Acts 6:15 Glowing In The Face Of Slander

All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Acts 6:15

People who do not like someone else are quick to slander someone else. They want to cut the other person down, in hopes to build themselves up.

One of the most common ways people slander other people is with lies. Lies are spread about the person in the attempt to destroy the person’s reputation and character. How a person responds to those lies will reveal the true character of that person.

Stephen had been preaching about Jesus and many people were beginning to believe in and follow Jesus. Some hated his preaching and spread lies about him. As they brought him to trial, his face looked like one of an angel.

When slander is spread about a person, the most common reaction is anger and retaliation. The person slandered tries to strike back and destroy the enemy out of anger and hurt. This type of action can be seen in the world and inside the church.

Neither Jesus, nor Stephen retaliated in this way. They responded in love, control and the wisdom of God. While it is easy to understand why a person would strike back out of anger, it does not promote the things of God. Striking back in anger does not reveal the character of God.

Believers are to be loving and quick to forgive. Stephen was very calm and at peace when he began to speak in his defense against his accusers.

A soft answer that is filled with the truth of God will destroy the lies and slander of the enemy. It will expose the corruption and plans of the enemy, even if it does not stop the plans of the enemy.

Going through life as a believer will cause you to have some enemies. The world does not like you to stand strong and true to the standards of God and will sometimes do what they can to slander and destroy you.

You have a choice as to how you will respond. Acting like the world, you can respond in anger, fighting back. Or you can act like Jesus, responding in God’s wisdom and love.

God’s wisdom and love will prevail over anything the enemy throws your way. You may or may not lose your life, but you will remain true to God and gain eternal life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you words to speak in light of slander; that God will give you strength to love as He loves; and that you will allow God to control your reactions to the world’s attacks.

Psalm 17:6 Calling On God

African calling

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 17:6 

In calling on someone, there is always an expectation of what will happen. That expectation is that that the person will hear and respond. The methods of calling on someone usually by phone or in person, though there can be many other methods of calling. Regardless of the method of calling a person, the expectation is the same, hearing and response.

Although one may call upon someone, that person does not always hear. There can be too much noise to be able to hear. Or they may be too busy to stop and hear that they are being called. With cell phones today, there may be times when the person is in a ‘no service’ area and never know they missed the call.

Response does not always occur, because they didn’t know they were called, or they don’t know what to say.

David is calling out to God because He knows God will answer him. He asks God to listen and answer his prayer.

While people may get a busy signal or not even hear that they have a call, God always hears every call. Any time a person calls out to God, whether a believer or not, He hears it immediately. There is no waiting, or busy line.

God will also always answer a person. That answer will always be along the line of ‘no’, ‘wait’, or ‘yes’. He never ignores the person calling out to Him. In fact, God loves it when His children call to Him. He is a Father who wants to be involved in the lives of His children. In order to do that, they must be willing to talk to Him.

Although you may no longer have parents or they may not want to talk with you, God is willing to listen and talk with you. He is waiting by the phone waiting for you to call Him up.

The great thing about calling out to God, there is no ‘no service’ area. There is no busy signal. There is no ‘business is closed’ message. There is no answering service. You do not need a cell phone or some other electronic device.

God is as near as your voice can speak. He is right there beside you waiting for a call from you. Call on Him today and He will hear and answer you.

I pray today that you will call to God everyday; that you will hear God’s voice when He speaks to you; that you will know God is listening to you; that you will know God will always answer you; and that you will know the joy of talking to God. 

Deuteronomy 25:13 Different Weights

Measuring weights

Do not have two differing weights in your bag–one heavy, one light. Deuteronomy 25:13

It is common for people to have different standards for different people. They do not treat each person equally. For one person, they are very generous and kind, while to the next person, they are stingy and tight-handed. They change as to how they act or react according to who they are around.

There are businesses that have different standards of prices depending on who is doing the purchasing. For one group of people, the price is one set price. For everyone else it is a different price. This can be seen as differing weights

During the time of Moses, weights of things was used to determine the price of something. They weighed out gold, silver, grains, and other items to pay people. Each business person was to carry a set of weights with him to make the measurement and payments. One would often carry two different sets of weights, one light, one heavy. When selling something, they would use one set of weights demand more payment. When purchasing something, they would use the other set of weights to spend less.

God did  not like this practice. People were not treating others equally or fairly. They were cheating other people out of what they deserved.

Jesus treated every person equally. He did not walk around with different weights in how he worked with people. Everyone was treated the same.

Although there are many laws for businesses in how to do business, there are many people who still cheat others out of what they are due. They treat different people differently, taking advantage of some, while being generous to others. Sometimes this is with money, but it is more common with general actions.

This can be seen in churches. One who comes in dressed very nicely is treated much differently than the person dressed very sloppily.

As a believer, you should live your life as Jesus did. Treat every person equally with His great love and generosity. Do not treat each person differently. Every person is the same in God’s eyes, either they are a lost child, or a found child. God loves each one the same.

God does not want you to have different weights in your bag. It is not how He acts.

Are your weights the same as God’s? Or are they different like the world’s?

I pray today that you will know how God treats people; that you will love as God loves; that you will keep the same standards as God’s with every person; and that you will treat people with God’s great love. 

Exodus 24:7 Will You Obey?

man with bible

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey.” Exodus 24:7

Everyday people hear or see many different commands of what to do or what not to do. Some of the commands are so common, that most people do not even think about the, such as the command to follow the speed limit. Other commands are out there that only certain people have to deal with, such as corporate tax rules and regulations, that most people don’t even know what they are.

If most people took the time to think about all of the rules and regulations there are, they would get overwhelmed. Yet, there are many rules out there that everyone needs to obey. Most of them become second nature to obey without really thinking about it.

God had given Moses the Book of the Covenant to be read to the people. This was a list of all of God’s commands for the people to follow. After it was read to the people, all the people agreed to obey everything in the Book. Yet, it is known that almost immediately they did not obey His commands. There were too many commands.

Several thousand years later, Jesus comes up and sums all of those commands up into two simple commands: love God, love others. The question is still being asked by God of every believer, if they will obey God.

All of God’s commands begin with loving Him and loving other people. Once a believer can do that, it is easy to follow the rest of the commands.

God speaks His commands through His word, the Bible and through the Holy Spirit guiding a person in this life. He never asks a person to do anything that is impossible without His help.

The Israelites had responded that they would obey God. You have a choice to make each and every day. Will you obey everything that God tells you to do?

Take time to find out what God’s commands are to you each day. Find out what He wants you to do each day, and then do it. Trust that God knows what He is asking you to do is the best thing for you to do. God loves you and will not give any commands arbitrarily.

What is your response to God’s commands today?

I pray today that you will know what God asks of you; that you will know the commands of God; that you will trust God’s commands; and that you will obey all of God’s commands.