Acts 21: 24 But the word of God continued to increase and spread.
Despite the recent surveys telling us that the demise of Christianity is imminent, the word of God continues to increase and be spread. Did you know, for instance, that there are presently more Christians on this planet than at any other time in the history of the world? Did you know that Christianity is the biggest religion on earth – it outnumbers its nearest rival Islam by 2 to 1. Did you know that Christianity is the fastest growing religion in Africa?
Perhaps not, because we tend to think about Christianity in Western or American terms. American Christianity only makes up about 5-7% of the world’s Christians. We are so parochial and narrow sighted. We think that our ways are God’s ways when in fact Africa, Asia, and South America have more worshippers, church members, and followers of Christ in each of their regions of the world.
I guess that means that when God looks on earth and Christ sees His followers, American Christians are at the back of the crowd. That’s kind of humbling and yet it’s also wonderfully reassuring. I wouldn’t like to think that our consumerist Christianity was the best that our faith has to offer.
Maybe it’s time to learn from other Christians in different parts of the world who constantly face hunger, famine, disease, and persecution. In the West, we tend to be restless and unsettled, unsure of our faith and treat it like a commodity. Perhaps if we went to bed hungry at night or faced the horrors of sickness with scarce resources our faith would be substantially different.
I suppose this devotion is a wake up call for me as well as for you. Despite our weak and watered down Western Christianity, the word of God in other parts of the world continues to increase and be spread. So let’s get with the program, people!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we tend to look at our own faith through our own blinkered eyes. Instead of seeing a vast world of Christian people, we focus on dwindling denominations and a diminishing influence on Western society. One day in the future, missionaries will come back to this land from Africa, Asia, and South America to reintroduce our society to Your ways, Your words, and Your works. Thank You, Lord, for ever increasing and spreading the word of God throughout the world. In Your Holy Name, we pray, Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to email@example.com.