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The Enemy Can't Kill the Vision
Bible Passage Acts 7: 54-60
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & books Acts, Luke, Mark.

The Enemy Can’t Kill the Vision

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached March 14, 2023

SCRIPTURE 📖
54 While they were listening to these things, they became more and more furious and began to grind their teeth at him.

55 But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

56 He said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

57 But they shouted out loud, stopped listening, and together they all rushed at him,

58 ran him outside of the city, and began to stone him to death. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 As they continued to stone Stephen, he kept praying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”

60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them!” After he had said this, he died.

BACKGROUND
Stephen was one of the seven deacons appointed by the apostles to assist them to solve petty problems and administer the church in Jerusalem (Acts 6:5).

But the work of deacons was not limited to such activities. Two of the Jerusalem seven, for example, were gifted preachers (Acts 6:5,8-10; 8:5 ).

Stephen saw that Christianity and Judaism could not go hand in hand. With Jesus’ death and resurrection, Judaism was finished. The Jewish religious system, along with its laws, ceremonies, priests, and temple, had fulfilled its purpose and was now replaced by something new. When the Jews heard Stephen preaching these things in one of the synagogues in Jerusalem, they reported him to the Sanhedrin for preaching against Judaism (Acts 6:9-15). The Sadducees were pleased with the last to have an accusation against the Christians that was certain to win popular support. They knew that the people would not tolerate this threat to their national religion.

Stephen was brought before the Sanhedrin. The defense that he made before the Sanhedrin was not designed to win its approval. He offered a spirited defense for Christ, condemning the killing of Jesus by the Jews.

On hearing these words, the members of the Sanhedrin could keep silent no longer. But Stephen, remaining calm, supported Jesus’ claim that He, the Messiah, shared equality with God. To the Jews, Stephen was repeating the blasphemy for which they had killed Jesus. In a burst of uncontrolled anger, they rushed upon him, dragged him out of the city, and stoned him to death.

But before he died, Stephen, again following the example of Jesus, committed his life to God and asked forgiveness for his murderers (see Mark 14:62-64; Luke 23:34,46 ).

Stephen was the first Christian martyr. There have been many martyrs since then and there are even more martyrs today. Tertullian once said, ‘the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church’. Often, when people kill martyrs, the martyrs lose blood. The blood may fall to the ground, as a seed falls. But when a seed falls to the ground, a plant can grow from it. Similarly, when people persecute Christians, the church grows.

LESSONS✍🏽
🔷 Believers must not fear to teach the truth and confront evil in society

🔷 We must commit our lives to God for Him to direct everything that we do

🔷 We must never try to curse or repay people for their bad deeds against us. Let us rather ask God to take the fight on our behalf.

PRAYER POINTS🙏🏽
💥 Pray for God’s mercy for your enemies
💥 Ask for God’s protection

CONCLUSION📙
The vision can never be killed by enemies. God has ways of keeping the vision. Nothing should scare the believer from confronting the wrong and preaching the truth.
AMEN

In series Bright Morning Reflections