In Acts 7, we find Stephen's response to the false accusations brought against him - that he had spoken against God and Moses and the law and the temple. But Stephen's defense is a defense of the gospel - that a right relationship with God depends on faith in Jesus Christ.
In the character and confession and countenance of Stephen, we see the kind of exemplary disciple of Jesus that we would do well to imitate. What kind of example are we setting for those around us?
What had once been a thriving benevolent ministry in the early church had become a threat to the unity that Christ died to achieve. In this passage, we look at the response of the church to appoint men of good repute, full of the spirit and of wisdom, to oversee this ministry, which allowed for the preaching of the Word of God to continue.
We may experience setbacks in life and find that our progress is hindered, but the risen Lord Jesus is Lord over setbacks.
When the women brought the message of the angels that Jesus is risen from the dead to the disciples, it seemed to them an idle tale. But in this good news, we have hope in a happy ending that is coming for those who put their trust in the risen Christ.
In the middle of growth and unity and generosity in the church comes the miraculous deaths of Ananias and Sapphira. But what this extraordinary story should produce in us is an awareness of the seriousness of our sin and an awareness of the graciousness of our God.
We worship and serve an extraordinary God who uses ordinary people to accomplish His work in His world. May God give us the boldness to be His witnesses in His world.
Whenever the gospel is preached, the response is divided. In this passage, we see a great number of people come to the gospel and embrace Jesus, while Peter and John are arrested for preaching about Jesus. It is this hostile atmosphere in which we have the opportunity to live as Christians and to bear witness to Jesus.
Having just healed a beggar who was lame from birth, and seeing the awestruck crowds that now gathered around them, Peter seizes the opportunity to correct a misunderstanding and to bear witness to Christ. In this text, we are reminded of the blessings of salvation that come by faith in the name of Jesus.
Having just given his readers a glimpse of life in the early church, Luke turns his attention to one particular miracle that the apostles did involving the healing of a lame beggar. In this story, Luke reveals that our greatest need is not physical but spiritual, and that we can be confident in the salvation of our God and in the promised restoration that Jesus is bringing.