Sat YP message on Stephen by Stephen
Today we will hear the story of an apostle 2000yrs ago named Stephen.
Stephen an apostle of Jesus Christ – A servant, witness for Jesus & martyr who died for Jesus.
This morning we will learn to always trust in God & to help you forgive people who hurt you.
Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” (Acts 6:8-14 NIV)
I – Stephen attacked by men. But God gave Stephen wisdom on what to say.
A – In what areas in your life do you need to trust In God
A – How will you trust God to be your Guide?
“However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: “ ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’ “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” (Acts 7:48-53 NIV)
I – We are often stiff necked turn away from God. Back in Israel’s time Israelites stiff-necked make idol of golden calf. God killed them by sword & plague.
A – How have we grieved the Holy Spirit? What do you need to confess, ask forgiveness & repent?
I – Stephen faced persecution. Jesus persecuted. Christians today persecuted.
A – Where have you sinned in persecuting others? Friend in school? Foreign worker in mamak? How will you change your behavior?
When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:54-60 NIV)
I – Stephen’s response to pray & ask God forgive those who hurt us
I – Jesus teaches us response to turn our cheek if anyone slaps you (Matthew 5:38-40)
A – What do you do when friends despise & forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
A – How do you forgive someone who has hurt you deeply?
Stephen’s life not easy as attacked & hurt by others.
Today our life is not easy as well.
Especially life as a Christian is often filled with challenges & suffering.
But God allows us to trust in Him.
God gives us right words to say. God tells us the right thing to do.
God forgive our sins. God helps us forgive others who hurt us.
God gives us joy. God gives us eternal life.
Like how today Stephen is with our loving Father in heaven.
When I called, you answered me; You made me bold & stouthearted. ~Psalm 138:3