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.
A Watching World
He knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin. . . .” Acts 7:60
We don’t need ideal circumstances to be effective witnesses for Christ. Nor are God’s purposes hindered by our problems.
Stephen was a powerful witness in a situation that was far from ideal. He was falsely accused and arrested. After he had witnessed for a great length of time to the angry religious leaders, they rejected his words and took him out to be stoned.
That was the end of Stephen’s witness, right? Wrong! His humble surrender to a martyr’s death and his Christ-like prayer that God would forgive his killers resulted in the greatest witness of Stephen’s life.
But how does Stephen’s martyrdom relate to our mundane lives? When the non-Christian observes a believer responding to pressure and pain with a Spirit-controlled response, he is seeing God at work. Stephen’s response to stoning caught the attention of a man named Saul and he became a zealous follower of Stephen’s Lord.
Instead of praying for fewer difficulties so that we might witness better, let’s pray that we might witness better through our difficulties. Who knows another “Saul” may be watching you. We often think that if life were smooth we would be a better witness. But God knows best – that faith and trials can honor Him more powerfully.
We can have our best witness in the worst of times. Are you looking for only the best of times to be a good witness?