Let me be Stephen
Good morning brothers and sisters. I know the title sounds weird but it is true. I want to have the faith of Stephen. This morning I was getting up and God brought something to my mind in prayer. I had to ask for forgiveness because I had stumbled yesterday. I do that you know. So as I asked for forgiveness and opened the Bible to read for me, I came to Acts chapter 7. Well, it didn't start there, it started in the middle. Acts 7:51-53.51- "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52- Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53- who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it." Now this is where I started. But I had to go all the way back to the beginning of the chapter to understand why Stephen was saying this. Stephen is at his trial. He is telling them all about the past. He is reminding them who their forefathers were and how the law became to be. He is reminding them all that God did and still they did not know Him. They could not even keep the laws that were laid before them. They could not see that God had sent Jesus, the Messiah, for them. They did not WANT to see. So Stephen told them what they were. He did it with such faith in the Lord. Please dear Lord, do not let me be like those that Stephen is talking to. I don't want to be stiff-necked and not receive the most perfect gift that you sent for us. Now did I stop there. No! Look how the so called religious elite responded to Stephen's facts. 54- When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. They were pretty mad. He just pointed out that they could not even keep the law. But they required the people to do so. But look how Stephen responded. This is why I want the faith of Stephen, not the stoning part. 55- But he, being FULL of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56- and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" He didn't fight back with them. He cast his eyes to the One he knew that could help him. He was not afraid. This is the faith that I want. This is the faith that Jesus gives us. I can have that faith. I have to practice that faith. Repentance and turning back. Turning my ears and my heart towards the Holy Spirit. And like this morning, He gently reminded me that I stumbled and I needed to repent. Thank You Lord for loving me this much! Have a blessed day! Wake up and rise up child of God, rise up!