Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reading Challenge: Acts 7

Welcome back everybody. Today we are actually going backwards because I skipped Chapter 7 yesterday for some reason. So today's reading will be from Acts 7, tomorrows will be from Acts 10-11. 

Chapter 7:
This chapter is long, but in it contains the whole message of Jesus' saving action and how God was working throughout history to bring this time to fruition. Stephen was chosen as one of the seven who would "wait tables" through the food distribution; however, he becomes the first martyr of the Christian faith. So think about it...this guy may have seemed to have had an insignificant job, but he ends up playing a significant role by standing and giving the gospel story. A couple of things stand out to me: 1. no matter what your role in the Kingdom currently is, there is no insignificant roles 2. every role in the Kingdom has the primary job of being able to share the gospel message when opportunities present themselves

What an amazing faith Stephen had! What awesome courage he displayed! There is a lot for us to learn from this single moment.

Your thoughts?


  1. 51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen[l] at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! 52 Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. 53 You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels

    I think of all the times I have turned away from truth in my life. I think of all the times when I have deliberately disobeyed God's law.

    I feel Stephen's frustration, it jumps off the page. He was an amazing follower of The Way.

    I also understand people and our ability to hurt each other. I read this and I wonder if anything has changed. I wonder if we were alive then would we have stoned Stephen.

    This passage raises many questions for me. It also confirms a belief I have that humanity will always fight the same internal battles.

  2. Can you imagine someone being so enraged by what you have said that they start to bite and chew on you with their teeth? IPeter 5:8 says our adversary the devil is as a lion seeking whom he might devour.
    I can't get over the terrifying visual of these people running at Stephen with their fingers in their ears,growling and biting on him as he is being thrown out of the city gate.
    Stephen never yells out for them to stop or begs for reason.He is so calm!!!He just kneels and asks for God to receive him,and to not hold this crime to their charge.
    All this commotion and Stephen falls asleep in Jesus.
    I have looked at death and many others have too I'm sure.For me,God gave grace to look at it without fear.It's hard to explain,but sometimes we fear the unknown;(when and how),and the pain;(will it hurt and for how long).But in his grace,Jesus shows himself to Stephen and suddenly you know all the noise fell away.Stephen looking up to Jesus reminds me of when Peter walked on water.That's a lot of faith getting out of a safe comfort zone and going into the unknown which may be turbulant and possibly dangerous.Just because we get out and obey doesn't mean the waves automatically calm.Stephen preaches the whole gospel and the "waves" kicked up all the more.
    Like Todd, I think Stephen is pretty cool.He was a great missionary too.He didn't go into any foreign land, but his death had a huge impact on the church and I'm sure it made an impression on Saul.

  3. Stephen's death is known by all in the church,,for it was the first martyrdom after the coming of the Holy Spirit. His testimony still rings today!

    For someone that was chosen to "wait on tables" he sure puts the meaning of going beyond your station to its fullest meaning. We see many of those that were chosen to serve....end up preaching the Gospel!

    The amazing amount of knowledge he retained in regard to the history of the Faith, certainly should make us think about how much could we recite!

    The crowning verse for me is 59. "And they went on stoning Stephen as he called upon the Lord Jesus and said. "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit"

    Regardless of how we die, whether by persecution or simple physical death,,, may we all be able to say with the confidence of Stephen: " Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

  4. Take Away Ch.7
    Simply put intense!!!
    Stephen had an intensity with his message...that cut to the very core of the people...

    This seems such a missed thing in alot of the churches today...I think there needs to be more intensity in what is needs to rattle us...especially those who have become complacent or are just ignoring the signs around them...such as the people of his day!

    I hope that if ever the situation arose that I could speak with such intesity!

  5. INNNNNTENSE! What really jumped out at me is that they covered their ears before they rushed him! What did the spiritual warfare look like that day if all could see?! He must have been ON FIRE with his words and the Spirit of Truth! I can just see the demons cringing and shrinking away at his words while others attack, attack, attack. Wow.