Thursday 07 July 2022

Bible Book:

] spoke. (v. 10)

Acts 6:7-15 Thursday 7 July 2022

Psalm 119:161-176


Stephen was one of "seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom" (Acts 6:3), chosen to organise the care of the poor in the Early Church. He also preached widely. Today’s passage leads on to Stephen’s speech to the Sanhedrin (the Jewish court), after which he is stoned to death (the subject of tomorrow's reading).

We learn that Stephen is arrested because his preaching and message were spreading too widely and it was working! Verse 7 says: “The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith."

A number of people however who were listening to Stephen tried to argue with him. “But they [the Jewish leaders] could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke." (v. 10) As a result of this preaching Stephen is arrested. In the next chapter of Acts, he gives a speech declaring the clear purpose and focus of his ministry; in some Bible translations this is entitled ‘the bold speech’.

 As a follower and evangelist for Jesus, Stephen, who is described as "having the face of an angel" (v. 15) preaches and spreads the good news of Jesus, which turns out to be a costly venture. It is one that is echoed in the words of the famous hymn, ‘Have you heard God’s voice?’ (Singing the Faith 662), which includes the lines: “Will you walk the path that will cost you much and embrace the pain and sorrow? Will you trust in One who entrusts in you the disciples of tomorrow?"


To Ponder:

  • When you have met with opposition while talking about your faith, how did you handle it?
  • Stephen faced great challenges in bearing witness to Jesus. What are the challenges of apostolic witness for you today?
  • Can you think of an inspirational sermon or speech that, like Stephen's preaching, stirred up a lot of controversy? How did the speaker handle it?


Holy Spirit be present in our conversations about God this week. Breathe into us the spirit of truth and wisdom. Holy Spirit guide our hearts today, to listen to others, to truly listen. Breathe into us a spirit of being present. Holy Spirit thank you for your presence in our lives. Breathe into us the spirit of protection and guidance. We ask in your Holy Trinity name. Amen. 

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