Tag: resist the Holy Spirit
Scripture reading for April 22nd: 1st Samuel 6-8, Acts 7
Key Scriptures: Acts 7:51-53 “”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 you fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have not betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.””
Stephen was arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin for preaching the Gospel with powerful signs and wonders. This incensed some of the Jewish leaders and they had him arrested and brought before them. Stephen stood up boldly, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and addressed the same group of Jewish leaders who had crucified Jesus. He called out their hypocrisy and resistance to God. They were doing what their ancestors had done to the prophets who had told of Messiah and His coming. God was using Stephen to give this group another chance to repent. They hardened their hearts further and killed the messenger of God!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Righteous One, foretold by the prophets and come in the flesh to save me and all mankind. Empower me to be a strong Spirit-led witness like Stephen to speak plainly to my generation. May none reject You as King! Amen!
1st Samuel 8:6-7 “But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being King over them.””
Scripture reading for May 14th: Acts 7
One of the new ‘deacons’ was Stephen, a man “full of God’s grace and power.” (Acts 6:8) Stephen served the widows but also used the anointing he received to do great wonders and miraculous signs! This caused controversy among the Jews and Stephen began to fall under persecution and false accusations. Finally, they seized him and brought him before the Sanhedrin on false charges of blasphemy against Moses and God. (Acts 6:11-14)
As Stephen stood before this hostile group of Jewish leaders, they noticed that “his face was like the face of an angel.” (Acts 6:15) They asked him if the charges against him were true and as he opened his mouth to speak, he presented an anointed teaching about God’s grace to the Israelites to lead them and speak to them through the Patriarchs and Moses. He told how the Israelites had rejected Moses the first time questioning his authority! They also rejected him again when they refused to obey him at Mt. Sinai. Stephen told how God had judged them for their idolatry and eventually sent them to Babylon. (Acts 7:39-43)
Stephen’s final point from his explanation concerned those present to accuse him falsely: “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? The even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered Him–. . .” (Acts 7:51-52) This speaking of truth made the crowd furious and they gnashed their teeth at him. “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. . .” (Acts 7:55) As they rushed him and began to stone him, Stephen gave his spirit to the Lord and prayed for their forgiveness!