Scripture: Acts 7:54
Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him.
Observation: The truth hurts.
Application: Our Sunday school class this session has had a focus on sharing your faith. The facitator said that it is good practice to have a memorized concise testimony ready to share with anyone who is willing to listen. One thing he stressed is that no one can argue with a personal story. When you share what has personally happened there is no argument because it is what happened in your account. Stephan shared his testimony. He shared what had happened. He spoke truth. It was hard to hear.
When people get angry when we share our faith it is not that they are angry at us but rather they are angry at how it makes them feel when they hear the truth. When we speak the truth boldly then it can cause us harm. People would rather live comfortably in darkness than in the light of truth.
However, it is in the darkness that they seek the light and that God can do the impossible. Saul approved the execution of Stephen. It was Saul's mission to kill Christians. He wanted to silence the truth. I am sure that many early Christians feared Saul. They may have wished he was the one dead. They couldn't have known how God would use Saul/Paul in the most amazing way to spread His truth. The truth is that we are ALL sinners. Whether we persecuted Christians, approved executions, lied, cheated, or any host of other sins. When someone calls us out for our sins we may become enraged and we may grind our teeth at them. The truth -that we deserve death- hurts.
Thankfully, there is forgiveness for all sins and freedom from death through eternal life. May we have the prayer of Simon: “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are the creator of us and we shun the Your truth often. We try to do our own things, on our own agenda, on our own strength and we deny our need for you. We don't want to hear the truth and it makes us angry when we are reminded that we don't deserve anything. Help us to give up our entitlement mindset and focus on You. Let us be like like Philip ready to share our testimony and also like the Ethiopian eunuch ready to hear the truth and repent and rejoice for all Christ has done for us. Amen