THANKSGIVING #1 — STEPHEN

November 14, 2021   /   Big Valley Grace Community Church

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THANKSGIVING #1 — STEPHEN
ACTS 6-7 (ESV)

 

A God-sized Goal: To glorify God through exponential discipleship.

“All the residents of heard the word of the Lord.”  Acts 19:10 

Grace Transforms residents of earth into:
Citizens of Heaven who Love your [actual] neighbor: 

BELIEVE   >>>>>>   This means every member of the Body of Christ, 

INFLUENCE   >>>>>>   being led by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, 

WIN   >>>>>>.  evangelizing 

EQUIP   >>>>>>.  and discipling our [actual] neighbors, 

MULTIPLY   >>>>>>.  and leading them to do the same.

Stephen, was a member of the Body of Christ, was being led by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, evangelizing and discipling his [actual] neighbors, and leading them to do the same.  
Matthew 13:20-21  /  Mark 10:29-30  /  2 Timothy 3:12-13

5 They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. 7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem. 8 And Stephen, full of grace and power,
was doing great wonders and signs among the people.
Acts 6:5, 7, 8 ESV

9 Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Acts 6:9-10 ESV 

11 Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 …and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council… 15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel. 1 And the high priest said, “Are these things so?” 2 And Stephen said: “Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham…” Acts 6:11-7:2 ESV 

51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.” Acts 7:51-53 ESV 

54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:54-56 ESV 

57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 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. Acts 7:57-60 ESV  /  Romans 8:35,38-39

1 And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. 3 But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. 4 Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.  Acts 8:1-4 ESV  /  Acts 13:50-52

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV  /  2 Thessalonians 1:4 ESV

You can be living out God’s will for your life, even in the middle of persecution, when you make these four CHOICES.

Choice #1­­ — 16 Rejoice always, 

Choice #2 — 17 pray without ceasing, 

Choice #3 — 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

Choice #4 — 19 Do not quench the Spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 ESV  /. Romans 12:12 ESV 

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