- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read Acts 7
Chapter 7 is one unit of Stephen’s speech.
Stephen – He was a Hellenistic Jew, and one of seven men who were chosen to serve on distribution of food. (Acts 6:1-5). He was a man full of faith, spirit and wisdom. He was known as the first martyr in the early church.
Stephen’s speech — His speech was a response to the charge from the Counsel (Sanhedrin). They charged him for blaspheming God, Moses, the Law, and the temple.
He started his speech with the very beginning of Judaism, and run through the entire history / heritage of Israel to show that his Judaism was standard and true, and their charges against him was unjustified.
Stephen spoke that what they called blasphemy was actually a description of the changes that God was bringing to Israel through Jesus Christ, the long- waited Messiah whom they had just crucified. He began with a subject the Jews knew and loved, and conclude with accusation that they had rejected God’s word, just like their ancestors had repeatedly done, and finally they rejected God’s Son—their Messiah. People were furious at his speech and stoned him to death.
Where did his courage and peace come from amidst of being stoned?
He was full of the Holy Spirit. He looked up to heaven. He saw the glory of God, Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Vision of God’s presence, power was his strength.
A young man named Saul (v58) — Saul eye-witnessed Stephen’s death, whom became an important figure in Christian history later.
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
- Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
- Live it out through the day.