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.

Acts 7:51 Just Like The Ancestors

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“You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” Acts 7:51

Stephen had been falsely accused of blasphemy and the people were ready to stone him. He stood up and spoke how God has been working in mankind since the beginning of time. He also pointed out how men have rejected God over and over, again and again throughout history. Now he tells them they are just as bad as their ancestors in resisting God’s Holy Spirit.

God is a God who speaks all the time. When Jesus left the earth, He sent the Holy Spirit to guide His people in the ways and truths of God. In order for a person to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit, he must be open and listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying.

The Holy Spirit will remind believers of what God’s word says. In this reminder will be times to remind the person to turn away from sin. This reminder will come in the feeling that the person knows that to do some action is wrong and that it should not be done. He will also remind people to seek forgiveness for anything done that was wrong.

He will also remind people what God says about loving others. This love is not just a surface love, but a deep true love that loves even when wronged.

God’s Holy Spirit will also guide a person in what God wants the person to do. This could be in being a witness or walking a certain way.

As history has proven and Stephen had stated, many resist what the Holy Spirit is saying and doing. People want to live their lives their own way and reject what God is saying to them. Yet, they want to call themselves a Christian believer.

When you reject what God’s Holy Spirit is saying to you, then you are rejecting God and Jesus. You are saying that you know better than what God does.

The more you reject the Holy Spirit’s guidance in your life, the further you slip away from God. Your heart becomes cold and your ears are stopped up from hearing God.

Do not allow yourself to become like this. Do not resist the guidance of the Holy Spirit as many have done in the past. Be led by God’s Holy Spirit.

I pray today that you will know God’s Spirit in your life; that you will not reject the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit; that you will live your life sold-out to God; and that you will allow the Holy Spirit to change you daily.

Acts 6:10 Speak With God’s Wisdom

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But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. Acts 6:10

Stephen had been going around speaking the gospel message. The leaders of the city were upset, because his speaking was changing the people and their ways of living. They had set up false witnesses to be able to accuse Stephen and get him removed. As much as they tried to argue with Stephen on what he said, they could not stand up against him. Stephen was speaking with a wisdom that came from God.

Everywhere a person goes, there are people who like to argue about something. People do not agree on everything. Two people can watch the same football game and argue about the way a play was made. People argue about how a politician should make decisions and rule his section of the government. People argue about which movie is the best and which movie is the worst.

The arguments that most people use are of not great value. Often the arguments are not presented in full logic of understanding. They are made in the heat of the moment and not with true wisdom.

People will not only argue about all the things above, they will also argue about getting into heaven, Jesus, salvation, and how to live for God. Everyone seems to have a different point of view.

One way to drive a point home correctly, is in using the wisdom of God. Being filled with God’s Spirit and being led by His Holy Spirit will allow a believer to speak with a solid base. There will be no weak statements or loopholes in the statements. God’s wisdom is way above the best wisdom of man. When a person uses His wisdom, the world cannot argue.

As a believer in Jesus, you need to be using God’s wisdom when speaking to people about Jesus or speaking to people about living for God. Do not use vain and empty words and arguments. Know when to keep quiet and when to speak.

God can and will give you the words to speak, if you allow Him to have control of your life. As you do this, the world will not be able to stand up to you. They may holler and scream, but in the end they will lose the battle.

Who’s wisdom are you using to speak? Your own or God’s?

I pray today that you will be filled with God’s Spirit; that you will speak with God’s wisdom; that you will speak the words of God; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to this world.

Acts 6:10 Speaking With God’s Wisdom

“But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.” Acts 6:10

Stephen was a man who was very bold in speaking out the gospel message. God used him to do many miracles among the people. Since many people were being reached for Jesus by Stephen, a group of men tried to stop him. They started to spread false lies against him. Yet, with all of them working together they could not hold an argument against Stephen because he spoke with the wisdom of God’s Spirit in him.

Wisdom is something that few people choose to pursue and even fewer actually have. Wisdom is much more than knowledge. It is the using knowledge in the best way possible.

There will always be someone who will argue with you in your beliefs in the Bible, Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. It is very easy to try to fight back with your own beliefs. The question is whose wisdom are you using in your arguments? Is it your wisdom or God’s wisdom?

You have to be open to being led by the Holy Spirit in what to say. The Holy Spirit has the perfect way to say everything that needs to be said and He knows when not to say something.

Think about a great car salesman. He knows just what to say, when to say it, and how to say it to get a person to buy a new car. He knows how to make the sales pitch that makes the person think it was their own idea and in their best interest to by that car.

The Holy Spirit is that perfect salesman. He knows the best way to make a sales pitch. As a believer you are a salesman trying to sell people on the idea of believing in Jesus. The Holy Spirit knows how to win the arguments against the world. He knows the way to keep them quiet.

Are you willing to allow the Holy Spirit to guide your words? Are you relying on your wisdom or God’s wisdom? Let His wisdom guide you and great things can happen.

I pray today that you will be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit; that you will not argue with your own words; that God will use you to reach many people for Jesus; and that God will give you His boldness to be His witness.