Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You Have the Last Word

Acts 7:59-60

While they were stoning him...Stephen cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

Whenever you stand for truth you will always have opposition. Jesus warned his disciples, “If they hated me they will hate you also…pray for those who hate you.” It was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “We will overcome their capacity to hate with our capacity to love.” It seems unnatural to show love or be forgiving to people who mean you harm. When you are caught up in an exchange of words and you believe you are standing on the side of right, you want the last word. In your last words will you pronounce blessings or curses?

Stephen was one of the first martyrs. He was one of the seven men chosen by the apostles to help serve the Grecian widows food. In Acts 6:8-10 it states, “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. Opposition arose, these men began to argue with Stephen but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Sprit by whom he spoke.

Whenever you have position you will have opposition. This is how you overcome opposition when you are in God’s will:

1. God’s grace and Power. Stephen had experienced the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So even under extreme opposition he was able to keep his composure because of Grace.

2. Wisdom. Wisdom is the correct application of knowledge. Stephen was a student of God’s word. That’s why he was able to convict those who opposed him because he used the word.

3. The Holy Spirit. God spoke through Stephen and pierced the hearts of those opposing Stephen and their only recourse was to get physical because they were defeated spiritually.

They couldn’t defeat him in arguments so they decided to retaliate by stoning him to death. Before they killed him, he had the last word, “Father do not hold their sins against them.” He was getting ready to die, getting hit upside the head with big rocks and his last words were like Jesus, “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” The very person that gave consent for Stephen to be stoned was a man named Saul who would later be converted to follow Christ and his name changed to Paul. Because Stephen had the last word Christianity grew and the chief oppose became the chief apostle.

Do you think Stephen’s death or his last words had anything to do with Paul’s conversion? When you have an argument this week or a point of disagreement, what will be your last words?

Dear God,

Fill me with your Grace so that I can face my opposition with your wisdom and be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Even when it appears that I’m losing the argument. Help me to realize that I’m really winning because as long as you get the Glory, I get the last word.

In Jesus Name,


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