No theology is genuinely Christian, which does not arise from and focus on the cross.– John Stott
I had an opportunity to share the Gospel with a friend when I was an early Christian. At that time, she was undergoing problems in her life. She was touched by what I shared and was eager to know more about the Scriptures. Initially, we had planned to do a biweekly meet up to talk about the Scriptures.
Overall, we were able to meet a few times. The last talk we had was reflecting if we were good persons (check if you are a good person). We were going through each of the Ten Commandments. And I was citing examples that break these Laws. I encouraged both of us to reflect on it and bring it to mind if we ever disobeyed the Laws. Then I shared my testimony with her concerning the Ten Commandments.
After that meeting, I have asked her if she is still willing to plan dates to study the Scriptures together. Unfortunately, at the moment, we have not done another Bible Study.
Today’s devotional reading is from the Book of Acts 7:1-53. Please, read our recent devotional from the Book of Nehemiah 9:16-20: How Did We Become Utterly Stubborn?
Stephen’s Speech Fell On Deaf Ears
Acts 7:1-53 was the lecture of Stephen to the Israelites, whom he described as stiffed necked people. He had recounted the history of Israel from Abraham to Moses. And how God was guiding and providing for them. Moreover, Stephen emphasized the graces God gave their fathers when they were in the wilderness. Their ancestors repaid it through idolatry and worshipping of other gods.
The twelve Apostles and their disciples, including Stephen, have been spreading the Good News of Christ in all Judea and nearby towns. Furthermore, the Spirit of Christ used Stephen and was doing great wonders and signs (Acts 6:8). However, contradictions arise from the people in the synagogue of the Freedman, the Cyrenians, Alexandrians, Cilicia and Asia (Acts 6:9). They debated Stephen. But their intelligence does not stand to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:10).
Stephen ended his speech with his indictment to the Jewish people who continuously resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51).
Are You Deaf?
Were there moments in your life wherein you heard God calling you? What did you do? It is easy not to hear God’s calling in society today. Each of us concentrates on our worldly concern that we never bring our attention to our eternal need. Our priorities do not align with God. And therefore, our focus is shifted away from the cross of Jesus.
Christians have a contribution to why people are becoming deaf to God. When we look into the final command of Jesus to His disciples, He had said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation (Mark 16:15). We are not speaking the word as often as we could. Moreover, others are watering the Gospel of Christ down, making the essence of the cross no longer clear and visible.
Therefore, we share the Good News of Christ with everyone you meet in any way we can. Incorporate the Gospel of Jesus with our daily lives in that way our actions will be like our speech.
This is the time for your journaling. Reflect on these questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to test your faith and your walk with Christ.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? — 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV.
- Do you know Jesus Christ?
- How do you see the cross?
- Are you like Stephen or the other Israelites?
- What are the moments in your life wherein God was calling you?
- How did you respond to this call? Accept Jesus Now.
- As a Christian, how do you share the Gospel?
- Application: Share the story of the cross to at least five persons this week. We want to hear how it goes.
- Be the Light
- Are You Wise Enough To Understand The Gospel?
- How Strong Is Your Conviction On The Gospel Of Christ?
- Giving and Receiving
- Attention, You have a good News for the World
Loving Father, we bring glory to your holy name. We thank you for the gift of love through your Son Jesus who sacrificed His life for us on the cross. O Lord, Jesus, thank you for your saving grace. Thank you for the example you set on obeying the Father.
O Holy Spirit, guide us to share the true meaning of the cross to everyone we meet. Help us to make our lives a living testimony of Jesus’ works on the cross.
We pray in the saving name of Jesus. Amen.