Scripture: Acts 7:60 “And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ And when he had said this he fell asleep.”
Observations: Exodus was all about the Priestly garments and the consecration of the priests. The garments sound absolutely gorgeous, but the consecration ceremony always leaves me a bit grossed out. I often wonder why God had them go through all those steps. I understand the importance of blood, but they had just been washed and then they were putting blood on them. I have often wondered if the real purpose of the sacrifice was to see if they would follow directions. In Acts, the people turned against Stephen.
Application: I would like to be as Christ-like as Stephen. They chose him to wait tables (a humble job) because he was full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. What a testimony! What a witness! Then, when falsely accused, he defended himself using Biblical truth! Even though he was brutally treated, he, like Jesus, had one thing on his mind…the offenders. He didn’t want revenge. He wasn’t even angry. He simply prayed for them! That is a lesson for all of us.
Prayer: Lord, God in heaven, we come humbly before you, and bow our hearts in prayer. Father, God, almighty, powerful, stronghold, we that you for the opportunity to pray and have our prayers heard. I experienced a quick response to prayer just this evening. Lord, teach us to pray for our enemies. Teach us to forgive, and take the high road as Jesus did when he was brutally beaten and hung on a cross to die. Help us to be more and more Christ-like. Teach us to pray. Amen.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Exodus 30-32; Acts 8
Scripture: Act 6:10-11 “10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11 Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.”
Observations: I can never get over the amount of detail God gave Moses for the furnishing of the tabernacle. It says that Moses was supposed to build everything according to what he had seen on the mountain, so I can only assume that Moses saw the throne room of God. I also can’t get over how much gold, silver, etc. the Israelites must have plundered from the Egyptians to build such a magnificent tabernacle. In Luke, there is much detail given to choosing the one who will serve the widows.
Application: I think even today, jealousy arises when we see someone doing good. Rather than getting behind a person and supporting them when they are doing good, people want to undercut them. I thought about this a lot today as I listened to and watched some of the impeachment hearings, and I’ve seen it throughout my 45+ years in the workplace, but it is often also that way in the church. Someone is applauded for doing something well, and others get offended because they were not recognized. It is a tight line to walk and in my heart everyone should be recognized for the work they do. Jealousy has no place in a church, or in a Christian. We should applaud our fellow Christians for their blessings, and we should not be expecting recognition, because as the Scripture says, your right hand should not know what the left hand is doing. We do it onto the Lord, not for recognition. Those who receive their reward on earth, will not be rewarded in heaven. Mind you, I appreciate any recognition I get, but everyone deserves it, no matter how much or how little they do in the church. The church could not exist without a community of workers, so tonight I applaud all of you who support your local churches!
Prayer: Father in heaven, I adore you. Lord, Jesus was barely acknowledged on earth, and when he was, it was often a condemning recognition. Let us not forget to say thank you for all people do for Your church, but let us not work for the ‘attaboys’ but work as onto You. Amen.
Tomorrow’s Scripture: Exodus 28-29; Act