I found myself reading from Act 7 that records the stoning to death of the first Christian martyr.
Verses 51-53 caught my attention and I became captivated by my reading. Stephen was not reluctant to speak against an opposition crowd of people. He spoke of their stubbornness that caused them to resist the Holy Spirit. He reminded them of the Old Testament times when true men of God were persecuted because of their message. Jeremiah came to my mind as I read. These prophets spoke of the coming of the Messiah but were misunderstood, rejected and killed. Stephen speaks to those who were ready to stone him, that they were uncircumcised in heart which indicated they were religious people who did not have a genuine relationship with God. Their circumcision was not of the heart but was outward ceremonial, religious, legalistic and void of a personal encounter with Christ who is the One who circumcises the heart of those who come to him. He then accused them of killing the Savior that came. Now the point of this passage that came strong to my own heart. Stephen took a stand against this fierce opposition that would stone him. He did not weaken, his message was strong, truthful and straight to the hearts of those rejecting his message and then killing him. Could I be so strong I have to ask myself? I can not even answer that question that comes from my own heart.
Word for the World
Word for the World has started more than 300 churches throughout the Philippines and the world. We continue to fulfil our prophetic name, with fellowships established throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, Canada, and even the U.S. Truly, we are bringing God’s Word to His World.