Yesterday, I blogged about a seemingly insignificant group of people in Acts 11 whose names weren’t even important enough to record in Scripture: “The No-Namers.” Just because their names didn’t make it into the Bible, however, doesn’t mean they were insignificant. God used their boldness and obedience to change the course of Christianity. We’re talking life-changing, eternity-impacting stuff here, and yet, we may not ever know their names.
I wanted to point out how simple their actions were and yet how life-changing they became.
Acts 11:20 simply says that they were “preaching the Lord Jesus.”
At first, that might sound complicated. It might sound like something only someone with a theology degree or some ministry experience would do. “That’s for the pros,” you might think. WRONG. It was probably much more simple than we make it out to be.
Think about it this way. In Acts 8, the persecution began. That’s when the majority of these people ran for their lives. Literally. Saul the serial Christian killer was on the loose and empowered to torture. So, they ran. Many of them may have packed up their belongings under the cover of darkness, and others may have tried to be nonchalant about leaving town. Either way, they left – in droves. Some went to Phoenicia (about 120 miles north), others went to Phoenicia then sailed another 60 miles to the island of Cyprus, and still others traveled 300 miles (a huge distance in the ancient world) to the city of Antioch. Everywhere they went they were preaching the Lord Jesus.
Some of them might have been soapbox evangelists.
Some of them might have been somewhat experienced in witnessing to people.
Most of these people, however, were just everyday people. They left with their kids and their belongings, they moved to a new city, they assimilated into a new culture, then (here’s the key) they lived out the Gospel day in and day out wherever they went. They boldly continued their lives in a new place with the same message: Jesus Christ. They each became a small part of a gigantic move of God.
For years, I prayed for whichever city God would take us to to plant a church. I knew eventually that’s what we’d do, but I had no idea where. As of February of 2009, I knew where we were headed, so I took a more direct aim with my prayers. I pray daily (almost) that God would help us to reach the city of Clarksville, TN. How will we do that? The exact same way these people did: obedience and boldness. How will we see lives transformed and the community impacted? Through the bold witness of a few people who may never get the credit for it.