The story so far
In Acts 6 we read about Stephen who was full of God’s grace and power, performing many miracles and wonders among the people.
Things turned bad for Stephen when opposition arose, accused of blasphemy and put before the high council. Stephen was framed.
We pick up in Acts 7 with Stephen standing before the priests.
Reading: Acts 7
Are these Charges true?
Seems a simple question but instead of Stephen trying to defend himself, he launches into one of the greatest ‘last word’ speeches of all time.
He recounts a condensed history of God’s relationship with the people of Israel and how time and time again the people disobeyed God and rejected God’s message including of course His son, Jesus.
Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute?
A cutting remark to show the Jews how history continues to repeat itself and how have they not learned from this yet?!
Stephen was probably quite aware of the consequences of this charge but there was no way he was going to deny the truth.
Right up to his death he proclaimed and showed the love of Jesus. He even asked God to forgive them as they stoned him to death.
Stephen’s faith reached a level that we can all aspire to. When facing certain death, he stood firm in his belief, he did not falter, he was steadfast in his faith in Jesus.
This chapter can encourage us all to live by Stephen’s example. We may not be facing situations quite as extreme as Stephen, but we will certainly face adversity, trial and challenge, especially when we step out in faith.
The chapter leaves me thinking:
What are my faith levels like through life’s challenges?
How can I get close to this whole new level of faith that Stephen exemplifies so well?
Contributed by Adam Gregory