Originally posted here: https://hourofpower.org/stand-for-god-and-hell-stand-for-you/
“When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’”
– Acts 7:54-56
As we wrap up our lessons from the life of Stephen, it would only be right to talk about his death. When he stood in front of the Sanhedrin preaching boldly, he knew he was walking right into his demise. Nevertheless, he did it for the sake of those listening. His heart was so on fire for his Savior that he was willing to serve the least of these, face intense persecution, and ultimately give his life for his Rabbi. As the first Christian martyr, he set an example that millions through the centuries have followed.
After clearly accusing the religious officials of killing Jesus, the Bible says that members of the court gnashed their teeth at Stephen and began to throw stones at him. Then, in a manner consistent with the Holy Spirit’s visible presence on him, as he was about to die, this man of God saw the heavens open up and Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father to welcome him home. This is the only time in the New Testament that Christ is standing and not sitting, and He’s doing it in honor of one who loved Him enough to give his life.
Friend, when you stand for God, He’ll stand for you! If you want to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” be like Stephen. Be willing to go the extra mile for widows, orphans, young people, and those who are hurting. In short, be ready to live and die for the sake of the Gospel. If you’re prepared to let your own blood be the seed that plants trees for tomorrow, then I believe that Christ will be standing at the end of your days on earth to welcome you home to Heaven.
Jesus, I want to stand for you so you will stand for me.
How can you stand for Jesus today?
“…May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love…”
(Ephesians 3:17, AMPC)
Established In Love
There is tremendous power in love! In the same way that a tree will grow taller and stronger when its roots grow deep, you will be stronger and rise higher when you are rooted and established in love. How do you establish yourself in love? It starts by making a choice. When you choose to say yes to love, you are saying yes to everything God is because God is love! Then every day, choose to love through your actions by modeling your life according to 1 Corinthians 13. That means choosing to be patient and kind. It means not seeking your own way, not being jealous or boastful. When you choose love, you are showing the world that God is first place in your life. The more you choose to walk in love, the deeper and stronger your roots will grow. Remember, love is the greatest thing. It is all that will last in eternity. Choose to establish yourself in love and let it be firm within you. Let His love build security in you and empower you to live the life of blessing He has in store for you.
A Prayer for Today
“Father, establish me in Your love. Show me how to love others the way You love me. Thank You for setting me free and empowering me to live the overcoming life You have prepared for me in Jesus’ name! Amen.”
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
The greater and more persistent your confidence in God, the more abundantly you will receive all that you ask – St. Albert the Great
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people…”
(Colossians 3:23, NLT)
Enjoy The Journey
When you love what you do, it doesn’t mean you don’t work hard or that you don’t have to deal with some frustrating days and people. That’s all a part of life. But ultimately, God can help you enjoy what you’re doing. When you’re in God’s will, there will be a joy on the inside. Deep down in your spirit, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. You’ll live the best life that God intended for you. If you’ll live a focused life with your priorities in order and clear goals for the future, there’s no limit to what God will do! He’ll take you places that you’ve never even dreamed of. You’ll experience the abundant life He has in store for you. Your deepest desire should be to follow God’s perfect will so that one day, you can look back and say, “This is why God put me here.
A Prayer for Today
“God, I am so thankful that because of Your presence in my life, the work I do each day can have real purpose and meaning. Help me to do my work with joy, as unto You, and use me to be a blessing to someone else who needs my encouragement and example today. In Jesus’ name – Amen.”
Originally posted here: https://hourofpower.org/glowing-for-god/
“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
One of the most interesting facts in the account of Stephen’s life is that when he confronted the Sanhedrin, he was glowing like an angel. There’s something about being in the anointing of Jesus that causes a person’s countenance to radiate with His supernatural glory. Even though he was facing intense persecution and was in an extremely stressful situation, the Lord’s power overcame Stephen and he physically manifested the light of His Savior. Similarly, when Moses came down off of Mt. Sinai after being in God’s presence and receiving the Ten Commandments, he too was emitting a supernatural brilliance. You see, the truth is that when you encounter Jesus, His glow gets on you, and the more closely you abide with Him, the brighter your light becomes. Perhaps this is why David said in Psalm 34:5 that those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
You are made to shine, my friend, and Jesus is the source of your light! Though it may not be as prominent as it was for Moses and Stephen, when you spend time in the presence of your Savior, your countenance will reflect it. As you pursue close and connected fellowship with Christ, you will be graced with a full measure of His radiant glory, which can be shared with everyone stuck in the darkness of sin or discouragement. Though they may not understand the source of your glow, they will be drawn to it and may just want to know what it is that makes you different. Let your Lord’s light shine brightly from within you, and it will be felt and seen wherever you go!
Jesus, fill me with your Spirit and make me a beacon of light and hope in the world.
Do you glow for God?
Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation.”
I am the vine, you are the branches…