Aug 25 — Acts 6-7

Acts 6 — Seven Chosen to Serve, Stephen is Seized
Acts 7:1-53 — Stephen’s Speech
Acts 7:54-60 — The Stoning of Stephen

Thoughts about serving others

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One Reply to “Aug 25 — Acts 6-7”

  1. The Hellenistic vs Hebraic Jews: Who wins? Everyone. Since the church is growing, it’s naturally becoming multiethnic, people from all over are becoming Christians. With the increased diversity comes greater challenges, but the Word of God must not be compromised. The disciples chose to delegate the responsibility and authority over this problem because, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables” (Acts 6:2). Seven men were chosen, all seven with Greek (Hellenistic) names. Problem solved! Now, back to business!

    Stephen’s speech to the Sanhedrin describes the history of Israel succinctly:
    – Abraham and the covenant of circumcision (Acts 7:2-8).
    – The patriarchs, Abraham’s descendants, “were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt” (Acts 7:9-16). They, of course, meant to be rid of him, but Joseph concludes, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50:20).
    – Acts 7:17-44 recounts the story of Moses with an emphasis on the ignorance of the Israelites, “But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt” (Acts 7:39).
    – David and Solomon are briefly mentioned as the accusers suggest Stephen is preaching the destruction of “this place” (Acts 6:14). “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands” (Acts 7:48) is a key part of the defense which the Sanhedrin cannot see.
    Stephen concludes: “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” (Acts 7:51).

    The Sanhedrin heard the story of their ancestors and probably understood they were indeed like them. Their reaction could have been one of repentance, but instead, one of anger and outrage. They stoned Stephen to death.

    Lord may I hear criticism with a heart and ears that are tuned to the Holy Spirit. Many times, it’s tough to look at failures and not feel ashamed. Missing the mark again and again can make me question my motivation and if not dealt with I can become like the Pharisees, consumed with my set of rules and missing your divine intention for your ministry here on earth. Help me to hear you above all others.

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