Monday, August 30, 2010

Week 3, Day 5 - Rumors and Lies

Acts 6:8-15

I have seen people I know have their reputations destroyed by lies. When I was a teenager, there was a guy I knew that was completely devastated by a rumor that he was gay even though he was not. I have watched people suffer the consequences of rumors and lies and have learned that they are powerful and destructive. Today, I want to look at how someone’s life was threatened by lies in Acts 6:8-15.

Stephen’s opposition was cunning how they used the volatile religious and political climate to their advantage. The Sanhedrin was already struggling with trying to determine what to do about the early church, so they started rumors that Stephen was speaking blasphemy against Moses and God and the temple. As we look at Stephen’s answer to the accusation tomorrow, we will see that this is not true; however, today the result was that he was on trial unfairly before the Sanhedrin.

We looked at Stephen yesterday when he was appointed as one of the overseers of the distribution of food. According to this section of scripture, we see that Stephen was described as a “man full of God’s grace and power,” and did “great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.” According to yesterday’s reading, we also know that the qualifications for the leadership position he was in required that he was “full of the Spirit and wisdom,” (verse 3). Being full of wisdom, grace, power, and the Spirit didn’t stop opposition from coming; in fact, I believe it attracted opposition. We can read that his opposition could not stand against his wisdom, so they resorted to rumors and lies.

When we are doing what God wants us to do, lies may come. It is important that we keep our relationship with God strong so that when we are facing the opposition, we can withstand the pressure. It is not easy to be lied about, but the enemy is the father of lies so we know that this is something that he will use. Please look at what Jesus says of our enemy in John 8:44. Jesus also tells us how the world feels about us in John 15:18-19. But then we have His beautiful promise in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Praise God! He has overcome!

Are you facing lies and rumors? Trust in the promise that Christ has overcome!

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