Killing the Message
Stephen is arrested for preaching the Gospel.
The New Testament was written in times that, in many ways, seem barbaric to us. That respectable people would clamor for a crucifixion or incite a mob to riot or pick up stones and kill another man is difficult for us to imagine. Yet culture was different then. Today we do not kill a person to get rid of an unwanted message. Instead, we use other tactics. We can kill the message by making it look foolish or by discrediting the messenger. We even attack God Himself, declaring that He is dead or that He has no relevance to our era. But unless we accept the message of salvation that Stephen preached, we are as guilty before God as the ones who threw the stones.
Thank the Lord and praise Him for offering us abundant life in Christ:
All Your works shall praise You, O Lord,
And Your saints shall bless You.
They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,
And talk of Your power,
To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts,
And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations (Psalm 145:10-13).
Pause for praise and thanksgiving. Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
"Come now, and let us reason together,"
Says the Lord,
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, and pray this affirmation to the Lord:
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (1 John 3:16).
As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
- Greater love for your fellow Christians
- The work of missionaries in Indonesia
- Your activities for the day
Offer this closing prayer to the Lord:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14).