Sunday Devotional: Acts 6 and Stephen Seized

Let’s see…i before e, except after c, and “a” as in neighbor. That’s the rule, right? Then why am I struggling with seized? Should I say rules are made to be broken, I talk funny (should it be pronounced “sazed”), or make fun of authors like myself who have to institute spelling rituals to keep themselves out of the clutches of editors?

I know! Let’s have a spelling contest! Doc Holliday

As I write this, I’ve just completed a lesson on Acts 6 for tomorrow’s service. Here’s the text:

Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.

11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”

12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”

15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?”

2 To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran.

Stephen’s reply is one of the great sermons of Christianity. Stephen lived and died with the Word on his lips. What a testimony. If I were in front of the High Priest, I can just imagine myself answering with all kinds of sophistry and leaning to my own understanding. But Stephen answered with the Word, and the Word alone. What an example, and what an encouragement, for God did not abandon him:

When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Amen.

One Response to Sunday Devotional: Acts 6 and Stephen Seized

  1. Morgan L. Busse October 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Amen.

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