What amazing people these Christians were! It was obvious that the Holy Spirit filled them, they were full of faith, and God’s grace and power were at work in and through them (v3, 5, 8). God’s Word is spreading. The Church is growing, not just in ones and twos, but multiplying! Even priests and religious people are coming to faith (v7). Don’t we want it to be like that?!
But what comes next challenges two myths we believe about following Jesus:
- ‘I Won’t Have to Suffer Like Jesus Did’ and
- ‘If I Have To Suffer, I Can’t Be A Good Witness’
Do you believe that Christians in Australia and the West generally don’t really suffer for following Jesus? Then you won’t be prepared when you do have to suffer.
Or do you believe that there is something different about these believers which made them better witnesses to Jesus? That you don’t have what it takes to stand for Jesus? No one is a better Christian because they lived closer to Jesus than we do. Any of us can live and speak for Jesus like these believers did.
You may think, ‘I won’t have to suffer like Jesus did,’ but the truth is that you may and likely will suffer like Jesus did. You might think ‘If I have to suffer, I can’t be a good witness,’ but the truth is that you can be a good witness.
And God had this account written for us so that we will believe those two truths: I may have to suffer like Jesus did and if I have to suffer like Him, I can be a good witness.
Sunday 9th September 2018
- “Take up your cross” means (Mtt 16:24-25):
- My life is: ___________________________
- Why does the world hate Christians (John 15:21)?
- Why couldn’t the Freedmen defeat Stephen (v10)?
- When opponents can’t win the argument, what do they do (v11-14)?
- What was Stephen accused of (v13-14)?
- How can we suffer like Jesus? How are we filled with the Holy Spirit?
- If you aren’t suffering for Jesus, you aren’t f_____________________________ Him.
- A question I have:
- A truth to share:
- How I should live:
- Something to pray about: