S. O. A. P.
Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional!
You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!
Stephen was one of the original seven deacons in the New Testament. He was called to be a servant leader in the Early Church but was also ready to preach or defend the gospel if need be. On this occasion, he was brought before the synagogue leaders on trumped-up, false charges. But the leaders of the religious order were no match for the wisdom of Stephen. So, when asked if the charges were true, Stephen gave a brief yet thorough message on the history of Israel and ended by saying you’re just like your ancestors who resisted the Holy Spirit. With that, they stoned Stephen, and he became the first martyr of the Christian faith.
When Stephen was falsely accused before the religious leaders, he was asked to respond to the false charges. He could have said they’re not true and recanted and perhaps been absolved of the accusations. But that way of approaching threats was never the way of the original church leaders. Almost all the original Early Church leaders responded to threats as Stephen did. “He Called It What It Was.” He never shrunk back in the face of threats. I want to be like Stephen. Not all of the Good News works out for those delivering the Good News. If you can believe this, 340 million Christians worldwide came under extreme persecution for their faith in the year 2020. About 5,000 are killed worldwide each year for their faith. Don’t let yourself get caught up in easy living, my friend. We are in a battle until we see Jesus.
I need You today more than ever. Where I live, it doesn’t really cost me very much to take a stand for my faith. I don’t want to look for trouble, but dear Jesus, may I take my stand for You when trouble comes. Amen