ACTS of the Apostles
ACTS of the Apostles
Learning How to be Daring and Dynamic
Read Acts 7:1-53
Focus Verses: Acts 7:51-53
(Stephen said), “You stiff necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”
This passage is a VERY long and direct address by Stephen. The high lighted verses contain the climax of this speech and cut straight to the heart of it’s hearers. I encourage you to read this entire speech to refresh your memory of the over-arching story of God, working through time and history. Stephen so poignantly points out that throughout history Israel refused to submit to God and obey the truths he had revealed to them (Warren Wiersbe’s book “Be Dynamic”, p.112). In short, the people, acting like people do, stubbornly resisted what God was saying to them.
I’ve just spent the weekend with my grandsons. They are 4 and 7 years old and act like little boys that sometimes want what they want, ignoring direction, not thinking of the consequences, probably thinking they have a better way. They sometimes make up the rules of how things work which is a “version” of the truth but not the truth. They have heard the rules, they know the rules, yet on occasion they break the rules. Instead of seeing the directions given as something that will help them to grow as little people, I have seen both of them actually “stiff neck” me and turn their backs so they don't have to receive the truth. If they were to continue down that path, as they have been know to do on occasion, things don't end well for anyone. I’m sure you can relate if you know any little kids. I wonder why as human beings we sometimes choose to make life so much harder rather than just listen, and obey? The conclusion I have made for both kids and adults is we truly NEED a leader, teacher, caretaker, parent and no one does it better than God. We are so good at messing things up to the point of destruction of something or someone.
Wiersbe says on page 112 in his book, “By the time Jesus came to earth, the truth of God was encrusted with so much tradition that the people could not recognize God’s truth when He did present it. Man’s dead traditions had replaced God’s living truth.” Sadly, these teachers of the law that Stephen was talking to played a part in the crucifixion of the long-awaited Messiah!
What about us today? Who or what are we listening to? Who do we choose to obey? What is our part in time and history?
What a perfect example we have today to see where we can get ourselves when we don't listen and take to heart your truth. Thank you for providing us something we are incapable of providing for ourselves. Give us hearts and minds that long to follow your lead in every way, every day. We ask this in your Holy name, Amen.