Anglican Devotional 26 December 2023 – Courage To Testify About Christ

The Daily Fountain Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 26 December 2023 – Courage To Testify About Christ

TOPIC: Courage To Testify About Christ

READ: Acts 7:54-60 (NKJV)

  1. When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with [their] teeth.
  2. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
  3. and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
  4. Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;
  5. and they cast [him] out of the city and stoned [him.] And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
  6. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on [God] and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
  7. Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

THE MESSAGE:

Stephen was selected as a deacon together with others, to serve meals. He was described as “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 6:5). In our passage today, he is still “full of the Holy Spirit” (verse 55). Through the influence of the Holy Spirit, Stephen found his true calling as he was faithfully and humbly serving and distributing food within the Christian community. His humble service soon became a powerful ministry.

When the Spirit of God is at work in your life, it will not matter where you are; the ministry of the Gospel can still flourish through you. Though Deacon Stephen suffered, and died for his faith and witness, his death created ripple effects to the advantage of the Gospel.

Shortly after Stephen was killed, persecutions broke out which scattered the early Christians in many directions, but this also worked to the advantage of the Gospel (Acts 8:4). Shortly after (and also connected to Stephen’s death), Saul found himself on the road to Damascus where he encountered Jesus, and Christianity never remained the same after that. The sufferings of God’s saints never go in vain! Whatever you go through in life under the power of the Holy Spirit, God is able to turn it to the advantage of His kingdom. Trust in the Lord in all circumstances and be courageous!

PRAYER: Holy Spirit, empower me to bear witness for Christ courageously.

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