Acts 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Throughout the years, faithful saints have been willing to lay down their lives for the truth. In Acts chapter 7, we read the account of Stephen’s final message to the nation of Israel. His message infuriated the people so much that they ran upon him and threw stones at him until they crushed the life out of his body. Stephen was martyred because he cared more for the truth’s propagation than even his own life and welfare. Though most Christians are not living amongst such severe persecution, our willingness to contend should remain just as fervent. We should pray that God would give us some modern believers who, like Paul, would say, “that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Philippians 1:20)!
- (For children):Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew what would happen if they refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. Yet, they were willing to stand for God even if it meant losing their lives (Daniel 3:14-18). Let’s ask God to give us such courage.
- (For everyone):Would you be willing to give your life in defense of the truth? If not, why not? Is it possible that we do not love the Lord as much as we think we do?
- Stephen’s courage made a difference in the life of Paul (Acts 7:58). In what ways could the Lord use the testimony of a martyr to convert the lost in our day?
- Ask the Lord to give us boldness like Stephen.
- Ask God to give us a willingness to die for the truth.
Quotes from the next volume
(VOLUME 3, WEEK 10)
Without pride, contention ceases.
There are times when strife remains unavoidable, but no believer should ever strive with others without a just cause and purpose.
Before two people decide to take part in strife, they would be wise to consider the effect their contention will have on the innocent people around them.