This week we resume our journey in the book of Acts to recapture God's original vision of the church and what it means to be His community on the earth. Our devos this week are intended to get you to consider a few of the mega-themes contained within Acts chapter 7. We recommend you read the whole chapter to gain a sense of the context of the devos. Invite others to read the devotionals and use them in your conversations. Enjoy the read.
Your Value of God
". . . Are these things so?" Acts 7:1
Worship is our giving worth to God. Our worship will never exceed the depth of our value of God. We can sing songs, send up lyrics into the heavens; we can stand silently, or lift our hands, but if we don't esteem Him highly, our worship will be only empty gestures.
Passionate, penetrating worship and our belief in God go hand in hand, there can't be one without the other.
While facing opposition Stephen looked up into the heavens and gazed intently at God. He gave his complete worship to God. His view of God and his communion with God gives us a glimpse into the radical nature of true worship.
God is not bound by our boundaries.
The religious leaders had long believed God could only be worshipped within the Holy Land. Not so says Stephen. Abraham had worshiped God in pagan Mesopotamia and Haran. God had worked powerfully in Joseph's life in the pit and prison. God had spoken to Moses in oppressive Egypt, the arid desert, and the darkness of Mount Sinai. Israel had everything they needed for worship before they entered the Holy Land. Our environments don't have to be perfect to worship God powerfully. It's not the land that makes worship sacred, it’s the Lord who transforms the wilderness into worship.
God is not boxed in by our buildings.
Stephen is telling us that God is independent of the temple. Scripture reminds us God does not dwell in houses made by human ingenuity. God appeared in a burning bush and the ground became holy ground. Being overwhelmed by God’s presence, Moses removed his sandals. The tabernacle was suitable for worship, but it was more, it could move when God moved. Often we make too much of a building while forgetting we worship the Host of heaven. The one who turned darkness into light. He made the Milky Way and set creation into being. Everything above and below finds its purpose in Him, He holds all things together.
Are you worshipping God in a way that raises Him up?