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Archive for September, 2015

Verse 2: And he said, “Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran,”

God has blessed our church with a pastor; it has been approximately 17 months since our previous pastor was called to a church near where he grew up. We miss him and his family, but we knew that God was in the call and in the move. These last months have felt like we were in a wilderness; all we could do was pray and wait on God’s perfect timing in between visiting and interim preachers. We knew our pastor search committee was doing just that: praying and waiting on God’s timing. Of course, we didn’t know at the time that our new pastor was being led by God through a series of destinations that would bring him right where He wanted him to be. Now, we are at the beginning of what I pray will be a long relationship between pastor and church; I wondered if that’s how it felt when our previous pastor was first called to this church years ago. There were people here who were there for that previous beginning as they were for this new beginning.

Stephen is pointing that out to the council. The God of their fathers was there when He called Abraham to a place he’d never been, out of a land he called home. Abraham followed God’s command, not being able to see what was ahead, but trusting in God. Stephen is reminding the council that God has been, is, and ever will be. There’s more to the story.

What if you knew that you were about to deliver the last message you’d ever speak…what would you say?

Something to think about.

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Verse 15: “And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.”

I had to “referee” an intense discussion between two parties recently. Party A was angry and was grilling Party B about his side of a story of a possible misunderstanding. Despite Party A’s very intense intimidation, Party B told the truth, to the satisfaction of all gathered. What struck me about Party B was his face: he stood stoically but respectfully, looking Party A in the eye, and told his side of the story, insisting to us all that it was the truth. It was the quiet confidence that struck me; Party B knew he didn’t have anything to fear as long as he told the truth.

I’ve often wondered when I read this phrase about Stephen standing before the council; they could be a lot more intimidating that Party A. Yet, Stephen, stood before them, quiet, confident, with his defense based on the truth of Jesus Christ. When you stop to think about it for a minute, I’ve never read a record of a “nervous angel”. It could be, because they know whom they serve.

Something to think about.

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