Resisting the Holy Spirit
Scripture reading for January 31st: Acts 6, Psalm 22, Proverbs 22
Acts 6:8-12 “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” And they stirred up the people and elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.”
Stephen was one of the first deacons, chosen by the apostles to help with the ministry needs of the early church. He was full of grace and power because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. This was and should be a requirement of all in church leadership and serving positions. He spoke with God’s wisdom in the power of the Holy Spirit. This brought opposition from some of the Jews and other Gentiles. These who opposed him secretly instigated opposition and false witnesses who made untrue claims concerning Stephen. They accused him of opposing the temple, Law, and customs of Moses. They mocked him and scoffed at him and falsely accused him even as Stephen had graciously spoken God’s wisdom. They were resisting the Holy Spirit, as Jesus also had encountered and those scoffers are still with us today.
Psalm 22:6-7 “But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for discernment of spirits, to help me know if a spirit or the Holy Spirit is speaking to me. Thank You for reminding me through Your Word that Jesus, the apostles and believers will be attacked and opposed by Satan and those still in darkness of sin. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and gracious words of wisdom or silence to refute the lies and present Your gracious Good News to them.
Proverbs 22:17-18 “Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips.”