Be Filled with Grace and Power

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11 Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, 13 and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” 15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel. ~ Acts 6:8-15

Stephen is recorded in the Bible as the first martyr. He was stoned to death because those around him who refused to accept the Truth could not disprove the Truth he spoke. Stephen wasn’t stoned for the good things he did. He wasn’t even stoned for the signs and wonders he did. He was stoned because of Jesus. Stephen set aside himself, and with great power and authority, he followed in the footsteps of Christ. He made a difference wherever he went to the point that the heads of the synagogues came to disprove all that he said, but because Stephen was a Spirit-filled man of God, they couldn’t. This is what angered them the most. This is what they arrested him for because they couldn’t dispute the Truth.

The Word of God is Truth. It is irrefutable. There is no flaw or contradiction in it because it was breathed out by God-Himself. God authored the entire Bible through the men He used to write the words down. Because of this, we can stand in confidence when we read our Bible. Some will say many are leaving the Church right now because of the flaws in the Bible. This isn’t a flaw in the Bible; this is a flaw in the Church. The Church today is no longer full of grace and power as the early Church was 2,000 years ago. We can no longer defend our own beliefs as Stephen could because we no longer read our Bibles through unbiased eyes seeking the Truth. We no longer fast, pray, and worship as the early Church did. They were Spirit-filled Christians who didn’t just say they were Christians, but they had the power of Christ dwelling in them that manifested in their speech and their actions.

Even though it’s our natural response to being questioned, don’t lean on your own understanding. Listen for the Spirit, and He will give you the words to speak. He will show you what you don’t yet know or understand. Seek God as the early Church did. Study the Scripture as the early Church did. Allow God to use you as the early Church did. If you do these things, when you are confronted, you will be able to defend your faith as Stephen, and the rest of the greats of the early Church did.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Be Filled with Grace and Power.

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