18 October 2013

Stephen.

Scripture: Acts 7:54-60 ESV

Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Observation: The people were frightened, outraged at the idea that Stephen could be doing what he was doing....might be close to God. 

Application: I will not be afraid of, or threatened by, another's closeness to God or power in the Holy Spirit. It's all more of what we as believers want to see. And if I think someone is in the wrong, I will take to my knees--not to the streets with a rock in each fist. 

Prayer: Dear Father, please strip all insecurity from me. I give it up to You--for You are my all-sufficient supply. In You I rejoice in other's successes, glorify Your Name for the beauties I see, and see Your miracles and Mercy all around me. Let me be Yours. Let me be part of Your church; and do Your will. Always. In Jesus' name! Amen!

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!