Read Acts 7
Read the account of Stephen from Acts chapter seven, paying special attention to verses 54-60. Imagine being in Stephen’s shoes for a moment. For several months leading up to this incident, Stephen’s life has been turned upside down. First, he was chosen out of thousands as a “super-servant” in the Jerusalem church, aiding the apostle in accomplishing the task before them (Acts 6:1-6). On top of this, he was an eyewitness to the changed lives of many former enemies of Jesus (6:7). He experienced a spiritual revolution unequaled in history, as well as a personal empowerment to see the revolution advance (6:8). Before long people of the community took notice, and out of fear, they attempt to silence Stephen (6:8-15).
In our reading today, we find Stephen giving a powerful message to a very unlikely and hostile audience. The truth he shared from a historical and cultural context did not sit well with many in the crowd. Declaring truth is often offensive. The truth that Stephen shared was a one-way ticket to bodily death. Isn’t it amazing how his story parallels the life of his Lord, Jesus Christ?
Stephen’s life stands at a crossroads for us today. It is quite certain we will not be thrust into the same unfriendly predicament. However, the decision for Stephen-like resolve is a heart issue God desires for you to settle. Is Stephen a mentor for you when circumstances turn difficult? Take time to think and pray about it.
Day 5 of 7 from the 2003 Mission Discovery Devotional