In this study of Acts chapter seven, Stephen testifying before the Jewish High Council continues to take them down memory lane by reminding them what happened after Abraham left everything and arrived in the land that God had brought him to. The results for both him and his offspring were likely not what he anticipated and should remind us that in this life there will be trial and tribulation and to keep our eyes on the Kingdom to come!
In this teaching from Acts chapter seven we continue to see the unfolding story of Stephen who as part of his defense before the Jewish council, refers them to some Jewish history. He starts by reminding them of the command God gave Abraham to leave his home, family and friends to go to a land that Abraham knew nothing of and Abraham's response is inspiring to all of us.
Stephen was a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit as well as grace and power according to Scripture. God uses His people in their willingness and availability to carry out His work. Jesus is on glorious display in the lives of His followers who are fully associating with Jesus and equipped in more ways than we realize.
Ask any number of Christians "what is the gospel?" you are likely to get a number of different answers. This teaching 'What's in Your Gospel?' seeks to help each of us discover the biblical gospel so we can better share it with others.
The first church in Jerusalem is increasing in number and as with most new ventures is experiencing growing pains. Although some had sold property and given the proceeds to be shared, there were some who felt "their people" weren't being cared for and this leads the Apostles to call for the first congregational meeting to find a solution.
Very early in the ministry of the Church, the disciples had to make a choice. Were they going to listen and respond to the calling of God to go and preach the good news, or would they back down because of pressure from those around them? As followers of Jesus, we have the same choice. Today, the people of God have the same command...Go. Stand. Speak.
Continuing our look into the Parable of the ten virgins of Matthew 25, we will discover the difference between the foolish and the wise virgins. It all comes down to having "oil". How will you respond to the reality of the "groom's" coming?
As we continue in our review of the Acts of the Apostles we are witness of God developing the heart of His people, the Church. We are on a path of looking more and more like our heavenly Father. Central ways we see this in the first generation Church is in community and generosity. God continues to develop His heart in us as well.