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“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
In His last recorded words, Jesus told the disciples that they were to be “witnesses” in (1) Jerusalem, (2) Judea, (3) Samaria, and (4) the ends of the earth.
The first preaching of the gospel was in their own neighborhood of Jerusalem, then it spread by the disciples into nearby Judea. It went on into Samaria through Philip and the deacons, plus the apostles. Then, the gospel went into the uttermost parts of the earth with Paul. Again Jesus is reminding us that the Gospel is for all people, not just the Jews, but also for the Gentiles, the Samaritans and for every nation.
Now I think it is important to note that Jesus called us to be “witnesses.” “Witness” has to do with the root word “martyr.” It’s not always easy to be a witness, but it is oh so powerful and wonderful!
Stephen was the first martyr for the sake of Christ, but Stephen rejoiced in the opportunity to lay down his life. How do we know he rejoiced? Because he didn’t appear to be in agony. Scripture says that his face was like the face of an angel (see Acts 6:15).
When we face trials of any kind, remember that this is the life we signed up for when we accepted Christ. Jesus promised that in this life there would be trouble. Why? Because when we become witnesses for Christ, we must demonstrate the life that He lived, which was one of persecution. But we can rejoice in our suffering because our reward in heaven will far outweigh anything we come up against in this life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marilyn Hickey founded Marilyn Hickey Ministries more than 45 years ago with God's vision to cover the earth with the Word. Author of books Believe Big and It's Not Over Until You Win. This global miracle ministry has taken the gospel of salvation and the healing power of God to millions of people in over 135 nations. Marilyn co-hosts a daily television program, Today with Marilyn & Sarah, reaching a potential viewing audience of over 2 billion households worldwide.
As one of the most respected and anointed Bible teachers worldwide, Marilyn has a unique and powerful ability to communicate deep biblical truths in a way that is understandable and practical for everyday life.