Daily Reading: 8-16-16
Acts 7:44-53 The Message (MSG)
Sometimes humans can be very stubborn. We can set our minds on what we want to believe even when faced with convincing Truth.
Stephen was one of seven leaders chosen to supervise food distribution to the needy in the early church. He was confronted and accused by Jewish leaders of dishonoring God’s temple in the process. However, that was a lie to cover up the truth. Stephen was simply telling people about Jesus and many were converting to Christianity. Instead of defending himself against his accusers, Stephen took the opportunity to share his vibrant faith and relationship with God. He reminded these leaders of God’s love and provision for his people throughout history and how God was not limited to living in a temple made with human hands. Now, through the Spirit, God can live in human hearts.
Acts 7:44-53The Message (MSG)
44-47 Stephen said, “And all this time our ancestors had a tent shrine for true worship, made to the exact specifications God provided Moses. They had it with them as they followed Joshua, when God cleared the land of pagans, and still had it right down to the time of David. David asked God for a permanent place for worship. But Solomon built it.
48-50 “Yet that doesn’t mean that Most High God lives in a building made by carpenters and masons. The prophet Isaiah put it well when he wrote,
“Heaven is my throne room;
I rest my feet on earth.
So what kind of house
will you build me?” says God.
“Where I can get away and relax?
It’s already built, and I built it.”
51-53 “And you continue, so bullheaded! Calluses on your hearts, flaps on your ears! Deliberately ignoring the Holy Spirit, you’re just like your ancestors. Was there ever a prophet who didn’t get the same treatment? Your ancestors killed anyone who dared talk about the coming of the Just One (Messiah). And you’ve kept up the family tradition—traitors and murderers, all of you. You had God’s Law handed to you by angels—gift-wrapped!—and you squandered it!”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for this lesson from Stephen. Help me to be so filled with your spirit that truth is all I can speak. In Jesus’ name. Amen.