April 7, 2019
Pastor Jeff Struecker
I. Let the Holy Spirit direct your words
Acts 6:8-10 (CSB)
Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from some members of the Freedmen’s Synagogue, composed of both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, and they began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they were unable to stand up against his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking.
II. Let your witness reflect Jesus
Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes; so they came, seized him, and took him to the Sanhedrin. 13 They also presented false witnesses who said, “This man never stops speaking against this holy place and the law. 14 For we heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.” 15 And all who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
• I have been religious but never truly surrendered to Jesus. Today, I turn to him for the first time.
– I have let fear hold me back from speaking about Jesus. Pray for me to have the courage of Stephen this week.
+ I want people to hear the Holy Spirit when I speak to them about faith.
- What is your definition of a religious/holy person?
- How does the world define this person compared to how the Bible defines him or her?
- Do you know someone who is “full of grace”? What makes this person stand out in a crowd?
- Read 1 Kings 21:1-24: What is similar between this passage and Acts 6? Why was God’s judgment so severe on Ahab for something his wife did? What personality traits do Naboth and Stephen share in common?
- Do you practice any “customs” or “traditions” that have no biblical basis? If so, name a few. Why do you practice them? Do they impact your witness?
- How do you respond when people challenge you about your faith? Consider Ephesians 4:11-16 and 2 Corinthians 3:3.
- Praise God that our journey in Christ is never alone, and pray for the courage to rock the boat this week.