Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 6:1-8:1a
Heavenly Father, I don’t want to be this kind of stubborn:
“You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! — Acts 7:51
Lord, it’s so easy to read the story of the stoning of Stephen and be filled with righteous indignation! How could those people have been that stupid? Why couldn’t they see what a mighty man of God Stephen was?
Jesus, I had to ask myself:
- Have I ever been stubborn, close-minded, thinking I know the truth and everyone else is wrong?
- Has there ever been a time with I looked godly on the outside but the thoughts in my heart were more like a heathen?
- Have I ever ignored the truth proclaimed around me to the point of seeming deaf?
- Have I ever resisted the prompting of the Holy Spirit?
Yes, yes, yes, and yes
So, I could have been one of these people:
The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”
Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul. –Acts 7:54-58
Holy Spirit, Stephen was a different kind of stubborn. He had a supernatural, stubborn love for the people who stoned him:
As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died. —Acts 7:60
Lord, give me a heart like Stephen. Help me to love like he did. When You see stubbornness and close-mindedness in me…
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. —Psalm 139:23-24
©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 8:1b-9:43