Scripture--Acts 7-Acts 9
It’s going to be another list day—so much happened!
1) I love how Stephen used the old testament scriptures to make his case! He basically used the Jew’s own faith and beliefs and history to explain Jesus. But goodness, he could have been more tactful in 7:51-53. Makes me wonder if I preach too “nicely!”
2) Stephen was stoned for seeing God. And it also seems that he gave up his life like Jesus. So thankful for past martyrs!
3) Did you notice that in 8:17, that the spirit came upon Peter and John? I love the way our connection to the Holy Spirit intensifies when we need it! Such great imagery!
4) I love the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. Did you get that he was an outcast! He was first of all black—not Jewish. Which meant he was unclean. Second, he was a eunuch, and since he could not be circumcised, traditional understanding would say that he could not be a child of God. But he was baptized, and ended up starting Ethopian Christianity, one of the strongest and oldest sects! All by someone that most people of that day (
!) would have passed over! US
5) Saul (who will later become Paul—the writer of many of the letters we’ll read this summer!). What to say? Did you see in 8:3 that he was “wreaking havoc” among the Christians. That he was present at Stephen’s stoning? But, he was changed! He changed his heart and life, just like Peter preached!
Application: Phew! So many applications—I think I’ll leave it up to you. How does what you have read CHANGE how you’ll act today? How is your life being changed by our study?
Prayer—God, thank you for all the lessons you are teaching us. Let us take what we are learning and apply it. Scripture was made to give us what we needed to change your world. Let us be part of the good. Amen