In our readings this week, we read about the stoning of Stephen. Stephen was a man ‘“full of God’s grace and power” who boldly confessed Christ even until death.
Monday, May 21 Read Acts 6:8–Acts 7:19. When asked about the charges against him, Stephen launches into a well-formed retrospective history of God’s people. Underneath the history lesson, what is Stephen telling his accusers?
Tuesday, May 22 Read Acts 7:20–Acts 8:1. In verses 48-50 Stephen asserts that God does not live in houses made by men, i.e. the Temple. When Solomon built the temple he said the same thing (2 Chronicles 2:5-6). Is God more present in our church building that He is in our community?
Wednesday, May 23 After reviewing Acts 6:8-15, Acts 7, Acts 8:1, Read John 15:18–John 16:4. Jesus speaks a word of warning to his disciples. To be his disciple will mean to share in his persecution. Jesus warned that the disciples would be thrown out of the synagogue. How have the disciples been prepared for these times of peril?
Thursday, May 24 After reviewing Acts 6:8-15, Acts 7, Acts 8:1, Read Isaiah 6:1-13. We have often used these verses of Isaiah’s commissioning in commissioning people for mission trips. Why is that ironic? What parallels exist between Isaiah’s ministry and Stephen’s speech?
Friday, May 25 After reviewing Acts 6:8-15, Acts 7, Acts 8:1, Read Hebrews 3:1-19. The author of Hebrews warns his people not to be disobedient like their ancestors, but instead to “fix [their] thoughts on Jesus”. How do you actively “fix your thoughts on Jesus” in your life?
Saturday, May 26 After reviewing Acts 6:8-15, Acts 7, Acts 8:1, Read Romans 10:1-13. Paul accuses his fellow Israelites of being commendable for their zeal for God, but insolent in their lack of faith. They had the religious acts, rituals and history, but lacked saving faith in Jesus Christ. Are there Christians today who have the religious pieces in a row, but have lost the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Bethel Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN – bethelstpaul.com