Stephen, known as the first Christian martyr, was one of the seven men chosen by the apostles to help serve the body of Christ. He was described as a man full of wisdom and of the Spirit. Stephen took full pleasure in looking after the needy. Aside from this, he decided to preach the gospel. Standing before the Sanhedrin, he shared God’s Truth and the Good News about Jesus. Instead of receiving a positive response, the people got angry with God’s message, dragged Stephen outside the walls of the city and began throwing stones at him. The stones were like heavy raindrops ready to kill him at any moment.
Stephen got on his knees and prayed “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! Lay not this sin up against them”. We learn from the life of Stephen what Christian commitment really is. Though hated and underestimated by the scores of the other side, may we be Christians who rise above it. The name Stephen means “victor’s crown”. Stephen actually won that in his martyrdom. His story taught us that the world may reject us but we choose to endure knowing that heaven will heartily accept us.
READINGS: ACTS 7:54-60
Have you ever asked yourself how powerful is the God we serve? We read about His power in the Bible. We hear about His power from different testimonies. We even sing about His power during praise and worship. The Bible tells us that nothing is too hard for the God of all mankind. Here are seven reasons why we should rely upon God’s power.
1. Because God carries our burdens (Matthew 11:28-30)
2. Because God is working in our lives to save us (1 Corinthians 1:18)
3. Because with God, life is an exciting adventure (Psalm 5:3)
4. Because we are safe from the spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:10-12)
5. Because God always meets out needs (Philippians 4:19)
6. Because we can do everything through God (Philippians 4:13)
When the world gives you something to accomplish and you feel like you cannot do it,
remember, you are never alone. You can always call on the name of God. With Him, nothing is too difficult. And when God gives you a task which sounds impossible, just know that the God who is with us is the God who made the heavens and the earth. Believe that He loves you and will always help you. With His great power, all things are possible. Are you living a life that proves God can do the impossible?
God is present and we can serve Him anywhere. When we worship Him, He breathes air of inner peace into our hearts. When we pray to Him, He breathes air of assurance into our minds. When we step up in faith, He breathes the “nothing is impossible” air into our souls. When we pour out our praises, He breathes air of comfort into our lungs.
God is breathing on your dry bones!
Dry bones contributed by bad situations, health problems, internal and external conflicts, feelings of loneliness, meaningless days, stressful work and obligations, and our heavy and tired souls. We learn from the account of Ezekiel that God can do the impossible and make breath enter into our dry bones to restore us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
READINGS: EZEKIEL 37:1-14