Chair Time Reflections - November 5th, 2018
Stephen, A Friend of Jesus
Posted by: Stephanie Smith
Sermon Text: Acts 6:8-8:3
Focus Verse: “But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.” Acts 6:10
Stephen’s an attractive kind of bold to me. When men rose up and disputed with him ~ stirred up trouble and instigated a fight with him ~ spoke falsehoods against him ~ threatened his very life ~ Stephen responded with a humble, well-spoken, and God-glorifying sort of bravery. He calmly and poetically spoke truth from the strength and instruction of the Holy Spirit that was living within him. Stephen did not attempt to defend himself, but instead he chose to defend the mission of his Lord and Savior. Honestly, he essentially shared the gospel with his attackers. And when he sensed they would not receive this good news, he forgave them and asked his Lord to not hold their sins against them. That’s bold, and I want it.
Stephen had been chosen to serve and minister to his neighbors because he was a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5). He was a servant full of grace and power and doing great wonders and signs among the people (Acts 6:8). Ironically, maybe the catalyst behind the uprising against him washis faith and goodness. Since the beginning of time, there has been a war between good and evil. When there is faith and goodness on the move, there is an enemy on the trail attempting to squelch it. But the same Spirit that lived and moved in Stephen lives in us. The same Spirit who instructed and spoke through Stephen will instruct and speak through us. When we face opposition for our faith and His goodness, may we respond like Stephen did…with a humble, well-spoken, and God-glorifying sort of bravery.
The Holy Spirit equips us with a boldness that speaks truth in love; a boldness that surrenders and yields to His power; a boldness that opts to defend the Godhead not ourselves; and a boldness that shares the gospel in all circumstances. Be bold.
Scripture Meditations for this week: