In the book of Acts, many people are choosing to follow Jesus including several of the Jewish priests.
One of the men chosen to solve the conflict between the Greek and Jewish widows named Stephen is considered “a man full of God’s grace and power” because of the way God works great wonders and signs through him. The religious leaders make false accusations against him and bring him in front of the Sanhedrin falsely accusing him of blasphemy just as they did with Jesus.
In Acts 7, Stephen gives his response walking through the way God worked throughout the history of Israel from Abraham and the promise, Joseph and the drought, Moses and the Exodus, Joshua and the Promised Land, David and Solomon and the Temple. He also points out the ways the people of Israel rejected God and His prophets including the way they killed the Messiah.
The religious leaders are enraged so they grab Stephen and drag him out of the city and begin pelting him with rocks.
Stephen has a vision of Jesus or perhaps a near death experience as he sees Jesus at the right hand of God reigning over his kingdom. He then asks God to forgive those killing him just as Jesus had done from the cross.
Those killing Stephen left their coats with Saul.
Despite strong opposition that could have easily deterred him, Stephen showed incredible boldness in obedience to God.
When our hearts are stubborn or proud or convinced of what we think God should do, we miss what God is doing
When reading this passage what stood out to you?
How do you sense God may want you to apply what you discovered?