing of our resurrected life, we become awake to all Christ is and does. As we stay with it, we become mature and resilient in the face of resistance.
All that has brought us to Acts Chapter 8, the consecration of the Spirit, the critics, the council, the caring for one another and the calling of the seven, is now summarized in one word, Therefore.
Therefore is defined as the consequence of choices or events. Therefore is an invitation, it's a response to how we live. Therefore gives us a destination, determines what we do, shapes our behavior, forms a coherent life. Therefore means, as disciples we always live into the consequence of believing Jesus Christ is God’s revelation of salvation.
Read the fourth verse carefully, the persecuted Christians didn't run and hide in shame. They didn't allow their faith to be crushed by heaviness, nor did they complain or whine about being doomed to a useless life. No! Never! When trouble came their way, Therefore was their triumphant reply. Those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
Problems, pain, and pressure made them effective evangelists for the kingdom. Christians aren't driven away by ridicule, or silenced by scorn, hazed by prejudice, or deterred by fear. They don't retreat from rejection. Christianity has one answer to every assault – THEREFORE GO! They went everywhere preaching the word. Therefore Christians were to be like seed shaken out, carried by the wind, and dropped into open soil, where they grew the global kingdom of the resurrected Jesus.
How do you respond when you encounter opposition to your faith in Christ? Do you retreat, or respond with the message of hope?